3rd December 2017

International team

International team

Research team membership is individual and project based and does not reflect institutional partnerships.


Keith Devlin is co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University’s H-STAR institute, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X Research network, as well as a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He is a World Economic Forum Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

His current research is focused on the use of different media to teach and communicate mathematics to diverse audiences. In this connection, he is a co-founder and President of an educational technology company, BrainQuake, that creates mathematics learning video games. He also works on the design of information/reasoning systems for intelligence analysis.

Other research interests include: theory of information, models of reasoning, applications of mathematical techniques in the study of communication, and mathematical cognition. He has written 32 books and over 80 published research articles. Recipient of the Pythagoras Prize, the Peano Prize, the Carl Sagan Award, and the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award. In 2003, he was recognized by the California State Assembly for his “innovative work and longtime service in the field of mathematics and its relation to logic and linguistics.” He is an advisor on issues of mathematics learning and assessment using video games for GlassLab and ETS. He is “the Math Guy” on National Public Radio.

Devlin has been a keynote speaker and project advisor to Future Learning Lab in Europe for several years, and is now collaborating on several conference plans as well as a general skills development in uses and constructions of MOOCs. He will return to our conference in Europe on that issue, spring 2016, and also for our Fall meet-up in Silicon Valley, slated for November, 2016.

TrondsenEilif-e1411751906771-316x400Eilif Trondsen is Director at Strategic Business Insights (SBI)—a spin-out from SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute)—in Menlo Park, California (located at the heart of Silicon Valley). He received his PhD in economics from University of California, Santa Barbara and was hired as an economist at SRI International in 1979. His focus area has been issues of innovation, entrepreneurship, learning and technology. In his many years at SRI and SBI he has lead or contributed to a variety of projects for U.S. and foreign clients in the private and public sectors.

Eilif has held the position of Research Director of the Business Intelligence Program, the director of the Learning on Demand program, and has also led SBI’s research initiative around 3D immersive technologies. In his tenure at SRI and SBI, he has given numerous presentations and authored many publications on various eCommerce, eLearning, innovation and virtual-worlds topics. Eilif is the Chair of Silicon Vikings Special Interest Group (SIG) on Entrepreneurship and Learning, and for a number of years was the Co-Chair of SVForum’s SIG on Digital Media. Much of his current work focuses on building innovation bridges between the Nordic region and Silicon Valley, working with entrepreneurial ecosystems and guiding entrepreneurs, companies and policy makers.

icon25Matt Bowman is the associate director of the Zephyr Institute, a think tank in Palo Alto focused on people and the future. He cofounded and writes for EdSurge, a independent information service and community for everyone involved in education technology.

Matt began his career with Teach For America in the Bronx, NY, where he and his fellow teachers helped their middle school scholars achieve some of the highest gains in ELA test scores in the city. Shortly thereafter, Matt joined KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco, as a 6th grade writing teacher.

In 2006, teaching close to Silicon Valley, Matt noticed that venture-backed technology companies were transforming media and business, leaving education relatively untouched, despite huge inefficiencies in the education system. Sensing an opportunity for a broad impact, he immersed himself in the world of venture-backed technology, becoming the managing editor of AlwaysOn, a network of Silicon Valley thought leaders, and spent the next 5 years growing relationships with investors and startup CEOs, writing about disruptive technology—especially education technology when his editors allowed—and organizing industry events. He wrote and helped produce conferences for AlwaysOn, Vator.tv and VentureBeat.

In late 2010, Matt launched two information hubs hoping to accelerate a shift in Silicon Valley interest, investment and engineering talent toward education. He helped grow Higher Ed Live, a weekly web show aimed at university officials interested in technology, and cofounded EdSurge, whose newsletter quickly became a leading industry source for education-technology news. By 2011, the edtech world had blossomed, enabling new school models to emerge. At the same time, thousands of inner-city parochial schools, which had done much for underserved populations, were being shut down for financial reasons, causing even greater strain on the public system. Matt joined Seton Education partners to help launch the Phaedrus Initiative, which aimed to leverage education technology to help fix financials and boost academic performance for Catholic schools in high-needs areas.

