About the speaker, via Wikipedia:
Rota was one of the most respected and popular teachers at MIT. He taught a difficult but very popular course in probability, 18.313, which MIT has not offered again. He also taught 18.001 (Applications of Calculus), and 18.03 Differential Equations. His philosophy course in Phenomenology was offered on Friday nights to keep the enrollment manageable. Among his many eccentricities, he would not teach without a can of Coca-Cola, and handed out prizes ranging from Hershey bars to pocket knives to students who asked questions in class or did well on tests.Some of it is actually very good, and most of it is commonsensical.
Check it out.