Carnegie Mellon University
April 03, 2014

Education Reimagined: A Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture

Sal Khan, Founder & Executive Director, Khan Academy

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Founder & Executive Director, Khan Academy

Chances are if you haven't completed an online tutorial from the Khan Academy, you know someone who has. For his work to bring access to free education resources to "anyone, anywhere," the Heinz Family Foundation has awarded Sal Khan the 19th Annual Heinz Award.

While in Pittsburgh, Mr. Khan delivered a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University explaining why he left his lucrative career as hedge fund analyst to devote his full attention to what began as a hobby designing online educational math videos and practice exercises for family friends and cousins. Today, the Khan Academy reaches over 10 million unique students per month. Mr. Khan outlined his growth plans for Khan Academy and how "education reimagined" can become a reality.

Khan has been profiled by 60 Minutes and featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine and has been recognized as one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

About Salman Khan

Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education for "anyone, anywhere" in the world. Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 with three degrees: two bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering/computer science; and a master of science degree in electrical engineering. He began his career working in technology and later earned his MBA at Harvard Business School. Khan then became an analyst at a Boston-based hedge fund, which later relocated to Palo Alto, CA, in 2005.

In 2004, as a side project, Khan began tutoring his young cousin in math, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad. By 2006, Khan was tutoring 15 family friends and cousins. To better scale, he began writing software to give his cousins practice and feedback in mathematics, in addition to posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. In 2009, when his exercises and videos were reaching tens of thousands of students per month, he quit his job to commit fully to the Khan Academy.

Today, the Khan Academy website provides self-paced guided learning experience with over 100,000 practice exercises and 5,000 instructional videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to college level science and economics. It's the most-used library of educational lessons on the web, with over 10 million unique students per month, over 300 million lessons delivered, and over a billion exercises completed. More than 200,000 educators around the world are also using Khan Academy to help build student mastery of topics and to free up class time for dynamic project-based learning.

In late 2012, Khan released his book "The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined".