05 February 2019
IMDEA Networks Institute is proud to announce that one of the members of its alumni network, José Antonio Ruipérez-Valiente, who completed his PhD at University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) while he worked as a research assistant at IMDEA Networks, has received three more PhD prizes at the end of 2018, summing up a total of five. Ruipérez is quickly becoming an international rising star in the fields of online learning and educational technologies.
The latest recognition to José Antonio’s outstanding contributions to what has come to be known as “the online learning revolution” is the publication this month of the article “The MOOC pivot” by Science Maganize, co-authored by Justin Reich from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, in which they analyze the future role of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in online education based on data from MITx and HarvardX. José Antonio has produced this research in his current role as postdoctoral associate at the CMS/W department of the MIT.
As for the awards that he has accrued as a result of his PhD years in Spain, he has most recently received the IEEE CESEI 2014-2017 Award. Granted by the Spanish Chapter of the IEEE Education Society (CESEI), the award identifies the Best Doctoral Thesis in 2017 related to research and technological applications in the field of education within the disciplines of the IEEE. He has also most recently received the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award – Academic year 2017/2018 granted by the University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) and the eMadrid 2018 Award to the best doctoral thesis related to research and development on educational technologies.
But this is not all, earlier in 2018, Ruipérez was given one of the six prizes awarded nationally within the category ‘Young Computer Researchers’ by the Spanish Computer Science Association (SCIE) – BBVA Foundation 2018. This award recognized his contributions to the application of artificial intelligence techniques and data analysis in online education environments (MOOCs). He was also one of the recipients of a COIT/AEIT Award in the category of Best Doctoral Theses 2018, winning the Fundación Telefónica Award to the Best Doctoral Thesis in Technology and Education. Finally, his alma mater gave him the Excellence Award 2018 in the modality of ‘Alumni’, distinguishing his remarkable professional development since he obtained his PhD in May 2017.
José Antonio’s impressive career development goes back to 2015, when he received three awards for the master’s thesis he prepared in the first year of his doctoral studies. Not surprisingly, at the close of 2018 the main newspaper of his Spanish hometown ‘La Verdad de Murcia’ identified Ruipérez as one of the twenty most noteworthy persons from Murcia in 2018 due to the above accomplishments. But this doesn’t end here. Ruipérez has commenced 2019 with renewed impulse: he has won a Juan de la Cierva Training Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, a competitive 2-year funding opportunity to further his passion to enhance human knowledge on how we learn. This fellowship grants him the opportunity to steer his career towards a return to Spain. Whatever he decides, for the time being he plans to continue working on the application of data science to large scale free online courses and to game-based environments.