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Singing Science

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the lyrical-learning dept.

Education 129

udderly writes " Wired is running a story about a University of Washington biology lecturer, Greg Crowther, who sings lectures. From the article: 'Crowther bursts into song to the melody of Sugar Sugar, the bubble-gum '60s tune - "Glucose, ah sugar sugar / You are my favorite fuel from the bloodborne substrate pool / Glucose -- monosaccharide sugar -- you're sweeter than a woman's kiss / 'cause I need you for glycolysis."' In college I used many different types of devices to help memorize information like this. Crowther has a page where you can download samples. Among my favorites are The Krebs Cycle and Come On Down (The Electron Transport Chain)."

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129 comments

So, how long until he's sued? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179179)

He may write the lyrics himself, and perform the songs himself, but he still doesn't own the music he's using.

Re:So, how long until he's sued? (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179256)

Hey, Valente, notw that you're retired, go back in your hole. You know damn well that educational use/performance by a teacher in front of his students is specifically exempt from it in the copyright act, as part of "fair use."

Re:So, how long until he's sued? (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179397)

Valente was MPAA, not RIAA.

Re:So, how long until he's sued? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179464)

Good point - its hard keeping all the con artists straight w/o a program, there are so many of them. Just today we had to add Hasbro, for trying to claim copyright on game rules for Risk, when the govt says you can't copyright game rules.

Perhaps most laywers need to add IANAL to their business cards.

Re:So, how long until he's sued? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179522)

If you run from the Pole-eese, then by God you must be guilty of something.


If charges are ever brought against you, you must be guilty of something. If you object to the authorities entering or searching your vehicle, your home, or your physical self, you must be guilty of something.

So,since we already know that you are guilty of something, and you are running from the Pole-eese, then it is likely you deserve to have your fleeing ass shot, after all a bullet is much cheaper than a trial and incarceration, and since you were running, that is as good as a confession that you are guilty of something.

Guess the only thing left to do is learn to duck when your running, and for pete's sake, stay away from the pole-eese.

Singing Bio 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179197)

AKA how to get your ass kicked when stepping into the campus commons

Mnemonics (4, Interesting)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179202)

I'm all for using mnemonics to remember somewhat arbitrary information (Roy G. Biv, Every Good Boy Deserves Fish), but not for semantic cramming. If you need a song to understand the difference between glucose and fructose, then why bother taking the course in the first place? You're just going to forget everything you learned as soon as you complete the final exam.

Re:Mnemonics (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179289)

You're just going to forget everything you learned as soon as you complete the final exam.

Isn't that what happens anyway for the majority of people? They can't remember where they put the damn remote (something they think of a REALLY important), how are they going to remember anything else? A lot of of people go through the degree mill to get a piece of paper, not because they really are interested in a particular field. And that's why profs spend so much time feeling like they're beating their heads against the wall - students who want to learn are a pleasure and a challenge; students out for that piece of paper are only good to sleep with - after all, its the only way to get them to give a fuck.

Re:Mnemonics (4, Insightful)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179322)

"If you need a song to understand the difference between glucose and fructose, then why bother taking the course in the first place?"
Many of us were forced to take non-major classes that we had no interest in, in order to get our degrees. I'm going to hazard a guess that you either never attended an institution of higher-education, or you attended a technical/trade school.

Also, one of the reasons that universities force you to learn so many things that you will later forget is so that your future employer knows that you are capable of learning these things. The knowledge itself is often secondary to the ability to acquire that knowledge.

Re:Mnemonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179407)

I'm going to hazard a guess that you are making less money than someone who never attended an institution of higher-education, or attended a technical/trade school. Also, if you can prove ONCE that you can learn things, why do you need to do it for four years? Why not five? Is it because university is a cult whose main job it is is to supply jobs for teachers and a marketplace for hugely over-priced textbooks? Nah, it's the learning thing. Sure. Because books lose all their potential once they're out of a classroom.

Re:Mnemonics (2, Insightful)

Rayaru (898516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180001)

Aside from the task of passing on human knowledge from generation to generation, another major focus of universities is to provide an environment conducive to research, or the creation of new knowledge. Joe Dropout might be able to start a local computer business and make more money that a graduate fresh out of college, but except in extraordinary cases he is not the one pioneering the development of new computers.

Re:Mnemonics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180170)

Not the OP, but you are confusing the state of affairs of your country's universities with others. It could just be that the OP is from a different system than you...

