Connect with us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter!







Speaker Biographies


Anant Agarwal
President, edX, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Anant Agarwal is the President of edX. Anant 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 prior 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 the Raw multicore processor, the Sparcle multi-threaded microprocessor, and the Alewife parallel computer. He also led the VirtualWires project at MIT and was the founder of Virtual Machine Works. Anant 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 in Forbes' list of top 15 education innovators in 2012. Anant holds a Ph.D. from Stanford and a bachelor's from IIT Madras. Anant is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the ACM.


José Antonio Bowen
President, Goucher College

José Antonio Bowen is President of Goucher College and author of Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012), winner of a Ness Award for the Best Book on Higher Education.
Bowen began his teaching career at Stanford University in 1982, first as the Director of Jazz Ensembles, and then for the Humanities Special Programs and the Afro-American Studies Program. In 1994, he became the Founding Director of the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music at the University of Southampton, England. He returned to America in 1999 as the first holder of the endowed Caestecker Chair of Music in the new Program in the Performing Arts at Georgetown University. He was Dean of Fine Arts at Miami University and then Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (2006-2014).

He has written over 100 scholarly articles in many journals including the Journal of Musicology, The Journal of Musicological Research, Performance Practice Review, 19th-century Music, Notes, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of the Royal Musical Associations, Studi Musicali, the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and in books from Oxford and Princeton university presses. He is also the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and he received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for work on his book: The Conductor and the Score: A History of the Relationship between Interpreter and Text from Beethoven to Wagner.

Bowen has also been a pioneer in active learning and the use of technology in the classroom, including podcasts and online games. He was nominated by both students and colleagues for teaching awards at Georgetown, and in 1990 he received a Stanford Centennial Award for Undergraduate Teaching.

Bowen holds four degrees from Stanford University: a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, a Master of Arts in music composition, a Master of Arts in humanities and a joint Ph.D. in musicology and humanities.



William G. Bowen
President Emeritus, The Andrew Mellon Foundation; President Emeritus, Princeton
Founding Chairman, Ithaka/JSTOR

William G. Bowen, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 1988-2006, was President of Princeton University from 1972-1988, where he also served as Professor of Economics and Public Affairs.  A graduate of Denison University (AB 1955) and Princeton University (PhD 1958), he joined the Princeton faculty in 1958 (specializing in labor economics) and served as Provost there from 1967-72. 

Mr. Bowen joined the Foundation in 1988 and his tenure at Mellon was marked by increases in the scale of the Foundation's activities, with annual appropriations reaching $220 million in 2000.  To ensure that Mellon's grant-making activities would be better informed and more effective while also following his interest in studying questions central to higher education and philanthropy, he created an in-house research program to investigate doctoral education, collegiate admissions, independent research libraries, and charitable nonprofits.  Mr. Bowen's special interest in the application of information technology to scholarship led to a range of initiatives including the Foundation-sponsored creation of JSTOR (a searchable electronic archive of the full runs of core journals in many fields), the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive, ARTstor (a repository of high-quality digitized works of art and related materials for teaching and research), and Ithaka Harbors, Inc. (an organization launched to accelerate the adoption of productive and efficient uses of information technology for the benefit of higher education).

Mr. Bowen is founding chairman of Ithaka Harbors, Inc. He serves on the board of Ithaka/JSTOR. He also is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Nancy Cantor
Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark

Nancy Cantor is Chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark, a post she assumed in January 2014. A distinguished leader in higher education, she is recognized nationally and internationally as an advocate for re-emphasizing its public mission. This entails a view of the university not as a traditional "ivory tower," but as a public good, an anchor institution that collaborates with partners from all sectors of the economy to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility.

Prior to her current position, Cantor was Chancellor and President of Syracuse University, where she led multi-faceted initiatives that built on the universities historical strengths, pursuing cross-sector collaborations in the City of Syracuse that simultaneously enrich scholarship and education, spurring transformation of this older industrial city. These local engagements in key areas—such as environmental sustainability; art, technology, and design; neighborhood and cultural entrepreneurship; and urban school reform—resonate nationally and globally, demonstrating the impact and importance of engaged scholarship and the inter-connectedness of the pressing issues of our world. The breadth, depth, and success of these efforts earned Chancellor Cantor the 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award.

