Austin Peay State University’s Course Recommendation System again will be in the spotlight in November at the Learning 2011 Conference in Orlando, Fla., where former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be the major keynote speaker.
Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at APSU and developer of the course tool, also will be one of the keynoters at the event, Nov. 6-9. He will share developments of the Course Recommendation System, which is a centerpiece for a $1 million grant Tennessee received in late July from the Complete College America fund with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Using what has come to be known as the “Netflix Effect,” the Course Recommendation System provides each student with personalized recommendations based on their academic transcript. Since its debut this past spring at APSU, the tool has gained national attention in higher education circles because of its abilities to help students stay on track to graduation.
APSU will receive half of the $1 million grant. With this support, Denley will lead a team that will work to further refine the innovation. He also will work with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to develop the system so that it can be deployed statewide to help boost the state’s higher education graduation rates among community colleges and four-year institutions.
At the Learning 2011 Conference, Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the U.S., will speak about the challenge of globalization, emphasize the country’s growing interdependence and point the way toward a common future based on shared goals and values.
The conference also will feature a performance by film, TV and stage actor John Lithgow, whose work has been recognized with Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe awards. He will perform "Stories by Heart.”
Denley came to APSU in January 2009. Originally from Penzance, England, he earned his Ph.D. from Trinity College Cambridge and held positions at the University of Umea Sweden, the University of Waterloo Canada and the University of Mississippi before coming to APSU. At Ole Miss he served as chair of mathematics, before assuming the role of senior fellow of the department’s residential college. His mathematical research interests include graph theory and combinatorics.
Throughout his career, Denley has taken a hands-on approach in a variety of initiatives for student success. In 2007, he was chosen as a Redesign Scholar by the National Center for Academic Transformation for his work in rethinking the teaching of freshmen mathematics classes.
For more information about Learning 2011 conference, go online to http://www.learning2011.com. -- Melony Shemberger