The 2013 SXSWedu Conference and Festival will feature special presentations from top thought leaders in the education field, March 4-7, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Stay tuned in the coming months for specific dates, as well as more announcements regarding Keynote Speakers at SXSWedu. Please note that a SXSWedu badge is required to attend all Keynote presentations.
Catherine Ferguson Academy
G. Asenath Andrews founded and is currently the principal of Catherine Ferguson Academy, an alternative public high school for teen mothers that also provides early education services for the children of the high school moms.
Both middle and high school classes are held at the academy, which boasts a 90 percent graduation rate and the vast majority of those graduating attend 2–4 year colleges.
For the school’s efforts, it was recognized as one of the 12 schools selected nationally as a Breakthrough High School by the National Association of Secondary Principals in 2004. Moreover, Mrs. Andrews is also adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan and Madonna University and is also a research assistant at Moore & Associates Market Research.
In her limited free time, she functions as a choir director for the Second New Hope Baptist Church and is also a founding member of the vocal group “One Mind.”
Notably, Mrs. Andrews was honored as a Milken Family Foundation Educator of the Year in 1992 for her work at the academy. In addition, she received an award as a Fulbright Hayes Study Tour Teacher in Zimbabwe. Mrs. Andrews has a B.A. from Olivet College, an M.A. in education from Wayne State University and an ABD in Educational Psychology from the University of Michigan.
MOOC Keynote Conversation
In a special keynote conversation moderated by award-winning writer with The New York Times Laura Pappano, Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng and edX President Anant Agarwal will focus on massive open online courses (MOOCs), a rapidly growing interest in the education space, designed to offer large-scale participation through the web.
Anant Agarwal is the President of edX, an online learning venture of Harvard and MIT. Agarwal taught the first course of edX on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.
He is also a founder of Tilera Corporation which created the Tile multicore processor. He led the development of Raw, an early tiled multicore processor, Sparcle, an early multi-threaded microprocessor, and Alewife, a scalable multiprocessor. He also led the VirtualWires project at MIT and was the founder of Virtual Machine Works. Agarwal won the Maurice Wilkes prize for computer architecture, and MIT’s Smullin and Jamieson prizes for teaching. He holds a Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array, and is an author of the textbook “Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits.”
His work on Organic Computing was selected by Scientific American as one of 10 World Changing Ideas in 2011, and he was named one of 12 Bostonians changing the world by Boston Globe Magazine in 2012. Agarwal holds a Ph.D. from Stanford and a bachelor's from IIT Madras. He hacks on WebSim, a web-based circuits laboratory, in his spare time.
The New York Times
Laura Pappano is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of Inside School Turnarounds (2010), co-author of Playing With the Boys (2008), and author of The Connection Gap (2001).
A former education columnist for The Boston Globe, Laura is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Education Life section, and The Harvard Education Letter. Her work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe Magazine, among other print and online publications.
She is writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, and founder and editor of the FairGameNews blog. Laura serves on several non-profit boards, including the Long Wharf Theatre and New Haven Reads, and runs a journalism program for public school students in New Haven, CT.
Andrew Ng is the co-founder of Coursera, as well as a Computer Science faculty member at Stanford University and the Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, the main AI research organization at Stanford.
In 2011, he led the development of Stanford's main MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, and also taught an online Machine Learning class that was offered to over 100,000 students, leading to the founding of Coursera. Ng's goal is to give everyone in the world access to a high quality education, for free. With 33 university partners, 212 courses, and more than two million students, Coursera is currently the largest MOOC (Massively Open Online Courses) platform in the world.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.
Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.
Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. His father, William H. Gates Sr., is a co-chair of the foundation and a retired attorney. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International. The Gates have three children.