April 9, 2011

Math and Banking at the Khan Academy

investing and banking lessons for free at the Khan Academy
The Khan Academy is a free online school that is available to anyone with an internet connection and a desire to learn more. This school was conceived and built by a Harvard Graduate. It has been a wonderful resource personally for me in understanding subjects from Calculus to physics to banking and investing. The Khan Academy offers prerecorded lessons to follow along with. The creator and founder is a former Wall Streeter who turned his energy and attention on creating a free online learning place accessible to anyone around the world.I want to tell a story about how I first came to hear of the Khan Academy. It was really a split decision on reading a newspaper one day, what a wonderful decision it turned out to be!

I was taking a lunch break nearly a year ago today, and as I waited for my food to be ready, a newspaper stand caught my attention. I didn't need a newspaper, I had the two delivered to my home each day, still to be read. But this was a funny feeling, so I turned and walked to the stand curious to what I'd see. There was one single newspaper left
for sale. It was the SF Gate, and a large headline that read, "Salman Khan, math master of the Internet" through his Khan Academy. Mr. Khan was a 33 year old MIT graduate who quit his job in the hedge fund industry. The article went on to talk about his desire for helping others that extended beyond just enriching clients or a firm. I liked this story, and wanted to read more about it. I ate lunch, bought the paper, and tucked it away to read later when I got home. I sat at my desk wondering, what the Khan Academy was.

Khan Academy Lesson on Banking

A few hours later after arriving home and sitting down to read the rest of the story, I realized that it was meant for me to see that article. I checked out the Khan Academy and was beyond impressed with what I found. Mr. Khan has methodically arranged his videos and lectures in organized subjects. For example, you can watch his videos on Banking, Compounding Interest, The Gold Standard, Money and finance, and much more. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS in Mathematics from MIT. You can tell, the guys is pretty smart (he narrates most lessons). Here is an example of one of his introductory videos on banking. He is a simple genius in my mind. He also has many videos on subjects that vary from Algebra to Physics! I must admit that I have learned a lot from his videos. He makes things simple and guides you through his lessons. His style is making videos in which it appears you are viewing a blackboard. He uses the effect of chalk writing (using different colors) on the board, and his voice speaking (Mr. Khan is not visible in the videos) as he goes through the lesson, felt to me as if I had a high quality Harvard educated, private tutor. In many ways, that's exactly what it is.... I have seen people writing and leaving comments for him thanking him profusely because his videos helped them pass an exam, or become more confident about their math knowledge and understanding. I've even seen Mr. Khan responding, quite humbly.

This is a video where Bill Gates talks about the Khan Academy. I thought it was pretty remarkable and quite an achievement that Mr. Khan has received the attention of Bill Gates. Not only is he one of the richest men in the world, he also a steward in the field of education. This Video is from Mr. Bill Gates' website, the Gates Notes. I particularly like during the interview, when he talks about using the Khan Academy lessons himself. The reality that Mr. Khan devotes his time to using technology to educate and help others by providing his free online school, is nothing short of amazing. His desire to enlighten the world with education, opportunity, and free access to quality lessons, makes his Khan Academy a rare gem. I believe this is what Bill Gates saw as well. A dedicated, motivated, intelligent individual, using his talents and time, working on a project that ultimately enriches others in the field of education. I think Bill Gates knows a visionary when he sees one, and Mr. Khan is definitely one. He has begun to transform his vision, using technology to educate curious minds. I commend him and respect his hard work and vision that has brought the Khan Academy into existence. Having Mr. Gates interested in what you're doing, and potentially collaborating with the Gates Foundation, can't be a bad thing! This may help him expand and provide even more instruction online available anyone. There are plenty of lessons to see at the Khan Academy, I highly recommend experiencing Khan Academy for yourself. I have learned a great deal; I'm certain you will too!

Khan Salman Bio:
Khan Academy's Founder

Salman Khan (Sal) founded the Khan Academy with the hope of using technology to foster new learning models. He is currently the portfolio manager of a fund based in Menlo Park, CA. Prior to this, Sal was one of the initial employees at MVC Venture Capital. He has also worked as a Technical Architect at Scient Corporation and as a Senior Product Manager at Oracle Corporation.

Sal received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was president of the student body. He also holds a Masters in electrical engineering and computer science, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and a BS in mathematics from MIT where he was president of the the Class of 1998. While at MIT, Sal was the recipient of the Eloranta Fellowship which he used to develop web-based math software for children with ADHD. He was also an MCAT instructor for the Princeton Review and volunteered teaching gifted 4th and 7th graders at the Devotion School in Brookline, MA.

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