Walter Levin

Walter Levin’s expulsion from MIT

I learned from Scott Aaronson’s blog about this unfortunate incident involving Professor Walter Levin. He’s one of the most celebrated professor for introductory physics to not just MIT students but also to millions around the world who have watched his lectures online on Open CourseWare (OCW). Prof. Walter Levin was stripped of his emeritus status and not allowed on campus anymore after an internal investigation found that he had been sexually harassing his students online and that the accusations were extremely serious.

Now Prof. Levin is 78, but that doesn’t excuse him from his actions. I strongly believe that sexual harassment must not be tolerated at any university but in the case of a public figure like Walter Levin, it’s only fair that his actions are brought to light in public. The worst part of it all is that his interactions with the student happened over MITx platform which resulted in all of his lectures being removed from the online courses. MIT also ensured that all of Levin’s lectures, even from the OCW. This is not commendable. I understand the need to punish Prof. Levin, but his lectures are free of accusations. Those lectures have helped me amongst millions when I was taking physics and the material is presented with such a clarity that it actually makes physics fun. His lectures should remain and continue to inspire students to think and share the love of physics that Prof. Levin displayed. I hope his lectures come from an unaffiliated source back on YouTube or perhaps in scribed form on a source like PDFy.

Diotima was Socrates mentor who taught him about love and she told him that the minds of men and women are impregnated with ideas, when they take form (metaphorical birth), those ideas are immortal. Such can be said about teaching too, lecture materials from legendary professors like Prof. Levin should remain as glorious as they always have been. People change, but their ideas and works remain through time to inspire the future.