Dr. Piccioni in class

Guide to the Cosmos

Making the Wonders of our Universe
Accessible to Everyone

Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

Osher Instititue's
2010 "Teacher of the Year"


Feynman Simplified
ebook series

Award winning books


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Video Lecture Series
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UCLA 2012 Class Student Feedback
Class: "Our Universe: The Known and the Unknown"

• Robert was able to bring a huge amount (for me) of new information into my learning zone! His visual images are amazing.
The course was excellent! Challenging, informative, interesting and mind-boggeling !
The content and materials were outstanding, very organized and very nicely presented. The color slide were magnificent! The content was a wonderful challenge, the information mind-changing. The instructor made it easier to understand.
Possessing a PhD. in electromagnetic theory (UCLA 1969), I found the material extremely well organized and comprehensive with respective to the description of the class. A perfect blend of easy to understand material along with aspects that challenged me with my "advantaged" background.
The course covered a vast amount of material, but it was so well presented and beautifully organized it did NOT feel overwhelming.
The cosmos is always such a fascinating topic and my expectations were met and even beyond. Everyone should take this exciting course by this presenter because he is so knowledgeable and has great visual aids. The course is well organized and offers reviews every week to refresh our memory. I couldn't say enough.
Although this is not my field, I learned a great deal by virtue of the skill of the instructor.
Far exceeded my expectations.
The course was challenging and in light of my unfamiarity with the subject, it could easily have been over my head. But the instructor's skill at presenting all the material in a clear, understandable fashion overcame any difficulties. The question about organization and breadth of material is almost simplistic, since any topic he teaches is well-organized and neither too broad nor too narrow.
If you had 12 on this scale I would mark it. He was superb.
The material is challenging but very interesting and very well presented. I didn't know anything about physics and I have learned a lot. Dr. Piccioni is a gifted presenter and his powerpoint presentation is great. He reviews the material so it is easier to comprehend and he answers every question. He makes a difficult subject understandable and makes me want to learn more.
Not having a scientific background, I was challenged by the material, but it was a wonderful challenge. I learned so much and want to know more and more. The course was well organized and reading the chapters of the instructor's book that pertained to the weekly lectures really helped. Now I want to go back and read again. The course was originally supposed to be an 8-week course, but was cut to a 6-week course. I wish it had gone the whole 8 weeks, it was so interesting.
One of the best courses I have ever taken. The material was comprehensive and stimulating, and challenging to learn more about the subject.
Excellent presentations - Would definately like to see this instructor teach other courses at UCLA. Robert is so knowledgeable and his delightful humor makes this difficult material an absolute treat.
Dr. Robert Piccione is an outstanding instructor with an unusual ability to explain extremely complex and not-so-intuitive concepts in an understandable manner. He has great patience in answering questions from his audience.
Dr Piccioni is outstanding. It is amazing how he can make physics based information understandable to the common folk. He has a wonderful presentation style, a good sense of humor and is brilliant in his field. Get more classes and instructors like this!!!
One of the best! Instructor handled questions well and seemed receptive even to tangential queries. See above comments. Clearly an expert in his field. I can't wait to take another course with him!
•  Dr. Piccioni is an incredibly good presenter, teaching complicated principles of physics to lay people like us to explain the complex world of the universe. He is open to any questions with respect to the simplest to the complex questions. He is amazingly kind and adds humor as well
•  Superb instructor who didn't "talk down" to class members, but made the subject matter as understandable as possible to a lay person like myself.
His knowledge of physics/cosmology is outstanding. It is difficult to imagine anyone knowing more than he does. But even more impressive is his ability to communicate his knowledge to lay people. Particularly impressive is (a) his instant appreciation of the sometimes challenging questions along with answers that were as understandable as his prepared material and (b) his technique of thoroughly reviewing material that had previously been covered, which aided not only my ability to recall but also to understand.
The professor certainly knew his subject matter and delivered his presentations clearly with pictures and visual data. He also had a good sense of humor.
This is the second course I've taken with Dr. Piccioni and, as with the first one, this was superbly taught. Dr. Piccioni is an extremely knowledgeable, gifted teacher, who is able to explain difficult concepts clearly. He is engaging, affable, and very well organized, a definite asset for the Osher program.
The instructor scored 150%. He covered the material and made a difficult subject comprehensible- and included a great sense of humor as needed. I would probably take any course he offered to teach.
This class exceeded my expectations. I have a Ph.D., thus have spent many hours in classes. Dr Piccioni is the best instructor I have ever encountered. He knows his information so well he could teach it to anyone. I am sorry this class is over.
•  He is one of the best lecturers I have encountered in my career of 40 years as a scientist/engineer.

