The Stanford Professor Who Resigned to Teach for Free

Jill Harness

Most educators dream of the opportunity to teach at an elite university, but after teaching one free online course for Stanford with 160,000 students, Sebastian Thrun realized the prestige just wasn't that important after all. Instead, he wants to teach the world for free.

That's why Thrun resigned and started up his own free, online education center called Udacity. And it's not just the students who are benefiting — the professor says he finds open education to be addictive:

"Now that I saw the true power of education, there is no turning back. It’s like a drug. I won’t be able to teach 200 students again, in a conventional classroom setting."

So far Udacity is only offering two courses: one entry-level class in building a search engine and one advanced course in programing a robotic car. But eight more are on the table for later this year.