UC San Diego’s professor Kenneth Barrese keeps teaching as class floods during El Niño storm

Student behind the footage says: 'He did end up letting us out early'

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Friday 08 January 2016 16:30
The teacher in action
The teacher in action

What do you call a lecturer whose classroom begins flooding as it’s hit by a storm, yet he keeps on teaching? Dedicated, that’s what. And even that’s an understatement for this man.

Kenneth Barrese, a professor of mathematics at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), this week became an online hero after he was captured on video by a student continuing on giving a vector calculus lecture despite the room flooding around him with muddy water.

The flooding in the class was a result of a recent series of storms to hit the central California coast, driven by an El Niño system which - according to local reports - have been “the strongest on record.”

As waves of up to 15 feet reportedly pounded the coast, high surf and coastal flood warnings were put into place on the state’s beaches, and mudslides occurred inland, yet Professor Barrese remained a man unyielding in the face of Mother Nature, all in the name of education.

Watch the video:

The student behind the inspirational footage originally posted onto YouTube, 19-year-old computer science major Tony Murillo, managed to capture a few seconds showing the teacher writing on a chalkboard and shuffling through flood water on the classroom floor.

Murillo told the WHIO news station Barrese continued on with his lecture despite a “tornado advisory and serious flooding in the room,” adding: “His actions are a testament to the dedication of UCSD’s faculty.”

An added bonus for the students? “He did end up letting us out early,” Murillo told the site.

Professor, we take our hats off to you.


Murillo also told BuzzFeed News a professor - who was meant to teach a class directly after Barrese - didn’t show up at all and students weren’t even notified. That professor, ladies and gentlemen, is not in our good books.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments