• Democratizing Higher Education

    Sebastian Thrun (Udacity, Google, US)
    Session Information
    October 11, 2012 - 8:50am
    Institutional Level: 
    Audience Level: 
    Session Type: 
    Keynote Address
    Southern Hemisphere I-V
    Session Duration: 
    60 Minutes
    Virtual Session

    Online higher education has a long history, but seems to be always good for surprises. In 2011, the speaker took his Stanford graduate level class online, and 160,000 students signed up. 23,000 graduated at Stanford level. Underlying this class was a teaching model that emphasizes student engagement, problem solving, and free online access. The speaker recently created Udacity, a new online university, which offers university-level courses free of charge. With half a dozen courses underway, Udacity has enrolled north of 200,000 students. The speaker will discuss details of this approach, the underlying pedagogical ideas, the ramification this work may have for the students in the world.

    Lead Presenter
    Sebastian ThrunSebastian Thrun is co-founder of Udacity, Vice President/Fellow at Google, and a Stanford University research professor.  Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering at the age of 39, after publishing 11 books, over 350 research papers, and after winning numerous scientific awards. In 2011, Thrun resigned from a full professorship at Stanford, after a 15 year career in higher education. At Google, he is in charge of Google X, which is home to the Google self-driving car and the Google Glass project. At Udacity, he has taught the largest online graduate class ever taught, enrolling 160,000 students. Fast Company named him the fifth smartest person in technology; Germany bestowed him with the prestigious Max Planck research award at $1M. Thrun also won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a robotic race organized by the US Department of Defense.