He designed a course called Big History which covers nearly 14 billion years of history from the Big Bang to the internet and beyond.

It gives students a wide-angle look at the universe and humanity's presence on the cosmic timeline, by combining the sciences, history and economics into one cohesive story.

Mr Gates has been so inspired by Professor Christian's work he has proposed a partnership to expand his teachings to all Australian and US high schools and, ultimately, classrooms around the world.

The course has already transformed history lessons for Year 10 students at Sydney's Redlands High School.