Things got a little, er, steamy in a quantum physics lecture at Columbia University this past week. Why? Professor Emlyn Hughes decided to spice up his lecture by opening with a striptease. Yes, you read that right.
Professor Hughes began with a dark stage, a lone spotlight, and Lil Wayne’s classic “Drop It Like It’s Hot” playing. He proceeded to strip to his underwear, much to the shock and excitement of the attending students. Paradoxically, he next put on clothes (a hoodie and sunglasses) and curled into the fetal position and rocked around while a projector behind him displayed images of Hitler, North Korea, and 9/11, flashing them in succession.
Most students were riveted, albeit confused, by the presentation. Some were offended, other annoyed that their tens of thousands of dollars of tuition money was being spent on such…interesting lecture. Administrators at Columbia are reportedly examining the presentation and whether it was appropriate, though, as many point out, Professor Hughes is a chair of the “Frontiers of Science” class series and is most likely tenured. In which case, he will be around for a long time. Long enough to put on another show or two.
The debate is still up for whether the presentation was a deep and twisted metaphor for quantum physics and an effective tool for capturing wandering student attention, or simply a crackpot. All we can hope for is an eventual explanation of the incident. And that other professors don’t follow suit.