Salman Amin Khan
October 11, 1976
Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.
|Board member of||Aspen Institute|
|Relatives||Abdul Wahab Khan (grandfather)|
Salman "Sal" Amin Khan (born October 11, 1976) is an American educator and the founder of Khan Academy, a free online non-profit educational platform with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, originally focusing on mathematics and science. He is also the founder of Khan Lab School, a private brick-and-mortar school in Mountain View, California.
As of December 2023[update], the Khan Academy channel on YouTube has 8.17 million subscribers, and its videos have been viewed more than two billion times. In 2012, Khan was named in the annual publication of Time 100. In the same year, he was featured on the cover of Forbes, with the tagline "The $1 Trillion Opportunity."
Early life and family
Khan was born in Metairie, Louisiana, on October 11, 1976, into a Bengali Muslim family. His father Fakhrul Amin Khan (d. 1990) was a physician, originally hailing from the village of Rahmatpur in Babuganj Upazila, Bangladesh. His mother Masuda Khan is from Murshidabad in West Bengal, India. He grew up poor, recalling that his mother made $16,000 in 1993—he knew this because he had to do her taxes to get financial aid. They are descendants of Rahmat Khan, a 16th-century Pashtun chieftain who was killed in battle with Kandarpanarayan Rai, the erstwhile Raja of Chandradwip. Khan's grandfather Abdul Wahab Khan was a prominent Pakistani politician who served as the country's second official Speaker of the National Assembly.
He attended Grace King High School, where, as he recalls, "a few classmates were fresh out of jail and others were bound for top universities." He was a cartoonist for the high school's newspaper. Khan took upper-level mathematics courses at the University of New Orleans while he was in high school and graduated as valedictorian in 1994.
He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating in 1998 with Bachelor's and Master of Science degrees in the electrical engineering and computer science program, and another bachelor's degree in mathematics. In his final year, Khan was the president of the "Senior Gift Committee," a philanthropy program of the graduating class.
In 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in mathematics over the internet using Yahoo!'s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutoring, he moved his tutorials to YouTube, where he created an account on November 16, 2006.
The popularity of his educational videos on the video-sharing website prompted Khan to quit his job as a financial analyst in late 2009. He moved his focus to developing his YouTube channel, Khan Academy, full-time with the aid of close friend Josh Gefner. Khan subsequently received sponsorship from Ann Doerr, the wife of John Doerr.
His videos received worldwide interest from both students and non-students, with more than 458 million views in the first number[quantify] of years. In 2023, Khan Academy has more than 155 million registered users, with students spending billions of hours of learning on the platform.
Khan outlined his mission as to "accelerate learning for students of all ages. With this in mind, we want to share our content with whoever may find it useful." Khan plans to extend the "free school" to cover topics such as English literature.
Khan published a book about Khan Academy and education goals titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.
Khan Academy, initially a tool for students, added the Coach feature in 2012, promoting the connection of teachers with students through videos and monitor tools. In 2012, Khan received the American Academy of Achievement’s Gold Medal. In 2014, Khan received the 19th Annual Heinz Award in the Human Condition category.
Khan believes that supplementing traditional classroom education with the technology being developed by his Academy can improve the effectiveness of teachers by freeing them from traditional lectures and giving them more time for instruction specific to individual students' needs.
In March 2023 and built upon OpenAI’s large language model, Khan Academy's AI-powered teaching assistant, Khanmigo was launched.
Khan Lab School
Khan's pedagogical idea is that students learn better when they can manage the process of acquiring knowledge independently and at their own pace. They should then work in teams to apply the knowledge they have learned. This concept is known as flipped classroom. His approach to learning incorporates elements of Benjamin Bloom's Mastery Learning. This Personalized Learning method is tested at his Khan Lab School, founded in 2014.
Schoolhouse certifications, developed in partnership with the University of Chicago, test students’ mastery of subjects and certify their knowledge. MIT, Caltech, and Case Western Reserve University have since signed on.
In 2016, Khan received the fourth-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, the Padma Shri, from the President of India. On May 27, 2021, Khan received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University.
In 2010 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became one of the academy's biggest supporters. In 2012 Khan was named one of TIMES's 100 most influential people in the world. Bill Gates has said; "I've used Khan Academy with my kids, and I'm amazed at the breadth of Sal's subject expertise and his ability to make complicated topics understandable".
Khan is married to a Pakistani physician, Umaima Marvi. The couple live with their children in Mountain View, California. Khan's first child, a son, suffered from childhood epilepsy, which he later outgrew, but the experience had lasting effects for the family to realise what was important in life.
Khan has said about his beliefs:
"If you believe in trying to make the best of the finite number of years we have on this planet (while not making it any worse for anyone else), think that pride and self-righteousness are the cause of most conflict and negativity, and are humbled by the vastness and mystery of the Universe, then I'm the same religion as you."
- Number of videos, Khan Academy.
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Salman Khan, pioneer of online education, receives the Gold Medal from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
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