Previously, Cantor was chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan and senior research scientist at the Institute for Social Research, and chair of the department of psychology at Princeton University.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Cantor is a board member of the American Institutes for Research and the New York Academy of Sciences, co-chair of the American Commonwealth Partnership’s Presidents Council, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Anchor Institutions Task Force. Chancellor Cantor lectures and writes extensively on the role of universities as anchor institutions in their communities, along with other crucial issues in higher education such as rewarding public scholarship, sustainability, liberal education and the creative campus, the status of women in the academy, and racial justice and diversity.

Kevin M. Guthrie

Kevin M. Guthrie is an executive and entrepreneur with expertise in high technology and not-for-profit management. Mr. Guthrie was the founding president of JSTOR (1995) and Ithaka (2004), and oversaw their merger in 2010 to form ITHAKA.

Previously Mr. Guthrie started his own software development company that served the needs of college and professional football teams, and later served as a research associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where he authored The New York Historical Society: Lessons from One Nonprofit's Long Struggle for Survival (Jossey Bass). His diverse background also includes experience as a professional football player, a sports broadcaster and producer, and a consultant for an Oscar-winning motion picture.

Mr. Guthrie holds a bachelor of science in engineering in civil engineering from Princeton University and a master of business administration from Columbia University.  


Daphne Koller
Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; Co-Founder and co-CEO, Coursera

Daphne Koller is the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and the co-founder and co-CEO of Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with the best universities to connect anyone around the world with the best education, for free.  Coursera is the leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform, and has partnered with dozens of the world’s top universities to offer hundreds of courses in a broad range of disciplines to millions of students, spanning every country in the world.  In her research life, she works in the area of machine learning and probabilistic modeling, with applications to systems biology and personalized medicine.  She is the author of over 200 refereed publications in venues that span a range of disciplines, and has given numerous keynote talks at major conferences.  She is the recipient of many awards, which include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/Infosys award, and membership in the US National Academy of Engineering.  She was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2012, Newsweek’s top 10 most important people in 2010, Huffington Post 100 Game Changes for 2010, and more. She is also an award winning teacher, who pioneered in her Stanford class many of the ideas that underlie the Coursera user experience. She received her BSc and MSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her PhD from Stanford in 1994.


Stephen Kosslyn
Founding Dean, Minerva Schools of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Kosslyn came to Minerva from Stanford University, where he served as Director of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, the world’s preeminent institution in the field. Prior to Stanford, Kosslyn spent 30 years at Harvard University in a variety of positions, including Dean of Social Sciences.

Dr. Kosslyn has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received three honorary doctorates, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the National Academy of Sciences Initiatives in Research Award. He has published more than 300 scientific papers and his most recent book—his 14th—Top Brain/Bottom Brain (with G.W. Miller) develops a new theory of “cognitive modes”—different thinking styles that affect how each of us approaches the world and interacts with other people.

While at Harvard, Dr. Kosslyn actively participated in efforts to revise the curriculum, drawing on his extensive research in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience to improve teaching and enhance student learning. His team at Minerva has designed the curriculum to integrate proven learning approaches, with a focus on student success.


James M. Lang
Director, Center for Teachind Excellence
Professor of English, Assumption College

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is a member of the Fulbright Specialist Program roster in higher education. He has a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in English from St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University.

Lang is the author of four books, the most recent of which are Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard UP, 2008). A starred review in Library Journal describes Cheating Lessons as a “lively book” that “explains relevant cognitive theory, outlines factors that foster cheating, and presents fascinating examples of course structures and classroom activities that stimulate students to work toward mastering their subjects.”

Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education; his work has been appearing in the Chronicle since 1999. His book reviews and public scholarship on higher education have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Time, and America.