I'm thinking you're probably American? I've heard that US universities make undergrads take a mix of courses outside of their major.

In New Zealand and Australia (and many other countries I am sure), you have a huge freedom in choosing extra papers as long as you do a few major-related required papers. This means that most people can go through their degree and never have to take any non-major classes they aren't interested in.

Sure, you come out with a "narrower" education, but you don't have to take English Lit. if you're only interested in biochem, and vice versa :)
(I think our degree programs end up being shorter as well because of this?)

Re:Mnemonics (2, Insightful)

ATeamMrT (935933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179360)

If you need a song to understand the difference between glucose and fructose, then why bother taking the course in the first place? You're just going to forget everything you learned as soon as you complete the final exam.

Just because a class ends, does not mean the learning ends. Some people will have a lightbulb click on in their heads, a year later, remembering something from a previous class.

Most of what we learn when young is compartmentalized. We don't know how topic A1 relates to topic B4. In your example, maybe glucose means nothing to the test taker, except an answer to get a good grade in Biology 100. But next year, when taking Chem 100 and hearing about exothermic reactions, something will click in his head, and he will remember ATP and the krebs cycle. Maybe he will sit back, close his eyes, and start thinking of making a super mitochondira where an elephant can lift 10 times the normal weight, and how to use this elephant in hard to reach parts of Africa to build better housing or hospitals.

We should get the most from everyone, use whatever methods work, and not critisize a teacher for reaching 10% of his students that might otherwise not understand.

Re:Mnemonics (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179415)

We should get the most from everyone, use whatever methods work, and not critisize a teacher for reaching 10% of his students that might otherwise not understand.

You mistyped '90'.

Re:Mnemonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179432)

I for one welcome our genetically engineered elephant overlords.

Re:Mnemonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179425)

Because there's so much information to absorb. Anything that helps is great. Why restrict learning in any way?

Re:Mnemonics (1)

cheezus_es_lard (557559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179517)

My favorite was "All People Seem To Need Double Penetration"

Re:Mnemonics (1)

Puf_Almighty (904515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179852)

OSI Reference Model layers mnemonics

APSTNDP Aliens Probably Stole the Ninja Dew Pop
APSTNDP All People Seem To Need Data Processing
APSTNDP All Pirate Ships Take No Darn Prisoners
PDNTSPA Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away (backwards)

(Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link, Physical)

Re:Mnemonics (1)

waffleman (697097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179809)

Yes. The funny thing about the linked to set of mp3s is that if you listen to the songs, they don't really do semantic cramming. There's acutally fairly little hard to remember content in there. As such, other than being an amusing novelty, I would say these songs are just about useless or worse, depending if the student gets distracted by the tune rather than linking it to the lyrics.

Besides, I happen to subscribe to the notion that it's one of a student's primary jobs to find their own ways to be interested in a subject. Reducing course material to infotainment does not help a student learn how to learn.

Re:Mnemonics (1)

Puf_Almighty (904515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179915)

Before writing, huge chunks of information were passed on in oral histories, in the form of songs and poems(recall that somebody, somewhere, had Gilgamesh memorized in its entirety). If there's a rhyme formula like that, in which the entire original piece is written, then if you forget this or that piece of information there are a limited amount of words (not to mention concepts) that might fit. It's easier to remember because you can, to some extent, derive any missing word from the words surrounding it.

Add in rhythm and tone, and you have two more aspects that are associated with these pieces of information- just getting to that point in the song triggers that memory better than thinking "Man, I wish I knew what that piece of information was". Like a song whose title is in the lyrics, but you can't recall said title without running through the lyrics until you get to that point.

A song is a good way of remembering things. And it makes it less likely that you'll forget it after the final exam.

Hmm.... (1)

Bomarrow1 (903375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179206)

I know we could forget going to university and just download the course. Then when we have time, listen to it. Then record our answers and send them back. Why did no one think of it before?

It really works too unfortunately, (4, Funny)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179221)

I can't get this dam song out of my head about snells. Signing n sub 1 sin theta sub 1 signing n sub 2 sin theta sub 2. Gosh darn it. I don't even remember the entire sign only the dam formula. Anway, here is a website from which I found the songs.
http:http://www.haverford.edu/physics-astro/songs/ >
Ps. I just had one of those I have no life epathanies.

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179315)

What about:
The angle of the dangle is equally proportional to the heat of the meat provided that the urge to surge remains constant

... except in Soviet Russia, there the meat heats YOU!

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179794)

there the meat heats YOU!
*shudder*

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179846)

It's the CowboyKneels/goatcx option, you know "bend over and take it like a man" :-)

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179364)

Ps. I just had one of those I have no life epathanies.

Post again when you have an "I have no life" epiphany. Like the one I'm having now.

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (1)

cantino (649023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179369)

That's my old professor at Haverford. He's been interviewed a bunch of times recently for his creation of PhysicsSongs.org . In my physics classes he would sing to us after some lectures. I even have a friend who did a techno remix of one of his songs. I think that's on the website too. I think the songs helped us remember the material, and if nothing else, made the class more fun.

Re:It really works too unfortunately, (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180284)

Reminds me of that Warren Zevon song from Transverse City, "Run Straight Down", which starts out with a chanted:
4-Aminobiphenyl, hexachlorobenzene Dimethyl sulfate, chloromethyl methylether 2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzo- para-dioxin, carbon disulfide

Dibromochloropane, chlorinated benzenes, 2-Nitropropane, pentachlorophenol, Benzotrichloride, strontium chromate 1, 2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane

I used to know what that was the chemical symbol for...

Nice try.. (3, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179254)

Nice try, but the Rolling Stones have been promoting Geology's Rock Cycle for decades now.

Re:Nice try.. (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179320)

Nice try, but the Rolling Stones have been promoting Geology's Rock Cycle for decades now.

"Do it Magma, Lava too, we're gonna make igneous rock from you!

Under over through and through, just look at the signs and they'll give you a clue."

AAARRRGHH!!!! stuck in my head from middle school!! About 15 years ago.... so yeh, its been around a while, and quite effective.

tm

Samples (0, Redundant)

EmoryBrighton (934326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179261)

Here's the Sample mp3's directly: ( Greg Crowther's songs are [washington.edu] )

29 Reasons [science-groove.org]

3.14159/Pi [washington.edu] Joel Tetreault [rochester.edu] and Dan Vitek

Building A Histidine [washington.edu] Jessica Raaum

Come On Down (The Electron Transport Chain) [washington.edu] Sam Reid [colorado.edu]

Come On Down (The Electron Transport Chain) [science-groove.org]

Erica [washington.edu] Joel Tetreault [rochester.edu]

Glucose, Glucose [science-groove.org]

Hooray For NMR Spectroscopy! [science-groove.org]

Myofibrils [science-groove.org]

Necessary But Not Sufficient [science-groove.org]

The Nucleus I Like Best [science-groove.org]

Organic Chemistry [washington.edu] Eric Chase and Gregorio del Laboratorio

Oxidative Phosphorylation [science-groove.org]

The Phantom [science-groove.org]

The Professor And The Punk [washington.edu] Gregorio del Laboratorio and Do Peterson

Take Me To The Liver [washington.edu] Gregorio del Laboratorio and Do Peterson

That's What Slugs Are For [washington.edu] Jessica Raaum

Twinkle, Twinkle, T2* [science-groove.org]

The Waltz Of The Ribosomes [washington.edu] Gregorio del Laboratorio

Re:Samples (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179349)

Come on, man. This is a really sad attempt at karma grabbing, considering they posted the exact same link in the main summary.

Re:Samples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179381)

My Apologies, I went through the Wired article to get there. Before it was posted it went through wget, grep, sed, removal of all html tags, and modification of relational links Should've posted anon

Memory devices work... (3, Insightful)

ATeamMrT (935933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179265)

The worst teachers are stuck in one method. The best ones will explain a topic in multiple ways. I had one math teacher that used things like "Please Excuse My Poor Aunt Sally" to teach about equations- parenthesis, exponents, multiplication/division, addition, subtraction. To someone else, it might be a complex list of what to do first and rules. But he showed a small trick, and nobody missed it. I wish more teachers would take the time to find teaching methods that work, rather than passing the blame to students and telling students to "study harder".

It is one of the reasons dissection is so important in Biology classes. Kids can't learn by looking at a picture in a book of what the digestive system looks like. It is different to cut a frog open and see for yourself. It also stimulates the imagination in ways books can not. I remember looking at the cardiovascular system and wondering "Why do we have heart attacks? Why not just add a small pump at the inferior vena cava to help weak hearts. And if someone has a heart attack, the pump will act like a CPR machine, keeping blood flowing.

