Rick Trebino was born in 1954. His father completed high school and his mother the 8th grade. With his father’s death, his family was supported by welfare and later social security. At age 13, his life changed dramatically when, with the assistance of an inspired 8th-grade teacher, he received a full scholarship from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. With similar scholarship support, he received his B.A. from Harvard in 1977 and went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford. Later, at Sandia National Laboratories, he solved one of the most important previously unsolved problems in optical physics, the development of a technique for the complete measurement of ultrashort laser pulses, the shortest events ever created. In 1998, he accepted an Eminent-Scholar Chair at Georgia Tech, where he currently develops new techniques for ultrafast optics and, more recently, for education. He has received numerous prizes for his technical work, including the Society of Photo-Instrumentation Engineers’ (SPIE’s) Edgerton Prize and an R&D 100 award, and he has been an IEEE and Optical Society of America (OSA) Distinguished Lecturer. He also recently won the SPIE’s Yzuel Award and the OSA’s Beller Award (among others) for his pioneering contributions to education, specifically, the development of a potentially world-changing new crowd-sourced approach to education in all subjects and levels. He is a Fellow of four international scientific societies. He remains very happily married to his high-school sweetheart and the love of his life, Linda.