Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Professor Perry Samson pitches idea at Shark Tank: Edu Edition

Posted: March 29, 2016

Professor Perry Samson pitches idea at Shark Tank: Edu Edition Professor Perry Samson

At the South by Southwest Edu Conference, The Chronicle of Higher Education hosted an event called “Shark Tank: Edu Edition” in which four innovators pitched their ideas for improving higher education.

Professor Perry Samson was one of the innovators. He pitched a system that promotes active learning using location-tracking technology.

“The world is full of very complex problems,” Samson said at the event. “I teach weather and climate and have for a long time. Trying to teach to these students about the complexities in weather and climate is a challenge. What I’ve done as part of a NASA grant is we’ve created a new technology at the University of Michigan, which is going to come on something about the size of a cellphone. With that, I’m able to locate you in the room here, down to the centimeter. The value of that is that now I can have you become data points in a large, complex system, and by standing up and walking around the room here, you can now participate in a model.”

Samson developed the idea as part of the education and public outreach effort for NASA’s CYGNSS (Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System) mission. The project is funded by NASA and by an M-Cubed grant, and Michigan Engineering Professors Mark Moldwin of Climate and Space and Lauro Ojeda of Mechanical Engineering are collaborators.

Unlike the ABC television show Shark Tank, the event did not give innovators the opportunity to earn investments. Instead, the intention was “to showcase and probe a set of ideas that tackle key issues in higher education today,” according to The Chronicle.

To read more about Samson’s idea, please visit

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