UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Podcast classes put Berkeley within reach of the world

– Even before UC Berkeley's just-announced deal with Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, webcasts of Berkeley lectures were finding a worldwide audience — if not from A to Z, then at least from the EU to AZ.

Richard Muller conducting experiment in class
Richard Muller conducts a shocking demonstration in his "Physics for Future Presidents" class. (Peg Skorpinski photo)

Professor Richard Muller, whose "Physics for Future Presidents" is a popular selection on the webcast.berkeley.edu course site, has heard from people who listen to his lectures all over the world. Muller says the "podcasts are reaching far wider than I had expected, including Turkey, Chile, Holland, and New Zealand, and many distant corners of the U.S., too."

Muller went so far as to mention during one lecture that he would like to know where his online listeners were located. "I gave my e-mail verbally, so the podcast listeners could respond." The result was a steady flow of correspondence from his global audience, including the following examples:

Kansas City:
Thanks so much for the podcast lectures of Physics 10, I listen to it while I jog in the morning outside of Kansas City, MO. Keep them coming, there's no better way to stay fit and informed.

I live in Santiago, Chile, have my parents living in Quito, Ecuador, and my brother in Leinfelden, Germany.

As my brother came her to visit me 2 months ago, he brought his iPod and we sit down every day to listen to your physics class — great!!!! So now that he is gone, we promised to continue doing it and it goes like this: Early in the morning, when my kids leave the house, I turn on the PC and Skype my brother. Then I turn on your lecture (or another one, cause we have 5 days a week, and you only have 2 lessons a week, what a pity), and turn on the micro, so he can hear it on his PC. Sometimes my father calls in, and so the whole family is connected — around the world — listening to your lectures. They are really great!!!

Imagine that even me, that studied business administration and had no idea of physics, and I didn´t like it very much also, am getting to understand it.

Thank you very much for sharing your classes with us, it is a very nice time and experience for me to spend with my family.

Good afternoon professor Muller,

Since you asked for reactions from abroad listeners :

I listen to your lecture podcasts with great pleasure [from Rotterdam, Holland]. Mostly at night using headphones, not to miss anything.

Just to let you know that I am enjoying your podcast in Istanbul!

I am a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins, CO, and I listen to your podcast!

I seriously doubt that I am your most exotic listener, but please be aware that I, an Italian Literature PhD student from Scotland, have not only listened to your podcasts and enjoyed them thoroughly but even taken them with me an listened to them on a recent research visit to Italy. So your voice has been heard on the train between Bergamo and Bologna, Bologna and Florence, Florence and Rome and Rome and Bergamo. I also listened to a review session on an airplane with no crashes resulting.

New Zealand:
Hi, Just thought I'd let you know that I've been listening to your podcasts at work. I've been listening from your Invisible light lectures. I have enjoyed them a lot. I regard myself as an armchair theoretical physicist, and I live in New Zealand. Thanks and keep them coming :-

While I'm not in Walla Walla, I am in the Portland, OR metro area.

I've listened to most all of your podcasts, and thoroughly enjoy each of them! So far I've missed only one of your quiz questions (OK. 2 if you count the pop-quiz of my secret name.)

My name is Warren and I happened upon your webcasts thru a search engine. I am thoroughly enjoying watching these classes. I am located in Knoxville, TN. I am 61 years old, am an equipment mechanic for T-DOT, very interested in Physics and Astronomy, high school graduate(1963), and I am an ex locomotive and diesel mechanic. I don't mean to waste your valuable time, I just want to thank you for allowing oldies like me access to these webcasts. Keep up the wonderful work.

I listen to your podcasts on my daily commute here in Phoenix. Very interesting stuff, keep the Podcasts coming.