Science can be fun, especially with the right teacher.
Through his 370-plus videos, Mark French, professor of mechanical engineering technology in Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Engineering Technology, helps viewers around the world understand the principles behind topics in engineering, physics and math.
He has covered topics ranging from applied optimization problems to the technical computer language MATLAB to biplane engineering and dynamics and the mathematics of music. To make his videos entertaining, French has used liquid nitrogen and packing peanuts to show the science behind gas expanding through evaporation. French and his graduate students also built a supersonic pingpong gun that can shoot a ball through a paddle, earning an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
French’s videos have garnered more than 7 million views, and his YouTube channel has earned 42,000 subscribers. He posted five new videos in his “Brain Waves” series just last week.
“When I’m on a roll,” he said. “I can film one or two a day.”
Read the full Purdue News story — and see several additional stories about Mark French below, including a story about the origins of his YouTube channel and a behind-the-scenes look at how he produces videos.
- Here’s the formula for how a Purdue prof gained nearly 43K followers on YouTube (Purdue News)
- Mark French’s YouTube channel
- Video: Purdue professor getting views for science videos (WXIN)
- How a guitar-building class can teach lessons in manufacturing, STEM and self-worth (Purdue Polytechnic)
- Podcast: Techies Today Episode 001: Mark French, Purdue's Surprise YouTube Star (Techies Today, the Purdue Polytechnic Podcast)
- French receives Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (Purdue Polytechnic)
- Popular “Brain Waves” video series explains challenging math concepts to millions (Purdue Polytechnic)
- Video: “Brain Waves” / Behind the Scenes (YouTube)
- Fallon demos professor's supersonic pingpong gun (Purdue Polytechnic)
- Guitar-building STEM education initiative impacts 20,000 students nationwide (Purdue Polytechnic)