Three of the world’s most popular online course lectures — as measured by view-counts of the videos thereof, posted on the video giant YouTube on April 1 of this year — are by UC Berkeley professors, and all three of those have Berkeley degrees. In fact, they have seven Berkeley degrees among the trio, five at the graduate level.
While a Harvard philosopher leads the viral pack, Berkeley academics come in second, third, and sixth (with an asterisk), respectively.
Number two is Integrative Biology 131: General Human Anatomy (YouTube), taught by Professor Marian Diamond ’48, M.S. ’49, Ph.D. ’53, viewed nearly 1.5 million times. “She begins by opening a colorful hatbox,” notes Times writer Katie Hafner (who has taught in Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism). “Dressed in an elegant suite and scarf with her hair swept back into a chignon, Professor Diamond pulls on a pair of latex gloves and reveals the box’s contents: a human brain.” Contrary to what some think, she has not yet retired and her magnetism still fills the largest classrooms. The blog Berkeleyside calls her “the 83-year-old rock star professor.”
(A hat-tip to Frances Dinkespiel of the local blog news-site Berkeleyside, who cited Berkeley-centric aspects of two recent New York Times features, one — “What They’re Watching” — gave the rundown on YouTube’s Top 10 lectures. The other — “An Open Mind” — surveyed the extent to which universities are sharing their knowledge gratis via the Internet, in the process inadvertently creating “tweedy celebrities of cyberspace.”)
Note: if you hunger for Berkeley-based lectures on video, you can browse the extensive menus at UC Berkeley’s YouTube channel or Berkeley at iTunes U (for MP3 players) or, for non-course material, concentrate on the wide array of recent and historic Graduate Council Lectures.