Sebastian, a man that want to change the rules

Sebastian Thrun

Usually, a person who wants to learn something (lets talk about "high level something") about any matter have a few options: pay a university, pay a particular professor, try it reading books by himself (the hardest way), searching the web, ...

Only going to the university you can have two important things: good professors and, if you pass the courses, an official certificate of your new knowledgements.

Sebastian made an experiment in October 2011, while teaching in the Stanford University. An experiment that changed his life, and that surely will change thousands of lives in the next years: he, and with the Peter Norvig cooperation, gave to all who were interested a free class (similar to what he explained in his Stanford classes) about "Introduction to Artificial Inteligence".

160.000 students from 90 countries signed for his course. I took his class, just because I always had curiosity about how a robot can work. From this experience, Sebastian said:

SebastianThrunUdacity2.jpg"Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again…It’s impossible…there’s a red pill and a blue pill and you can take the blue pill and go back your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill and seen Wonderland."

Then he left Stanford to create his new project: Udacity, his free online university.

I'm from Spain, and here I never hear nothing about Sebastian before. In fact, I know this name 6 months ago. And in this 6 months he completely fascinate me. What kind of man can leave his "desired for others" work (status, money, mentoring) to create a personal project to help others to learn, to put knowledgement available to all, and for free?

Is he crazy? Obscure desires? Conspiracy to become the richest professor of the world (not throught the students in this case)?

Well, for me he is only a person who wants to help others to understand concepts that his brilliant mind know well. And to do this, he and his colleagues at Udacity have created a dream for unquiet minds: learn with the best, for free, in easy-moderate short lessons for all publics.

I'm completely sure that Sebastian will change the "way to learn" in the next years. You only need to see him talking excited about Udacity, about us (the students), about all his dreams teaching this way. I saw some interviews (this, recently, in TechCruch) and was this last interview what decide me to dedicate this little space to Sebastian, because you can see in his eyes that he really love to teach people. In this life you can take a lot of decisions, but helping others is the kind of decision that you will never regret. He took it, and I see a lots of greetings in all the forums from his students.

A lot of people says that exams are so easy, but this people don't see what Sebastian sees: to learn is more important than the scores, and you can not learn the basic concepts if you ask for the complicated ones.

So, to finish this little tribute, I only want to say: Sebastian Thrun, a lot of thanks for all your efforts. You make a big impact on my mind. I really hope, from the bottom of my heart, that all your projects can arrive at its destiny, that is no other than globalize the knowledgement. Keep that good work.

And... see you in the next class. :)

[1] Article with video (15 mins): Ex-Stanford Teacher’s New Startup Brings University-Level Education To All [TCTV]


admin's picture

This is an excelent article I've read about Sebastian and Udacity:

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