MOOC leads talented Indian student to Vanderbilt

To say that massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have had a global impact is an understatement. Vanderbilt’s role in offering popular MOOCs is well documented, but here’s a different case: This summer, Chinmaya Samal, who started halfway around the world in a MOOC by ISIS faculty, ended up doing research on our campus.


In January, Chinmaya Samal, 22, of Rourkela, Odisha, in India, won a Google prize of a Nexus 7 tablet for an Android app he developed in the capstone project at the end of a sequence of six massive open online courses, or MOOCs, called “Specializations” by the online learning platform Coursera. Vanderbilt computer science professors Doug Schmidt and Jules White, who co-teach Coursera’s Mobile Cloud Computing with Android Specialization – along with University of Maryland computer science professor Adam Porter – were so impressed by Samal, they offered him a paid summer internship to the School of Engineering’s Institute of Software Integrated Systems.

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