Teachers like this guy are a pleasure to have. They love their field. They feel a responsibility to reach all students, regardless of how the kid learns. I knew some smart kids in highschool who never made it that far in academia because they got stuck with book learning- read the book than take a scan tron. But when you talk with them, you realize they learn 10X as much as the rest of us when they see something done. I've seen this guy tear a carburetor apart and rebuild it, after watching someone else do it. But he could not do simple Chem 100 problems.

I wonder how many savants are out there who were pushed out of mainstream education because traditional book reading followed by test taking did not show their potential?

I think the anwser for education is to require a Ed.D instead of a Ph.D to teach the first four years of college. Let the Ph.D's do research. Just because they are expert in their field does not mean they know how to convey that information to others.

Re:Memory devices work... (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179299)

Umm... Are you SURE they work? "Please Excuse My Poor Aunt Sally" is PEMPAS, not PEMDAS. I think the word you want is 'dear' rather than 'poor.' Also, you just said the worst teachers are stuck on 1 method, and then give a tale about a teacher that only used one method, but it worked...

Re:Memory devices work... (2, Insightful)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179387)

But it still worked! he failed to recall the nmemonic correctly, but he recalled the information he needed the nmeonic's help to remember.

His teacher used the standard write-the-rules-on-the-board method and then gave a nmemonic to remember it. That gives you just one extra thing (that's worth a lot) to link it to in memory. That's the best way to memorize things, not to sit and read it over and over again, but to give it a relationship to something else in memory.

Re:Memory devices work... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179666)

I'm not saying they don't work in general. PEMDAS is one of the nmemonics taught in almost every school. It doens't get that kind of widespread adoption by not working. I'm just saying he places a lot more faith in that method than he should. The real difference wasn't the method, it was the teacher. Teachers that truly care about their job, and whether children learn, teach a lot better. I've had a few of these teachers and they truly work magic. And by the way, the BEST way to learn things is to use them while learning. Taking a problem through (math, english, it doesn't matter) and explaining why each step is used, then forcing the student to try again on their own, this will drive the lesson home. They're going to make mistakes the first time, but that's part of the process. Of all the things I've learned, I remember my mistakes (and their solutions) best.

Re:Memory devices work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179370)

I'm suspecting that many of the Education Doctorates out there would have a little problem teaching a quarter of Complex Analysis, or LSI Design, or Physical Chemistry, or most other Science classes.

Also, are you assuming that an Education Doctorate makes someone a good teacher? I know a few teachers who have attended grad school for education at respectable institutions of learning. Most do not have a high opinion of the teaching they recieved.

Re:Memory devices work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179576)

Most would have trouble teaching any classes. The best these guys can do is read off of slides or try to make outlines of the textbook.

Considering that I am just talking about Ed majors in high school, having these clowns teaching classes full of people who probably have a 75% higher SAT score and recipients of prestigious scholarships would be an insult.

Re:Memory devices work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179540)

I think the anwser for education is to require a Ed.D instead of a Ph.D to teach the first four years of college. Let the Ph.D's do research. Just because they are expert in their field does not mean they know how to convey that information to others.

Holy cow. The "education" major is perhaps one of the worst academic programs I have seen. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies at my university in fact refuses to support an education program at my university, despite the great marketability for one. This is why we have a teaching certificate program but not an education major. You are required to MAJOR in the field of study you want to teach to be in our teaching certification program (which is just a few classes needed to get the state certifiation).

I've had all sorts of ed. majors in my K12 life. These people are some of the dumbest people on the planet. This is reflected in the fact that they, on average, have some of the lowest standardized test scores (SAT/ACT, IQ, etc).

As a person going into engineering, I bemoaned the fact that most of my education degree holding high school teachers did not understand the things they were teaching to people who probably already possessed more knowledge than they did. This was reflected also when students who asked a teacher a question never got a really good answer or got some retarded answer like "look it up".

I can only imagine what a cesspool of mediocrity a university would become if it started hiring ed majors to become lecturers at university. The answer to education is to get qualified people from the field out there teaching. A university can weed out the bad potentional lecturer candidates thru the interview process. A person who cannot convey his passion and desire to teach in the interview process probably would not be a good teacher. You don't need a damned degree just to teach. Its like saying you need a degree to help someone learn. What a load of crock.

