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Behind the Lectern

Behind the Lectern is a features column written by a different writer each week. We aim to show a different side to the professors you know and love, or perhaps don't know after all.

Behind the Lectern: Professor Geoffrey W. Cook – Just Call Me Geoff

"when I first started teaching when I was a graduate student it seemed totally natural. There was some apprehension but when you love what you are talking about it is really easy.” On the first...

Professor Scott Klemmer: At the Head of a Growing Field

Highly respected as a research university, UC San Diego has not had any trouble bringing pioneers in various fields of research into the fold. One such professor in the cognitive science department has quite...

Behind the Lectern: What the Science — Profanity and the Brain

Profanity, talking while driving, how the mind computes words and grammar — these are just some of the topics Benjamin Bergen, professor at the UCSD department of cognitive science and director of the Language...

Behind the Lectern: Disappearing Disciplines — Fight for the Humanities

Mel Freilicher is a published author and a lecturer in the literature department at UCSD. He is originally from Yonkers, New York and recalls growing up in a school atmosphere that he describes as...

Eliot Wirshbo – UCSD’s Latin Teacher

Eliot Wirshbo was born on a cold evening in Brooklyn during a record-setting snowstorm. When he was two years old his parents moved to the Bronx, where Wirshbo attended high school and later Hunter...

Behind the Lectern: Stephen Potts – A Journey to Middle Earth

As a herd of students files into WLH 2111, it isn’t obvious who this class is meant for, as literature majors take their places next to pink-haired punks and electrical engineers. However, at 2...

Leaving the American Sector: Professor William O’Brien

Tucked away at the end of a third-floor hallway in the literature building, you’ll come across a curious door. Plastered over it are mid-century publications, most in German, dealing with a variety of subject...

Behind the Lectern: Cristina Rivera-Garza – How to Write

Perhaps it is Professor Cristina Rivera-Garza’s unconventional philosophy toward writing that makes her one of the most prolific Mexican writers of her generation. The award-winning author of six novels, three short-story collections, five collections...

Mia Minnes: Mathematician and Computer Scientist Extraordinaire

It is a wet day. I sit on the bright red couch in computer science professor Mia Minnes’ room, warming up from the weather outside. As she walks her previous guest out, I stare...

Behind the Lectern: Deborah Hertz – Making History Present

Professor Hertz’s office is lined with books on German, Jewish and modern European history. The only gap in her office is a space for her desk, which just so happens to be outlined with...

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