UCLA 2011 Class Student Feedback
Classes: " A World without Einstein" &
"Our Universe, the Known & Unknown

  • "Class was wonderfully organized. Excellent power point presentations. Ample time for questions."

  • "Loved the class and the instructor"

  • For a person who knew very little on the subject of Einstein I am amazed how easily I was able to follow this course."

  • "Beautifully organized. VERY challenging!!!!!"
  • "I found the class interesting and challenging. I knew very little detailed information about Einstein had no idea the impact of his discoveries on our modern world. I learned quite a bit about physics and how the world works. He challenged me to learn more."
  • "1) Dr. Piccioni seems to have knowledge of the topics he discussed that rival some of the leading lights of science. Yet... 2) Dr. Piccioni has a gift of being able to simplify, without over-simplifying, these very complex topics. 3) Some of the students seemed very knowledgeable and asked excellent questions. This gave Dr. Piccioni the opportunity to explain topics that he had previously covered in a new way that enhanced all of our understanding. 4) At the beginning of each class, Dr. Piccioni spent adequate time reviewing the previous session. This was very helpful, because it gave us a second chance to comprehend complex topics and also it gave us a chance to ask questions to clarify points that we may have not fully comprehended."
  • "Dr. Piccioni is one of the finest lecturers I have ever encountered. He is well organized, presents material with enthusiasm and clarity and was patient with answers to questions."

  • "Wonderful instructor. Very knowledgeable. Able to make very difficult material interesting and exciting."

  • "Lectures were well prepared with appropriate illustrations and graphs to explain the subject being presented."

  • "Very clear explanations. Instructor superb."

  • "Professor Piccioni always made the subject accessible to us laymen.."

  • "Brilliant--certainly so by my standards."

  • This was a great course. It was empowering- I almost feel that I understand relativity.

  • "The instructor was extremely knowledgeable, communicated well, and in particular never seemed to find questions trite or silly. That was really impressive."

  • "The instructor was outstanding. He knows so much but was able to present difficult information in a way we could understand it. He always introduced his topics and then repeated what we had covered. He answered all our questions and never made us feel that a question was too small. He was very encouraging and approachable. He also encouraged us to contact him on email if we had further questions."

Class: " A World without Einstein" 2010

  • "As stated by the instructor "Nobody gets it the first time. This is very difficult subject mattter."

  • "Fabulous! I learned that I knew so little, however I learned so much!"

  • Some physicists cannot convert their language to ours.  Dr. Piccioni was masterful in this skill set.  It made the class."

  • "I highly recommend this class and think I would benefit from taking it again.  Very intelligent, highly qualified instructor who loves his subject enough to try and communicate it to his students."
  • This course has not only expanded my knowledge of Einstein, phyics, and the universe but also expanded my conception of myself in the universe. I am reminded that there are serious questions to ask about our existence on this planet, and it's worth one's time to study what physicists have discovered. Thank you for teaching this difficult subject. Great!"
  • "Dr. Piccioni encouraged questions which made the course very interesting."

  • "Magnificent class and a superb instructor.  Just excellent!"

  • "Wow-Exceptional teacher - great class - thank you!"

  • "Outstanding fundamentals and appreciation to present technology.  History of both macro and micro theories were informative and beautifully explained. Very exciting course."

  • "Meaty topics taught with enthusiasm. Great course, appropriately challenging."

  • "It's a difficult subject, one which I don't fully understand, but can appreciate greatly after taking the course."

  • "This was an excellent class and expanded my knowledge and stimulated my curiosity tremendously."

  • "Dr. Piccioni was energetic and brilliant - inspiring to be in this class."