Re:Memory devices work... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179622)

I think the anwser for education is to require a Ed.D instead of a Ph.D to teach the first four years of college.

Yeah, then they can suck twice as hard as your high school teachers did.

KFG

You are completely right (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179891)

Two genuine cases that illustrate your point: The trainee we once had who failed school, started on the shop floor, went to night school and now has an engineering degree - because none of his teachers realised that book learning was of no interest to him because they had not explained the relevance to him. There was no-one in his school who explained to him that you needed maths and physics to be a development engineer. And the other one? I have seen from personal experience that it can be easier to make a psychologist into a high school maths teacher than a mathematician. Because mathematicians cannot understand that other people find maths difficult, whereas psychologists know all about it. You do not need to be a graduate mathematician to teach in high school, but you do need to understand and motivate children. Unfortunately I disagree on using Ed Ds to teach in college. They know about education. Expecting them to teach a subject would be like expecting one of AutoDesk's programmers to run an engineering design shop. What is true is that teachers need to be taught to teach regardless of the level. I was taught thermodynaimcs by a Nobel prizewinner, which is why I had to learn thermodynamics again when I graduated and started work.

Physics Rap (2, Funny)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179275)

At Berkeley, there was a professor who used to start out his graduate condensed matter class with a rap about the subject. All I remember is "If it's 1-D you desire, use lithography to make a real fine wire..."

I think he got tired of it after a few semesters, but it was fun while it lasted.

Mother of God (1)

Brolly (151540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179282)

I'm thinking back to all of the many slashdot stories I've read over the years...and this could flat out be the absolute nerdiest thing I've ever read. Wow.

Re:Mother of God (3, Informative)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179484)

Oh, c'mon... this is pretty durn standard stuff. I have a box of cassettes of this kind of music, and a rack of CDs. It's called Filk, and there's both Science and Science Fiction variants. Back before it had a name, it was just music done by scientists and professors. Tom Lehrer was singing about the elements, Wernher Von Braun and New Math starting in the late 50s, and I have a songbook of Medieval students songs that predates that by several centuries.

Heck, I've written songs about Polyethylene terephthalate and patch panels... they are things I work with and like. I also write and sing songs about corsets and myths and the SCA. Pretty much anything that somebody likes or is into, if they are a musician, gets written about. I have lyrics about the tetramanganese cluster in Photosystem II because my fiance worked with it.

It's not "nerdy", it's simply people singing about what they do, work and play with. Pretty much the same as all the songs about the railroad, playing baseball or about steelworkers, only these happen to be written by people in the sciences. If you're riding on a railroad, you write "City of New Orleans". If you're working with NMR spec, you write a song about spectroscopy.

--
Evan

Singing Science Records (3, Interesting)

fyoder (857358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179284)

Singing Science Records [acme.com]

My favourites are 'The Ballad of Sir Isaac Newton' and 'Why Does the Sun Shine'.

Re:Singing Science Records (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179457)

I favor "A shooting star". (A shooting star is not a star, is not a star at all!)

My favourite learning song (5, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179286)

My favourite for learning to count in bin:

1100011 bottles of beer on the wall, 1100011 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 1100010 bottles of beer on the wall.
1100010 bottles of beer on the wall, 1100010 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 1100001 bottles of beer on the wall.
etc etc etc

Re:My favourite learning song (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179746)

Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall, aleph-null bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall.

Re:My favourite learning song (1)

aqualung32 (936095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180271)

I tried singing the OSI model to my students to the tune of "Macarena". Application, Presentation, Session layer...............

Re:My favourite learning song (1)

snookums (48954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180378)

I always sing it as:

100 buckets of bits on the bus,
100 buckets of bits.
Take one down, short it to ground.
ff buckets of bits on the bus.

I spend too much time reading the fortune cookies.

MC Hawking does it better (1)

MonkeyT (593137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179292)

Nice, but MC Hawking's 'Entropy' is so much more fun.

Re:MC Hawking does it better (1)

coldPhage (770396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179695)

I know a song called Entropy, and it's performed by a Canadian group called Moxy Früvous.

snip:

Why can't we make a clean machine that runs perpetually?
'Cause there's another law with which all energy must agree:
Whenever it changes form it loses quality
(In other words:) Damn that rising entropy!

