Famous college professors

Famous college professors

 Famous college professors and Heroes of Higher Education. Today is National Teachers Day, and shiny apples and thank-you cards will grace the desks of primary school teachers across the land. But let's not forget all those higher-education heroes — real and fictional — who've also made the grade.

Randy Pausch
 The inspirational former computer science professor was given a terminal medical diagnosis in 2007. What was his illness? Before his death the following year, he delivered some stirring final words to students.

Henry Louis Gates Jr
 Gates  has been a staple in the world of Massachusetts academia since 1991. He is the award-winning  director of the school's African-American research program.

Américo Paredes
 Paredes was devoted to the study of corridos. This Texas native taught creative writing and made a campus breakthrough. Which program did he help launch?

John F. Nash Jr
 The Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and economist taught such thought-provoking subjects as game theory  at this New Jersey school. See which movie was based on his life.

Paul Krugman
 Krugman teaches economics and international affairs  and gained fame for developing this economic model.

Cornel West
 West teaches at the Center for African American Studies, focusing on religion and philosophy. He's also an author and prominent political commentator.

Katherine Watson
 Julia Roberts stars as a fictional art teacher  in the 2003 film "Mona Lisa Smile." In the movie  she inspires her conservative students to explore modern art and to challenge rigid 1950s social mores.

Stephen Hawking
 This celebrated  British instructor  has enlightened students on such subjects as mathematics  and physics.

Noam Chomsky
 Chomsky is a professor emeritus of linguistics who also is devoted to the study of philosophy and U.S. foreign policy. Which intellectual movement did he help spark?

Vivian Bearing
 Bearing is the fictional lead character in the acclaimed play "Wit". She's a cold, demanding English professor who has a change of heart after receiving the news that she's dying of cancer. The play received a top honor.

Albert Einstein
 The great theoretical physicist was a professor at this German school when he developed his famous theory. What prompted him to leave Germany?

Mary McLeod Bethune
This famed educator started a pioneering school for African-Americans  in 1904. Though the school began as a six-child grade school — what was it called? — it eventually became a full-fledged college. Find out what the school is called now.