Richard Gordon Baraniuk
- Associated organizations
- Rice University
- Fields of study
A visionary who is actively developing the future of technology-enabled education, Richard G. Baraniuk’s pioneering open-education initiatives are changing the way students learn by sharing teaching materials and knowledge freely online. In 1999, Prof. Baraniuk launched “Connexions,” the world’s first open-education project, offering free open-source textbooks via the Internet. He saw the limited impact of traditional textbooks, where students are often unable to see how concepts link together and how to later apply them to real-word situations. When the time came for him to write a new textbook for his Signals and Systems class at Rice University, instead of creating a traditional textbook, Prof. Baraniuk developed a new model that broke material down into smaller, interchangeable modules, each dealing with a singular topic. These modules could be combined and customized as needed, providing dynamic learning linked via the Internet to enable interactive and immersive experiences among a global audience. And it was his goal to make these modules and supporting software free and open-source to allow the broadest possible use. Implementing a digital publishing platform with features years ahead of their time, such as XML semantic markup, open-content licenses, a digital textbook publishing pipeline, and a scalable approach to postpublication peer review, Connexcions was born. It has since evolved into an extensive online repository known as “OpenStax CNX” used by millions of students around the world. In 2012, Prof. Baraniuk launched “OpenStax College” to help lower the cost of college textbooks to zero. It offers a library of free textbooks for the most common college courses featuring professionally developed, peer-reviewed content created under the guidance of prestigious editorial boards.
An IEEE Fellow and American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellow, Dr. Baraniuk is currently the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX, USA.