Education Innovator Khan Wins CME Arditti Award

Salman Khan was named the winner of the 2013 Melamed-Arditti Innovation Prize of the CME Group. Leo Melamed, CME Group Chairman Emeritus,  introduced Khan at the award ceremony on November 19.


Introduction by Leo Melamed

November 19, 2013

The CME prize for innovation has since its inception in 2005 chosen individuals whose innovative ideas, products or services have created significant changes to markets, commerce or trade.

Innovation, as distinguished from invention, is a significant enhancement, application, enrichment, or contribution to an existing product, process or service. Thus, every innovation is an offspring, as it were, of a previous invention or innovation, and represents a link in a continuing chain that in its totality represents the progress of the human race.

We have chosen individuals from various walks of life and disciplines: William Sharpe, who gave us the Capital Asset Pricing Model and the Sharpe-Ratio; (With all humility, yours truly), Leo Melamed, who revolutionized futures markets by introducing financial instruments as a futures tool for modern finance; Eugene Fama, the father of the efficient-market hypothesis; Michael Bloomberg, who revolutionized the financial information services industry; Harry Markowitz, who pioneered the Modern Portfolio Theory; David Ferrucci, who advanced artificial-intelligence by teaching computers how to understand human language; Myron Scholes and Robert Merton, who together with Fisher Black gave the world the Options Pricing Model on which modern options markets are built; and Jimmy Wales, who created Wikipedia, a premier Internet-based tool for research.

Clearly the Internet belongs among the most revolutionary inventions of all time, let alone of the twentieth century. And it has spawned some dramatic offspring, innovations such as: Email, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, You Tube, yes and Texting to name but a few. Among its newest offspring: formal education.

Salman Khan did not set out to reinvent the world of education. All he was trying to do was to help his teenage cousin from across the country with her algebra.

That simple act, using the Internet as a conduit, gave birth a few years later to the Khan Academy. The Khan Academy is a free online education platform which today boasts of more than 2,700 videos offering instruction in everything from basic arithmetic to algebra to calculus, economics, biology, chemistry, computer science, art history, the electoral college and even the French Revolution, with much more to come! It has created a revolution in education.

Hundreds of schools across the U.S. have integrated Sal Khan's lessons into their curricula. It can be used as both a primary as well as a supplement in the process of education. There are today over 4,300 video lessons available on the Internet, 3,000 of which were produced by Sal himself. These have garnered more than 300 million views.

The nation's top colleges and universities have emulated Khan's innovation and are giving away learning online. Khan's alma mater, MIT, has made more than 2,000 of its courses available gratis on the Internet. Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago and Stanford are among the elite institutions offering free education through the Internet.

Sal Khan's mission is a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. The kind of education once reserved for the wealthy and connected elite is now available to all comers. Translation into dozens of languages is on its way. The new availability of sophisticated knowledge, produced by a trusted source, and presented in an accessible fashion promises to usher in a new golden age of education. The consequences are unimaginable.

Last November, Sal Khan made the cover of Forbes with the headline "The $1 Trillion opportunity." This year Sal Kahn was chosen by CMAC, the Competitive Market Advisory Council of the CME, as the 2013 winner of the Melamed-Arditti Innovation Prize.

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