By Megan Freeman, Nov. 23, 2021

CPPMechEngTutorials, a YouTube channel featuring lectures from Cal Poly Pomona’s Mechanical Engineering Department, recently surpassed 10 million views.

Established in 2013, the channel allows students to have lectures and other videos on a variety of topics readily available and at just a click. However, the videos’ popularity grew during the pandemic as students adapted to online learning.

“When we started it (the channel), we were lucky to get like 10 views a day, and we were never looking to reach this milestone,” said Paul Nissenson, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. “It was more of that we just wanted to create a resource that is useful for our students.”

Nissenson is just one of the many professors whose lectures draw views to the channel, and Nissenson said it is a wonderful feeling to be a part of it.

The channel has a little bit of everything within the major such as in-depth lectures on numerous class and how-to’s on various engines and car parts.

“We weren’t trained to teach online, so the faculty’s ability to teach online varies greatly,” said Nissenson, “These videos are kind of a nice supplement to help students if the instructor is struggling a bit to teach online.”

The highest viewed video on the channel, focused on fluid mechanics, boasts over 750,000 views and hundreds of comments of support.

Students found the videos especially useful during the univerisity’s shift to remote instruction when virtual lectures were not as comprehensive as those usually held on campus.

“Over the pandemic, it (the channel) was really beneficial to me because I had a lot of professors I as hoping to get that ended up not being as good as they were online as they would’ve been in person,” said Andy Musson, a mechanical engineering student. “So, I did go and use some of the lecture videos to supplement the classes that I was taking.”

The channel has reached people internationally, with two-thirds of the channel’s views coming from viewers abroad. It has become a way for CPP students and non-CPP students alike to gain knowledge of mechanical engineering.

In his 29 years of teaching, Mohammad Izadi, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, has seen this wave of international viewers firsthand.

“I have always heard from students that my classes are popular,” said Izadi. “For what reason? I don’t know. The department felt that they should have all my lectures online. After they did that, I got a lot of responses, not just from Cal Poly students but responses from all over the world. I still am getting email requests from South America and Asia; they like the lectures, for some reason.”

Because the major is so complex and requires a student’s full attention, the channel serves as an invaluable resource for these students.

Musson believes he is challenged by his major in a good way, and he feels the channel has been a huge help for him and for students like him, leading to the channel’s current success.

“I’m not super surprised that it happened because their content is really good,” said Musson.

Feature image by Justin Oo

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