Tom Lehrer (1)

tate-o (922751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179295)

Check out "The Elements". It's not exactly helpful for memorizing the periodic table, but it's fun to try to sing. Also "New Math". He has many other science related songs, being a mathemetician himself.

Interesting, but not for me... (1)

A-Slug (890855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179303)

Remembering little memnomics rarely worked for me. I just flat out just crammed it in there securely enough, and in general it stayed. Though when I read numbers I see patterns all over the place, and so I am quite good at remembering phone numbers. I also happen to be pretty good at remembering equations, again because of all the little patterns I see.

But using music to learn... I would fail that class! I can listen to a song, and I usually can only remember about 3 words at once. When I hear the next three I forget the former three. So for most songs I only know the chorus. And the meaning of pretty much all lyrics is absolutely and completely opaque to me :(

Not sure if it was because my parents never played music while I grew up(they have NEVER even owned a cd player), or that I have bad music genes. I only started to actually like music once I could download mp3s for "free". That has slightly increased my brains music ability, but only a little. On an IQ test based on music ability I would be way, way, way down on the left end of the bell curve.... :(

How to remember melodies? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179323)

Are there going to be little mathy marks next to/over/under the words of the lectures to help the speaker remember what to sing? 'Cause those tend to be damned hard to learn.

www.physicssongs.org (2, Interesting)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179412)

I highly recommend taking a look at www.physicssongs.org . It's full of fantastic songs about physics.

Getting a lot of press lately (1)

diqrtvpe (929604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179420)

One of my physics professors was interviewed several times with a number of articles written in major newspapers like the New York Times for his physics songs. One such article can be found at http://www.grammy.com/features/2005/0415physics.as px [grammy.com] . All his songs can be found at http://www.haverford.edu/physics-astro/songs/ [haverford.edu] . He usually has a song for each major subject in the syllabus, and, unlike the students in TFA, we were usually quite receptive, to the point where we would write our own songs. Some in the class even cited some of the songs as being extremely helpful during exams, because the equations come easier with a tune behind them. I don't know why there's such a strong connection between science and music, but it certainly seems to be shining through lately.

The Klein Four (1)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179426)

No discussion of this can be complete without a mention of the Klein Four [northwestern.edu] , and a capella group from Northwestern University.

My favorite song of theirs is Finite Simple Group of Order Two, for the sheer audacity of cramming so many math puns into so few words. First three verses:

The path of love is never smooth
But mine's continuous for you
You're the upper bound in the chains of my heart
You're my Axiom of Choice, you know it's true

But lately our relation's not so well-defined
And I just can't function without you
I'll prove my proposition and I'm sure you'll find
We're a finite simple group of order two

I'm losing my identity
I'm getting tensor every day
And without loss of generality
I will assume that you feel the same way

If this isn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179430)

...the geekiest thing I've seen on /. in years, then I've been too broke to pay attention.

Row row row your... (1)

BReflection (736785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179431)

We love DNA, Made of nucleotides, A phosphate, sugar and a base, Bonded down both sides. Adenine and Thymine, Make a lovely pair, Guanine without Cytosine, Would be rather bare.

Mr. Ray!! (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179465)

"Let's name the zones, the zones, the zones.
Let's name the zones of the open sea!"

I have watched Finding Nemo entirely too many times.

excessive? helpful? (1)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179503)

so many songs (especially in math) have helped me remember things well (such as the song for the quadratic equation), but i can't see using the technique in excess to be beneficial.

songs are great for memorization of long equations and similar things that are too long to really remember in a short way, but have to be memorized nonetheless. singing whole lectures, that's probably just going to get really annoying.

and i hope this professor is a good singer.

Preaching Chem (1)

Guildencrantz (234779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179521)

My chem teacher in high school delivered his lecture on "solvation" in the form of a "salvation" sermon. It was fantastic.

My lecturer did a rap (1)

amembleton (411990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179547)

One of my lecturers back when I was at uni, did a technically correct rap about c#. Microsoft filmed it, but never made it available. I did film it. I'm just trying to dig it out.

Kinda like "Why Does the Sun Shine" (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179563)

From the song "Why Does the Sun Shine" made famous by They Might Be Giants (though it's not their song... it's from a 1959 educational record called "Space Songs" on the Singing Science Records series from Motivation Records).