David W. Leebron, Welcome
Rice University

David W. Leebron has served as Rice University’s seventh president since 2004, a period of growth and transformation for the institution. Early in his presidency, Leebron engaged in extensive consultations that produced the Vision for the Second Century, a plan for Rice’s growth and advancement as one of the world’s premier research universities. Before coming to Rice, Leebron was dean of Columbia Law School. A native of Philadelphia, he is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was elected president of the Law Review in his second year. Following a judicial clerkship, he taught at the UCLA School of Law in 1980.  After two years in private practice, he joined the faculty at the NYU School of Law in 1983.  In 1989, Leebron joined the faculty of Columbia Law School, where in 1996 he was appointed dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. Leebron also served as a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany, and as the Jean Monnet Visiting Professor at Bielefeld University. He is currently a member of the political science faculty at Rice, and has written in the areas of torts, privacy, corporate law and international human rights.



Caroline Levander, Moderator
Carlson Chair in the School of Humanities
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Digital Education
Professor of English Rice University

Professor Levander is the Vice President for Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Digital Education, Carlson Professor in the Humanities, and Professor of English. She is currently writing Hotel Life (with Matthew Pratt Guterl) and Laying Claim: Imagining Empire on the U.S. Mexico Border (Oxford University Press). Most recently, she has published Where Is American Literature? (2013). In addition to co-editing a book series, Imagining the Americas, with Oxford University Press, Levander is author of Cradle of Liberty: Race, the Child and National Belonging from Thomas Jefferson to W.E.B. Du Bois  (2006) and Voices of the Nation: Women and Public Speech in Nineteenth-Century American Culture and Literature (1998, paperback reprint 2009). Levander's research focuses on the geopolitics of knowledge design, specifically on how prevailing assumptions about territory, geography, nation and textuality have shaped the field of American literature.

As Vice President, she is responsible for university-wide programs and initiatives that advance the university's academic and research profile. In this capacity, Levander leads Rice's digital learning and scholarship endeavor, which includes overseeing all online curricula as well as K-20 digital initiatives. She is responsible for developing the university's interdisciplinary arts program as well as its anchor new 30 million dollar facility. Moody Center for the Arts will foster arts-based, disciplinary and inter-disciplinary teaching, research and creative work that could not easily find a home elsewhere on campus.


David E. Pritchard
Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, MIT

David E. Pritchard attended Caltech (B.S. 1962) and Harvard (PhD 1968), and has been with Massachusetts Institute of Technology since, where he is now Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics.  His research accomplishments span modern atomic physics, including laser spectroscopy, atom-atom and atom-molecule collisions, atomic line broadening, van der Waals molecules, atom optics, atom trapping, precision mass measurement, atom interferometry both without and with Bose Einstein Condensates, and condensed matter physics using ultracold bosons and fermions.  His group invented the MOT, a laser trap for cold atoms, as well as the Ioffe-Pritchard trap, both workhorses in the study ultracold atoms and molecules.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.  He has won the Broida Prize and the Schawlow prize from APS, the Max Born Award from OSA, and the IUPAP Senior Scientist Medal in Fundamental Metrology.  Arguably, he is a better mentor than a researcher, since he has mentored four winners of national thesis awards and three Nobel prizewinners (one of whom gave Dave his gold medal).

Dave has a lifelong interest in teaching and wrote A Mechanics Workbook using the paper-based “programmed instruction” method to teach problem solving.  With his son, he developed, then founded Effective Educational Technologies which developed – now sold by Pearson Education as,, etc..  He was the first Major Coordinator in the MIT Physics Department, and won a Dean’s Teaching and Advising Award and the Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising at MIT (2010).  His education research group has developed a new pedagogy for teaching problem solving and an integrated online environment for learning introductory physics - see  These developments form the basis for the group’s current free online physics course, see it at .



Henry (Roddy) L. Roediger, III
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor,
Washington University in St. Louis

Henry L. Roediger, III is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He was born in Roanoke, Virginia, immediately nicknamed Roddy, and spent most of his youth in Danville, Virginia. He graduated as commander of the corps of cadets from Riverside Military
Academy in Gainesville, Georgia in 1965 and then attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, graduating magna cum laudae with a B.A in Psychology in 1969. He worked with David G. Elmes as an undergraduate and they published several papers (and, later, two books) together. Roediger went on to
graduate school at Yale University, working primarily with Robert Crowder and Endel Tulving, and received his Ph.D. in 1973.

