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Born in Ohio, but raised in Scarborough, Karthik Kangasabapathy has always had a passion for education. While studying Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, he began to realize that many of the education and career decisions being made by young people were often shaped by external factors as opposed to their own passions, causing them to take paths that led them to unintended destinations. Throughout his career, he has worked to help students discover what they are truly passionate about. Karthik works for Innovation First International, where he is responsible for exciting young people about STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts & Mathematics) education, via participation in the VEX Robotics Competition. He was a lead author for the award winning Autodesk VEX Curriculum, and has presented seminars across North America on both robotics education and decision making. Since 2006, he has been designing competition robotics games that have been played by over 20,000 teams of middle and high school students across the globe. He has won numerous awards for his dedication to furthering robotics education, including the prestigious Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for exemplary mentoring and being a positive role model for high school students through the FIRST Robotics Competition. He also serves as the Master of Ceremonies of various international robotics events, having worked with media personalities such Mythbusters' Grant Imahara and Kari Byron.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)