Over 2200 students at the University of Sydney are currently enrolled in “Philosophy 1012: Introduction to Logic,” setting a university-wide record for highest enrollment in any course the university has ever offered. [Note: Perhaps not; see update.]
According to Honi Soit, the student newspaper at the University of Sydney, demand for the already-popular course had been increasing sharply over the past few years, owing to the skillfulness of the instructor who has been teaching it since 2017: Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson, a lecturer in the university’s Department of Philosophy. Over 80% of the students are taking the course as an elective. Honi Soit reports:
Seb has established something of a cult following at the University, with students on the USyd Rants Facebook page crowning him “the king of philosophy” and “the single greatest lecturer at USyd”. With his trusty sidekick Inky (a very intelligent whiteboard marker), Seb effortlessly transforms ideas that are opaque and complex into lectures that are clear, insightful, and astonishingly entertaining. This skill is not only incredibly rare among educators who are tasked with covering such complex material, but is one that is routinely lauded by students who have taken his courses.
In addition to the course lectures, there are 92 tutorial sections for the course, run by “a small army of passionate tutors.” The textbook used in the course is Logic: The Laws of Truth by Sequoiah-Grayson’s colleague Nicholas J.J. Smith. Smith and fellow Sydney philosophy lecturer Michael Nielsen are co-teaching the course with Sequoiah-Grayson this term.
More information here.
UPDATE: Emily Cliff, lecturer in math at the University of Sydney, in an email, writes: “In fact there were over 2800 students enrolled in linear algebra (MATH 1002) last semester. (I was the lecturer.) I do not know if there have been any larger courses.” Perhaps the University of Sydney registrar will weigh in?
(via Michael Sevel)