Irving Herman

Courses Taught


I expect the students to get a broad understanding of the course material and to improve their skills in analysing and solving problems, both conceptually and analytically. I expect students to attend class regularly, keep up with the course material by reading relevant text sections, and to work on and finish the problem sets in a timely manner. While the work load in the problem sets in some of my courses may be a bit above the average, students will find that the homework will improve the depth and breadth of their understanding. If the students are having problems with the course material, I expect them to get help from their classmates, from the TA, or from me - whichever is best for them. Although neither is absolutely necessary, I hope that my students will read ahead in the course material before a lecture, so they will be able to understand the lecture better, and laugh at a reasonable fraction of my jokes. An instructor can be a successful teacher only if he/she tries to teach and if the students try to learn. Students who work hard in my classses seem to enjoy them the most. Students are free to contact me by visiting my office, by phone, or or by e-mail if they are having any problems with any course I teach. Most students survive these interactions quite well, without suffering any major permanent damage. Also, students taking my classes are able to satisfy the requirements of a minor in reading hieroglyphics with minimal further preparation.


Prof/Herman has been teaching at Columbia since Fall 1986. From 1977-1986 he was a member and section leader in O-group within the Physics Department at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he was engaged in research in laser isotope separation of deuterium and ritium, and the use of direct laser writing in thin film processing.


B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972; Ph.D., 1977

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