The future of learning to be explored at Rice University Sept. 12

Troy Williams, president of Macmillan New Ventures, a division of the global media company Macmillan, will deliver a talk at Rice University Sept. 12 that explores technological advancements affecting education now and in the future.              

The talk, “The Future of Learning: Printed Textbooks to Personalized Learning Environments,” takes place from 4 to 5 p.m. at Rice’s Fondren Library, Kyle Morrow Room, 6100 Main St.

Troy Williams

Williams will discuss trends that foreshadow fundamental changes in how students learn, including the rise of data-driven education platforms, the changing role of traditional content and the tectonic forces he argues are reshaping the educational endeavor the United States has known for the past century.

At Macmillan New Ventures, Williams is responsible for identifying emerging technologies and trends that will have a major impact on student performance and outcomes. Prior to Macmillan, he advised development-stage companies focused on restructuring, cost containment and product development. From 1998 to 2007, he was president and CEO of Questia Media Inc., an early online electronic book library that he founded and sold to Cengage Learning. Williams has been an adjunct professor at New York University, where he taught the capstone thesis course on starting new businesses in the Master of Science in Publishing program.

He is a member of Rice’s School of Humanities Advisory Board and has served on the boards of the Education Foundation of Harris County, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the Austin chapter of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Inprint, Houston’s leading literary arts organization.

Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (’94) from Rice University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

The event is hosted by School of Humanities Dean Nicolas Shumway and is free and open to the public. For a Rice University map and parking information, visit


About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.