Meet Chrysanthos Dellarocas, the professor from Boston University

22 November 2017

Chrysanthos “Chris” Dellarocas is professor of Information Systems and director of the Digital Learning Initiative at Boston University. His primary fields of study are online reputation, the disruptive effects of social media, and collective intelligence. In addition to being a professor, he is an inventor with nine patents to his name and a tech entrepreneur and consultant. Dellarocas hails from the island of Naxos and grew up in Athens. At 22 he moved to the U.S. He has a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in computer science. In October, 2013, Dellarocas came to Athens to speak at the TEDxAcademy. He spoke (in Greek) about “Reinventing the University.”

In his own words... On his relationship with technology: "Since I was a kid I was always drawn to technology. Back in Greece in the 80s, I belonged to the first generation of computer whiz kids. I made my first money by selling a version of Pac-man. After that I went to Polytechnio to study computer science and I came to the States. What I did not anticipate is that as I was getting older I would become more interested not in technology per se, but in the way in which technology changes organizations and society.”

On the relationship between technology and education: "Higher education has entered a period of transformation and experimentation. There are a number of forces driving this; tuition is really rising, beyond what most households can afford, and increasingly the way we educate students is not compatible with the needs of the 21st century. Most universities are still in the industrial age, and our world is very different.”

On his greatest obstacles: "The toughest thing is to convince an organization as traditional, conservative and resilient as a university to change. Universities haven’t really changed for years and most of my colleagues don’t feel that they need to change until perhaps it’s too late.”

On what he loves about his work: "What I like the most about my work is the process of giving birth to a new idea. Taking a small idea and helping it grow. The job of a professor in ten or twenty years will be very different from what it is today. It’s still going to be exciting, it’s still going to be one of the most noble and valuable jobs in the world but it is going to be different. If you join academia today be prepared for change.”


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