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Luis von Ahn


Luis von Ahn is a Guatemalan entrepreneur and academic. He is co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular online language-learning platform, and an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Prior to Duolingo, Von Ahn is known for co-inventing the CAPTCHA, the world’s most ubiquitous computer security program used by hundreds of millions of people every day, and creating reCAPTCHA, a crowdsourcing technology used worldwide to digitize millions of books every year.

Von Ahn is a MacArthur Fellow and recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Presidential Early Career Award, among others. He is known worldwide as a pioneer in the fields of human computation and crowdsourcing.

Von Ahn holds a B.S. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) from Duke University and a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, where he has been an Associate Professor since the age of 25.

Von Ahn has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discovery, one of the Top Young Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review, and one of the 100 Most Innovative People in Business by FastCompany Magazine.


Project of Luis von Ahn

Created by crowdsourcing pioneer Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, Duolingo is known for its free, science­­-based language education platform selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year in 2013, by Google as Best of the Best for Android in 2013 and 2014, and by TechCrunch as Best Education Startup. With over 120 million users, Duolingo is by far the most popular way to learn languages online. The platform currently offers over 50 language courses, including Klingon and Esperanto.