CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A beloved math professor who pioneered lectures that gave millions of people free access to college classes has retired after 61 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Video recorded by Lucas Igel, an MIT student and filmmaker, shows Professor Gilbert Strang getting a standing ovation as he wrapped up his final lecture on May 15.
Michel Goemans, head of the mathematics department, called Strang and his lectures "legendary."
"Students well beyond the walls of MIT have benefited from his classes," Goemans said.
According to the school, Strang was one of the first professors to post his lectures on the OpenCourseWare lecture series, which made MIT’s rigorous curriculum available for free to millions of people online.
The open course series aims to "lead a global revolution in free access to knowledge," according to its website. Strang’s linear algebra lectures have more than 4.7 million views on YouTube.
"His impact on mathematics, and especially on math education, has been mind-boggling," Goemans said.
"He showed us that free education makes the world an unambiguously better place, and that it can cause people to fall in love with both MIT and linear algebra," Igel told Storyful.