In a previous post we announced the formation of the Open edX Technical Oversight Committee (TOC).  Today I am excited to tell you that the first six members of the TOC have been appointed by Axim Collaborative and 2U.

The inaugural TOC meeting was held on Friday, December 10th.  We want to meet as soon as possible to advance the important business of selecting the initial community members of the TOC.  As specified in the charter, the six initial members will select 3 members from the broad Open edX community to join the TOC.  In the initial meeting, we were able to agree upon a rubric and begin the process of nominating candidates for membership.  We hope to complete the selection process as quickly as practical.  Selection of community members will focus on reflecting the diversity of the Open edX community.

Without further ado, the initial members of the TOC are:

Anant Agarwal, Chief Open Education Officer at 2U

Anant Agarwal is the Chief Open Education Officer at 2U, Inc., guiding and furthering the company’s mission to increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere. Anant joined 2U through the edX acquisition, where he directed its evolution into one of the world’s leading online learning platforms as founder and CEO.

As the first educator to teach an edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, Anant drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He remains a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT today. Previously, he served as the director of CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Anant is a successful serial entrepreneur, having co-founded several companies including Tilera Corporation, which created the Tile multicore processor, and Virtual Machine Works. He has received multiple accolades over the years for his pursuit of great educational innovation. He won the Maurice Wilkes prize for computer architecture and MIT’s Smullin and Jamieson prizes for teaching. He is also the 2016 recipient of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize for Higher Education, which recognized his work in advancing the MOOC movement. Additionally, he is a recipient of the Padma Shri award from the President of India and was named the Yidan Prize Laureate for Education Development in 2018.

A pioneer in computer architecture, 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. Scientific American selected his work on organic computing as one of 10 World-Changing Ideas in 2011, and he was named in Forbes’ list of top 15 education innovators in 2012.

Luyen Chou, Chief Learning Officer at 2U

Luyen Chou is the Chief Learning Officer at 2U, Inc., having joined 2U through the acquisition of Trilogy Education Services, where he was Chief Product Officer. As 2U’s CLO, Luyen is responsible for curriculum design, development, and production across the company. Prior to joining Trilogy, Luyen served in a variety of product leadership roles at Pearson Education, most recently as the company’s Chief Product Strategy Officer with responsibility for the company’s $6B global product portfolio strategy. Luyen joined Pearson in 2011 through the acquisition of Schoolnet, a leading provider of data-driven curriculum and assessment solutions for K-12 school districts and states, where he served as Chief Product Officer.

George Babey, Director of Engineering at 2U

George Babey is Director of Engineering at 2U, leading the development for our Enterprise business. In over four years at edX, George has focused on growing our commercial and academic business through products and features that assist learners and administrators to be successful when rolling out learning initiatives within their organizations. He has a special affinity for frontend development and has helped lead the Open edX project through various improvements such as micro-frontends (MFEs) and the Paragon component library. Prior to edX, George has worked in various engineering and leadership roles across a 20+ year career.

Sanjay Sarma, Vice President of Open Learning at MIT

Sanjay Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the Vice President Open Learning at MIT. He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He serves on the boards of edX, GS1, EPCglobal and Hochschild Mining (HOC:LSE). Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the OATSystems. He has authored over 150 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award and Informationweek’s Innovators and Influencers Award. He advises several national governments and global companies. He is the author of the book, GRASP: The Science Transforming How We Learn.

Dustin Tingley, Deputy Vice Provost for Advances in Learning

Dustin Tingley is Professor of Government in the Government Department at Harvard University. Dustin is Deputy Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, Faculty Director for the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning Data Science and Technology Group (Harvard higher education data science group), and Faculty director for the Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching. He received a PhD in Politics from Princeton in 2010 and BA from the University of Rochester in 2001. His research interests include international relations, international political economy, climate change, digital education and data science.  His book on American foreign policy with Helen Milner, Sailing the Water’s Edge, was published in fall 2015, and was awarded the Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the best book published in the field of U.S. national policy. Recent projects include attitudes towards global climate technologies and policies, and the intersection of causal inference and machine learning methods for the social sciences. He teaches courses on data science, international relations, and climate change.Dustin co-founded ABLConnect, previously served as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Harvard Government Department and faculty director of IQSS’s Undergraduate Research Scholar program. Dustin has organized interdisciplinary conferences on causal mechanisms, climate change politics, negotiation in international relations, the intersection of causal inference and machine learning, active learning, peer learning, and equitable instruction in inclusive classrooms.

Ed Zarecor, Vice President of Engineering for the Open edX Project

Ed Zarecor is the Vice President of Engineering for the Open edX project at Axim Collaborative.  Ed has been a software engineer, architect and technology leader throughout his career of more than 30 years, with a focus on educational technology.  For the last nine years, he has led development of the Open edX platform at edX Inc., where he served as the Head of Engineering and Head of the Open edX project. Notably, Ed oversaw a significant reinvigoration of the Open edX project starting in 2019, laying the groundwork for a more open and inclusive project, expanding opportunities for community participation, and so far, realizing a 10-fold increase in code contributions.  He is also one of the lucky few to have a three character GitHub username, e0d.

Ed will be the Chair of the Technical Oversight Committee.