April 09, 2018 03:04 PM

Looks like Brad Pitt and new friend Neri Oxman have known each other for a while.

The actor, 54, was spotted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology back in November where he seemingly dropped by one of Oxman’s classes the week after Thanksgiving. Several students posted pictures of the actor posing with the class, including one where he is standing next to Oxman.

“She’s genius and gorgeous,” an architect, who has seen Oxman lecture and knows her work, tells PEOPLE.

The actor kept it casual in an all-black outfit as he happily smiled along with the students for several pictures. He also stood next to Oxman in another picture with his hands behind his back as the larger group beamed at the camera. That photo has since been taken down.

Page Six first reported last week that the two had struck up a friendship based on their shared love of architecture. Pitt reportedly met Oxman, 42, through an architecture project at MIT, where she works as a professor of media arts and sciences at the school’s Media Lab.

The duo connected over their shared love of design and architecture, a source told Page Six TV, adding that their relationship “is best described as a professional friendship.” While the source said the friendship is not romantic in nature, Pitt is “interested in spending more time” with Oxman.

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In a 2017 interview with W Magazine, Oxman used Pitt and George Clooney as examples of the human tendency to idolize male icons. Oxman spoke out on the issue of male dominance and how it isn’t specific to the architecture field.

“For the same reason we have the Brad Pitts and the George Clooneys, it’s just part of human nature to idolize stereotypes,” she explained. “Such singularities are useful to the common perception of heroism. But it’s not only true for architecture; it’s true in musical composition, for females working in theater, for film directors. This isn’t just a disease of the architecture profession; it’s a phenotype of human culture and how we develop stereotypes and perceptions.”

Last year, a source told PEOPLE that Pitt has been “casually dating,” adding, “He has been going out but there is nothing serious in the dating area at all, nothing to speak of at this point.

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