Numerical Methods YouTube Video Progress

Since January 2009, I have been videotaping numerical methods course lectures in the Educational Outreach studio of University of South Florida, Tampa. Videos are made in 10-minute segments, not just because that is the limit of the length of YouTube videos, but because we firmly believe in making our resources pedagogically neutral. Ten minute videos allow an instructor to pick and choose what, when and how he or she wants the students to learn.

But some people have asked me – Why YouTube – why not put the same 10-minute videos on your own website. We do have the links to the YouTube videos on our own website, but there are many good reasons to go the YouTube route. The list of reasons below may be obvious to some, while others may not have thought about some of them.

1. Use YouTube’s storage space for the videos.

2. Use YouTube’s compression technology to make the videos stream faster on slow connections.

3. Use the power of Google and YouTube to tag and search the videos.

4. Use YouTube’s bandwidth as opposed to that of my school. My school’s IT department most probably would start screaming when the downloads pick up pace.

5. Use YouTube’s editing facilities to add annotations, links, and play lists.

6. Use the ubiquity of YouTube to reach a large audience.

7. Simple one stop process to let others embed the videos on their website.

8. Have open discussion on the videos via comments.

9. Get the videos rated so that we can judge their quality.

10. Use the “insight” tool of YouTube to analyze who is watching the videos.


This post is brought to you by Holistic Numerical Methods: Numerical Methods for the STEM undergraduate at, the textbook on Numerical Methods with Applications available from the lulu storefront, and the YouTube video lectures available at and

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Author: Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw ( is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare ( annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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