TEDx Cooper Union: Jamshed Bharucha on Teaching and Forgetfulness

July 09, 2012

President Jamshed Bharucha’s talk on how we learn is one of 19 featured videos from TEDx Cooper Union 2012: Found in Translation.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED started as a conference in California 26 years ago, where leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. The x signifies an independently-organized TED event; this was the first TEDx event for The Cooper Union. 

Nina Tandon (EE’01), a TED senior fellow, co-organized the April conference with Ivana Gadjanski and a team that included Toby Cumberbatch, David Turnbull and Noemi Thieves (A'2011). Tandon is a tissue engineer at Columbia University  and an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at The Cooper Union, Tandon herself gave one of the Cooper Union TEDx talks on teaching in a networked world [link to http://cooper.edu/about/news/tedx-cooper-union-nina-tandon-and-teaching-networked-world].  Turnbull, a professor of architecture at The Cooper Union, spoke on design in translation.

In his TEDx talk, President Bharucha suggests that it may not be intensity, rigor, or the breadth of teaching that makes the most valuable and lasting contribution to a student’s intellectual development—but rather the way teaching is conducted. He goes on to highlights three concepts of teaching that engender lifelong learning and a substantial intellectual engagement with the world: active learning, retrieval practice, and "mixing it up."

A cognitive neuroscientist and an accomplished classical musician, has published extensively on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of music (using a variety of methods including perceptual experiments, computational neural net models and MRI brain scanning), has been awarded grants from NSF and NIH for his work.

You can watch the TEDx Cooper Union videos on YouTube.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.