"The sun is a mass of incandescent gas,

A gigantic nuclear furnace,

Where hydrogen is built into helium

At a temperature of millions of degrees."

So, nothing new really...

-S

Albania, Albania. . . (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179574)

Anyone remember that episode of Cheers where Coach uses song to pass a geography test?

Albania, Albania, you border on the Asiatic . . .

Sung to the tune of "When the saints go marching in." Who can complete it without Google? ;)

I haven't watched Cheers in decades but I can still remember that (&*^ song. I've used similar song based mnemonics for passwords and other rote, just have to memorize it type of things and it works for me.

flashcard utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14179677)

Not entirely topical, but definitely tangential: I've been using MemAid as a flashcard utility and it seems like a great thing. There's also a version for Windows.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition [wikipedia.org]

http://memaid.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

I made a few flashcard sets for my gf of kanji and lots of common Japanese words. I might creative commons license it if anyone's interested.

Singing AND dancing for science (1)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179745)

In highschool, my extremely flamboyant chemistry teacher used to dance around the classroom. He called it the water molecule dance -- he'd barely move at all for the frozen part, bop around more merrily for liquid, and be all over the place for gas. And while it isn't exactly a real science, one of my computer science profs has been known to sing "Lambda Bound" to the tune of "Homeward Bound" and has promised us that he will sing us some other unspecified song by the end of the year, presumably at the party he's holding after the final.

guys! it's just to not make students bored! (2, Interesting)

nanobuggs (878637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179750)

Our professor brings his electric guitar to the lab, and plays blues, rock, along with songs about DNA and cloning. He gives extra points for writing haiku about DNA as well. It's not for memorising, but to have fun and like the class. Once you are not bored you really learn something! A Man named Taq: Let me tell ya story 'bout a man named Taq Always priming forward never looking back Amplifying sequence for the research mind Extending off the primers on the PCR line Born near a thermal vent in Yellowstone Park Livin' in a hot spring, his life was a lark A surfer guy named Mullis saw what he could do Now he's amplifying DNA for me and for you ...etc

I have a problem with that.,. (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179821)

..being that I cannot actually remember ANY song lyrics in the world. Take the simplest child song you have and I'll mess it up when I'll try to repeat it, so this is really bad news for me.

The good news for me is that I can remember hard facts tho, and second best thing is that I'm actually a retired computer programmer, now working with craft..

It goes the same for quotes, even if I love movie quotes, I always mess them up.

Moxy Früvous (1)

robolemon (575275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14179941)

My favorite is Moxy Früvous's "Entropy". I found that I knew all of the lyrics to it when I remembered it several years after I first heard it, and then I played it back in my head and thought about the lyrics and now I realize that I know things like that James Joule developed the Law of Conservation of Energy. (Boy I hope that's correct now that I said it!)

Cheerleading in Calculus (2, Funny)

Brataccas (213587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180022)

I'll never forget my calc techer in college and his mnemonic for memorizing the sin and cos for the summation of two angles:
sin(x+y) = sin(x)cos(y)+cos(x)sin(y)
cos(x+y) = cos(x)cos(y)-sin(x)sin(y)

You have to imagine a VERY large, balding, ex-marine jumping up and down in front of the blackboard squealing at the top of his voice in his best cheerleader impression:
Sin!
Cos!
Cos!
Sin!
Cos! Cos!
Sin! Sign! Sin!

It doesn't translate as well in text but in was absolutely hilarious and somewhat frightening...

Nothing short of educational brilliance (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180082)

As a casual musician and a professional entomologist I think it's great. I was surprised that they were actually quite good at their musical composition! Now, if I can only figure out how to substitute in trehalos (i.e., insect blood sugar) for glucose.

The trouble with this sort of learning. (1)

sharopolis (819353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180086)

'When a body is totally or partially imersed in a fluid

the apparent loss of weight

is equal to the amount of fluid displaced'

I forever remember these words after seeing my physics teacher prancing around the lab with his viola singing this ditty. Trouble is I have no idea what it means.

Re:The trouble with this sort of learning. (2, Informative)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180257)

It's Archimedes Principle, it gives the amount of upthrust a body will exprience when immersed in a fluid. And singing lectures do seem to be popular with biologists, I'm told that one of the biology lectures at Cambridge near the end of term is done entirely in song.

*sniff* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180099)

It's creativity like this that makes us proud to be geeks.

RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180322)

did the sue him yet?
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