The Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) is Georgia Tech's living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education. Disruptive innovations in higher education are still evolving, and Georgia Tech is committed to leading the initiatives that will define the next generation of educational practices and technologies. C21U works in tandem with campus administrators and faculty to identify, develop, and test new educational platforms and techniques. Currently, more than 40 faculty members from a wide range of academic units across campus are affiliated members of the C21U faculty.
Richard A. DeMillo is the Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computer Science and Professor of Management at Georgia Tech. He founded and directs the Center for 21st Century Universities, a unique institution. The Center is Georgia Tech’s living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education. He is responsible for educational innovation at Georgia Tech and is a national leader and spokesman in the online revolution in higher education. Under his leadership, Georgia Tech has developed a pipeline of 50 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that together enroll a million learners. Georgia Tech’s innovation projects include new research in blended learning and a groundbreaking MOOC-based Master’s degree in computer science that offers a Georgia Tech degree for under $7,000. He was named Lumina Foundation Fellow in recognition of his work in higher education.
Previously he was the John P. Imlay Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech where he led the design and implementation of the Threads program which has helped transform undergraduate engineering education in the US and around the world. His influential 2011 book “Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities,” which helped spark the national discussion of the future of higher education, was inspired by this experience.
He was Hewlett-Packard’s first Chief Technology Officer, where he had worldwide responsibility for technology. He led HP through technology revolutions in super computing, printing, open source software, information security, and nanotechnology. Prior to joining HP, he was in charge of Research at Bellcore, where he oversaw the development of many internet and web-based innovations. He has also directed the Computer and Computation Research Division of the National Science Foundation. During his twenty-year academic career, he has held academic positions at Purdue University, The University of Wisconsin and the University of Padua (Italy).
The author of over 100 articles, books, and patents, Rich’s research has spanned computer science and includes fundamental innovation in computer security, software engineering and mathematics. He is a Fellow of both the Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Computing Machinery. His book, “Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities,” was published by MIT Press in 2011. A sequel entitled “Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators will make College Accessible and Affordable” was published by MIT Press in 2015.