On January 21, cofounder of Coursera, which was named best educational site in 2012 by Time magazine, Daphne Koller gave a lecture at the Digital October Center. Coursera lets anyone listen to lectures from some of the world’s leading universities absolutely free of charge.
Daphne Koller, a professor of computer science, gained her Master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1986, then went on to receive a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1994. She trained at the University of Berkley. Daphne has taught at Stanford since 1995. She has published more than 180 research papers, won numerous prestigious scientific awards and is a MacArthur Fellow.
Daphne Koller launched the Coursera.org educational site in 2012 along with Stanford University colleague Andrew Ng. The site offers free access to over 200 courses in various fields from 33 leading universities around the world. Students can choose from the following subjects: programming, business, medicine, humanitarian and social sciences. The courses last between three and 15 weeks.
The site’s partners include the Princeton and Stanford universities, California Institute of Technology, University of Toronto and others. Investments in the project have already reached $22 million: investors include large American universities and venture companies Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates.
Currently, 2.3 million people from 196 countries use Coursera and the number of students continues to grow. They can listen to lectures, receive homework, take tests, sit exams and gain qualifications.
Daphne Koller hopes to use the project to transform education into a lifelong process. Daphne believes that the ready availability of education promotes innovation: “Perhaps the next Einstein or Steve Jobs lives in a far-flung village somewhere in Africa. If we can offer them an education, they would have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and make the world a better place,” Koller said.
In her lecture, Daphne Koller will tell guests about the transformation of the modern education system and how her experience with Coursera may help modernize traditional universities.