2010 Commencement Speaker:
Larry Sanger ’91

Larry SangerLarry Sanger, Reed class of 1991, began changing the way people share and find information while working on Nupedia, a free online encyclopedia to which the public was invited to contribute. Sanger was editor-in-chief of Nupedia until 2002. While there, he cofounded Wikipedia, which has become the largest encyclopedia in the world.

Sanger graduated from Reed with a degree in philosophy and went on to earn a PhD in the same discipline from Ohio State University in 2000. In addition to his work with Nupedia and Wikipedia, Sanger has taught philosophy at the university level and was Director of Collaborative Projects for the Digital Universe Foundation from 2005 to 2006. He has written and lectured extensively on the role of knowledge in society and the problem of quality control in user-generated content websites, such as Wikipedia and YouTube.

In March 2007, Sanger launched Citizendium, another online encyclopedia project. Sanger believes that by adding expert oversight to submitted content, the new model will prove a more reliable resource for information than Wikipedia. Citizendium currently hosts 121 expert-approved articles with claims of quality and accuracy that rival the best, printed encyclopedias.

Sanger is executive director of WatchKnow.org, a non-profit educational video service. The site references more than 15,000 videos hosted elsewhere on the Web and categorizes them by subject matter, education level, and field of study. WatchKnow.org is free to use and intended as a resource for students, parents, teachers, librarians, and everyone interested in the education of children.

When Sanger is not changing the way we share knowledge, he likes to play the Irish traditional fiddle and read to his little boy.