Baraniuk awarded IEEE education medal

Rice Nov 26, 2014

Richard Baraniuk, the founder and director of OpenStax College and Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named recipient of the 2015 IEEE James H. Mulligan Jr. Education Medal.

The medal, presented annually since 1956 by the former Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is given for outstanding contributions to education in the fields of interest to the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Baraniuk was specifically cited for his “fundamental contributions to open educational resources for electrical engineering and beyond.”

The medal, named for a former president of IEEE, will be presented at the institute’s Honors Ceremony June 20 in New York City.

Baraniuk founded Rice-based Connexions in 1999 to bring textbooks and other learning materials to the Internet. OpenStax grew from that effort as a way to provide high-quality, peer-reviewed, college-level textbooks to students worldwide. The books are free to download and can be printed at low cost.

The OpenStax catalog includes textbooks for college physics, sociology, economics, anatomy and physiology, and separate biology books for majors and nonmajors. Since OpenStax’s launch in 2012, its books have been selected for use by more than 1,000 college courses and downloaded nearly a million times, saving students more than $30 million.

Baraniuk is currently developing a software platform for personalized learning to optimize the experience for individual students.

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