Rice’s Connexions named 2006 Tech Museum Awards Laureate


Terry Boyle
The Tech Museum

Brian Adams or Michael Plough Orloff/Williams & Co.

Jade Boyd Rice University

Rice’s Connexions named 2006 Tech Museum Awards Laureate
Open-source educational publisher vies for $50,000 Microsoft Education Award

The Tech Museum of Innovation, one of the country’s leading science and technology museums, today announced Rice University’s Connexions as a 2006 Tech Museum Awards Laureate. The Tech Museum of Innovation, located in San Jose, Calif., named 25 laureates for its prestigious awards program, which celebrates those who leverage new and existing technologies to benefit humanity.

Connexions is one of five laureates vying for the Microsoft Education Award. The winner of will be awarded a $50,000 honorarium.

Connexions is an e-publishing platform that adapts the open-source software concept to scholarly academic content. Connexions combines unique document creation and management software with an innovative legal framework that enables anyone worldwide to freely publish and share educational materials.

"We’re honored that a prestigious institution like The Tech Museum recognizes the value and the possibilities that open-source educational publishing can offer the world," said Connexions founder Richard Baraniuk. “More than a half-million people across the globe are already logging onto Connexions each month because they’ve discovered how easy it is to use and build upon our content.”

Connexions’ online repository, the “Content Commons," contains thousands of scholarly lessons that can be combined in any order to form textbooks, courses, lesson plans and study guides. And Connexions’ free software allows anyone to create, reuse, revise and recombine these lessons to suit their needs.

The 25 Tech Museum Award Laureates were selected by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society from 951 entries representing 98 countries. Five laureates were selected in each of five categories: environment, economic development, education, health and equality. A winner in each category will be chosen Nov. 15 at the Tech Museum Awards.

“The Tech Museum Awards are an incredibly important way to call attention to some of the most meaningful innovations in science and technology in the world, and to the often unsung heroes behind them,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. “The laureates who we honor serve as great role models to future generations of inventors and engineers, and their work reminds us that innovation can be applied in profound ways to benefit humanity and the world.”

The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and businesses. Silicon Valley leaders supporting The Tech Museum Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials and Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Award category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation and The Swanson Foundation. Program sponsors include Wells Fargo, KPMG, Celerity, Cadence, Genentech, The Skoll Foundation, Santa Clara Valley National Bank, Hewlett-Packard, NBC11, The San Jose Mercury News, American Airlines and The Fairmont San Jose. For more information about The Tech Museum Awards, visit www.techawards.org.

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