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Columbia Freshmen Are Baffled by Physics Professor’s Stripped-Down Stunt

First-year students in a “Frontiers of Science” course at Columbia University were shocked and confused on Monday when their professor, Emlyn Hughes, began what was to be a lecture on quantum physics by stripping to his shorts and changing clothes in front of them. And that was just the start of a baffling five-minute stunt that included video images of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the appearance onstage of ninjas who skewered toy animals with a sword, according to reports by The Columbia Spectator and Bwog, a student-run blog that also posted a video of the bizarre performance.

When the antics ended, Mr. Hughes offered no explanation but proceeded with his lecture as if nothing had happened. Columbia officials said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press that “the appropriate academic administrators are currently reviewing the facts of this particular presentation in quantum mechanics.”

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