A very memorable professor who teaches freshman level engineering Physics at Drexel University. His classes are a very important part of The Drexel Engineering Curriculum (aka TDEC, E4). Professor Venkataraman, or as he likes to be called "Venkat" was one of the most influential teachers I have ever had. He teaches three classes, and wrote the primary textbook for them, known as TSV, or just simply Venkat's Book.

Venkat is one of the most respected professors at Drexel, but by the administration and the students. He has two offices, one in Lebow 335A (in the engineering college) and one in Disque 912 (in the physics department). He spends no less than 12 hours a day at work, most of the time grading quizzes, writing up new assignments, or preparing for his next lecture.

Venkat is also well known for driving his teaching assistants very hard. His often forces them to stay late to make sure that his students get their quizzes back in a timely fashion.

Venkat's Classes

TDEC111- Physical Foundations of Engineering 1

Subject matter:

TDEC113- Physical Foundations of Engineering 2

Subject matter:

TDEC115- Physical Foundations of Engineering 3

Subject matter:

After making it through these class (barely), I can say that they were the most difficult, and the most rewarding classes, that I have ever or will ever take. The subject matter is of extreme importance for anyone who wants to work in the field of engineering.

Overall, the structure of the class is such that each subject builds on the previous. This can be both a benefit (because one can immediately apply knowledge they have gained) and a detriment (if you fall behind, you're in trouble). This structure works so well in fact, that I would venture to say that this is the way that all beginning engineering physics should be taught.

Memorable Quotes

Venkat is well known for his random quotes during lectures and tests. Here are some of my favorites. You can check out a larger set at http://on.to/venkat.
  • If I want you to know something, I'll say it fifty times.
  • In order to do this problem, you have to have a handle on second grade math.
  • Look at the doughnut; do not look through the hole. If you look through the hole, you will not see the doughnut. Look at the doughnut.
  • When I'm done, you will say to me, "Venkat, it is a piece of cake, why do you waste our time?"
  • Do it tonight. If you don't do it tonight you will do it Monday (...during a quiz).
  • This relation is simple. Best cake, better cake, good cake.
  • Let's do two problems in two seconds.
  • My electrons are very smart. They say to me, Venkat...
  • I know everything.
  • Are you guys with me? Yes or no.
  • ...Plug and chug and crank it...
  • These problems are easy until you make them difficult.
  • In order to do well, you must read the problems. R-E-A-D.
The above quotes are used with permission
Check out Venkat's website at http://www.physics.drexel.edu/courses/pfe/.