viral email

Not Adding Up: Math Lecturer Behind Viral Email Set to Lose His UC Berkeley Job

Alexander Coward—the charismatic UC Berkeley math lecturer whose 2013 emailed justification for teaching during a university employees strike went viral—now says he’s about to be fired by the university, despite stellar reviews from his students. 

The university’s response: Personnel matters are confidential, and lecturers such as Coward receive no guarantee that their contracts will be renewed.

On Anniversary of his Viral Email, Cal Lecturer Reflects on What He’d Change (Not Much)

One year ago, Alexander Coward attained, by sheer accident, what so many others have sought without success—a little slice of Internet fame. The UC Berkeley lecturer did so simply by sending an email to his math students. The email’s journey to stardom began when a student posted it to Facebook; then another posted it to Reddit. At some point it got tweeted, and soon the share-frenzy began. Within 48 hours it had crossed that illusive, magical threshold—it had gone viral.

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