Over the last three years, the ed-tech industry has ballooned, growing more powerful and controversial.  Ideologies and special interests are influencing policy and public discourse in powerful ways, and new technologies have thrust issues like privacy, equity and the ultimate goals of education into the limelight.  In September of 2014, in hopes of addressing these challenges, Matt cofounded the Zephyr Institute, a think tank in the heart of Silicon Valley that aims to help policy makers and professionals align on-the-ground practice with research in human flourishing and a commitment to the common good.

MS-02-1010Michael Shanks has since 2011 been CoDirector of The Revs Program at Stanford – connecting the past, present, and future of the automobile – a project in the archaeology of the contemporary past. He was Visiting Professor of Archaeology at Durham University (UK) in 2010, and Visiting Professor of Humanities, Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin, 2010 – 2013.  In the period 2004 – 2009 Mike was CoDirector of Stanford Humanities Lab – with colleagues Jeffrey Schnapp and Henry Lowood.

Other positions include:
1998 – 2005 Professor by Courtesy, Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University. The appointment was terminated by the department in 2005. The reason given was “bureaucratic hygiene” (really!), though I didn’t cost them anything. I suspect it was more to do with my interdisciplinary interest in cyborg culture.

1998 – present Professor of Classics, Stanford University. Where he became founding faculty for Stanford Archaeology Center New interdisciplinary moves into (digital) media with my Metamedia Lab.

1996 – 1998 Reader in Archaeology, Head of Department, University of Wales Lampeter.
1993 – 1996 Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Wales Lampeter. A lot of teaching and building new programs and initiatives, in a glorious rural setting.
1992 – 1993 Teaching Fellow, University of Wales Lampeter. A university the size of a high school and a main street in the town where I got to know every storekeeper. Great vision and hope. Where we got to love labrador retrievers (Abbey came with us to Stanford).
1991 – 1992 Research Fellow, Centre d’Archéologie Classique, Paris 1 (Sorbonne), Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. 

GerdaResize-20140919-3Since coming to our 2014 conference and then joining us for a Stanford workshop, Dr Gerda Mischke has been associated with our globalization oriented Future Learning project team. 

Retired recently, Dr. Mischke worked in the office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Africa (UNISA), an open distance learning institution registering more than 360,000 students per semester. Her main responsibilities related to matters concerning online learning. In this regard, the following apply:

Signature Courses: The aim of the Signature Course project is to set a standard at UNISA for online course design in an open distance learning environment where thousands of students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have restricted access to digital devices and to the internet.

Digi-bands: UNISA is making its online courses available to students on “digi-bands” (memory sticks with software making it possible to “download” LMS tools with content onto memory sticks). Such digi-bands allow students to work in an offline environment and then go online at regular intervals to synchronise their digi-bands with the LMS mainframe. During synchronisation all the work students have done offline using the different LMS tools is uploaded onto the main LMS platform, while new information on the LMS is copied onto digi-bands in order to maintain the information on both at the same level.

Mobile application: The Signature Course mobile application is a light-weight application that resembles a subset of the functionality of LMS tools. It is a native smart phone or tablet application that runs on Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry and allows students to work offline on their mobile devices and to synchronise periodically with the LMS mainframe.

Telecentres: UNISA has entered into collaborative agreements with telecentres in the various provinces across South Africa. Such centres are equipped with printers, photocopiers, scanners, faxes and computers connected to the internet. Registered students can use the centres free of charge. UNISA is hereby ensuring that its students, who do not own their own devices have access to computers with internet access throughout South Africa.

Student support: In order to support students in online learning, registering students are divided online in groups of 50. Teaching Assistants are appointed and trained to mentor such students, to mark frequent, focussed assignments and to comment on student work.

Student evaluation of online learning: Regular surveys are conducted to determine student responses to the UNISA online learning initiative.

Free online courses in African Languages: These free online courses afford students the opportunity to learn basic phrases in five different African Languages http://www.unisa.ac.za/Free_online_course/