Roediger became an assistant professor at Purdue University in 1973 and spent fifteen very good years on the faculty there, aside from three years as visiting professor at the University of Toronto. In 1988 he was appointed Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Psychology at Rice University, and he spent eight great years in Houston. In 1996 he left for Washington University in St. Louis, where he became Chair of the Department of Psychology with a mission to double the size of the department. He stepped down from this post in 2004. That same year he was appointed Dean of Academic Planning in Arts and Sciences, a position he still holds. He has also served as a Faculty Fellow in the Provost’s office.

Roediger’s research has centered on human learning and memory and he has published on many different topics within this area. He has published over 250 articles and chapters on various aspects of memory and has edited 7 books. His current research interests are focused in several areas: Techniques that enhance learning and memory, with particular emphasis on educational applications; the study of memory illusions (false memories) and how they arise; the relation of confidence in reports from memory and the implications for eyewitness testimony; the study of “memory athletes” and other people who show remarkably superior memory abilities; and the study of collective memory, or how people remember history and how such recollections affect personal identity. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Aging, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, Dart NeuroScience and the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education.


George Rupp, Moderator
President Emeritus, Rice University and Columbia University
Former President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

George Rupp was president of the International Rescue Committee from July 2002 through August 2013 and led its life-saving work on behalf of people uprooted by war and conflict in countries around the world, including the U.S. where it helps to resettle refugees.

Before joining the IRC, Dr. Rupp was president of Columbia University. During his nine-year tenure, he focused on enhancing undergraduate education, on strengthening the relationship of the campus to surrounding communities and New York City as a whole, and on increasing the university’s international orientation. He also completed both a financial restructuring of the university and a $2.84 billion fundraising campaign.

Prior to his time at Columbia, Dr. Rupp served as president of Rice University, where in the course of his eight-year tenure, applications for admission almost tripled, federal research support more than doubled, and the value of the Rice endowment increased by more than $500 million to $1.25 billion. Earlier, he was the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity and dean of the Harvard Divinity School. Under his leadership, the curriculum of the school was revised to address more directly the pluralistic character of contemporary religious life.

Dr. Rupp serves on the boards of the Committee for Economic Development, the Institute for International Education, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Foundation.


Jeffrey J. Selingo, Moderator
Contributing Editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Professor of Practice, Arizona State University

Jeff Selingo is a contributing editor to The Chronicle of Higher Education, author of College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University.

He has also been editor of The Chronicle, where he worked for 16 years in a variety of reporting and editing roles. His work has been honored with awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Associated Press, and he was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

He received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master's degree in government from the Johns Hopkins University. He has been a featured speaker before dozens of national higher-education groups and appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs, including NPR, PBS, ABC, MSNBC, and CBS. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.


Ruth J. Simmons
President Emerita, Professor, Department of Africana Studies, Brown University

Ruth J. Simmons was President of Brown University from 2001-2012.  Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities.

A French professor before entering university administration, President Simmons currently holds an appointment as a professor of comparative literature and of Africana Studies at Brown. After completing her Ph.D in Romance Languages and literatures at Harvard, she served in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States.  At Smith, she launched a number of important academic initiatives, including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college. 

Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to France, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. She has been a featured speaker in many public venues, including the White House, the World Economic Forum, the Economic Club of Washington, the Brookings Institute, the National Press Club, the American Council on Education and the Clinton Global Initiative.  An advocate for the University’s leadership on major public policy and higher education issues, she has worked on an array of educational and public policy issues, including excellence in institutional governance, the place of diversity in university life, the importance of liberal arts, the urgency of internationalization, and broader access to education.  Simmons is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the boards of Texas Instruments, Chrysler, and Mondelez as well as a number of non-profit boards.  Awarded numerous honorary degrees, last year, she received the Brown Faculty’s highest honor: the Susan Colver Rosenberger Medal of Honor. This year she was named a ‘chevalier’ in the French Legion of Honor.

DeLange Conference Home Rice University August 26, 2014