I am a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Computational Media (A hybrid degree between Liberal Arts and Computer Science), with a focus in Intelligence and Game Studies. I am working towards getting into the Digital Media Masters Program at Georgia Tech as well, with a focus on Game Artificial Intelligence. I also studied and did research into Augmented Reality and other Interactive Media technologies. Throughout my five years in college, I was a Teaching Assistant (and even Head TA) in various Computer Science classes, holding office hours weekly and helping to write and plan course material in 1st year, 2nd year, and 4th year level courses. If I had to pick a favorite subject to teach, it would have to be Game Design and Programming, as that is one of my own passions. What really drives me to teach is helping other people achieve in spite of obstacles they find themselves facing, helping them find techniques to learning that they can use, and helping them achieve success through their own power. In turn, I have the chance to improve my own knowledge and understanding of the subjects through helping them. I am a vary adaptable tutor, willing to try many different modes and methodologies of teaching to help a student understand the underlying principles of subjects, rather than memorization (unless it is called for). As for interests and hobbies, I like to help design Video Games and Tabletop Role-Playing Games and play them, and help running fan conventions (such as MomoCon or DragonCon) across the Southeast.
Georgia Institute of Technology - BS, Computational Media
Georgia Institute of Technology - MS, Digital Media
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
Technology and Computer Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that anyone can learn anything, and you just have to find the right way to learn. I try and focus on finding methods for students to understand and solve problems rather than just memorize the process. For me, to be a better student you must understand the "why" before the "how."
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first thing would be to have a casual conversation, getting to know how they work currently, their experiences with other tutors (if applicable), and then getting to know them on a more personal basis, thus finding stuff I can relate to them (analogies and such). Then I would start to talk to them to find their weaknesses in their subject, come up with a game plan and what they would like me to help with, and set a schedule.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By using and applying different teaching methods, I try and focus on the student's ability to understand and solve the problem. How you approach and tackle a problem can mean a world of difference. My job is to help them understand what tools they have in their problem-solving toolbox, so to speak.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By always providing constructive criticism. This shows that not only are they doing a good job in improving, but it helps them understand that they have the power to improve themselves, and can continue pushing forward.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try and design problems or situations to help the student better understand the scenarios in which the skill or concept is being used, as in "Why do you want to use this? Why do I need to know this?" Then I'd move into situational adaptation, such as "Okay, here is an obvious situation where we would use this. The basest of base cases." and moving to "Okay, this problem uses this technique, but where is it used? Explain to me how you would use the concept." From there, a student then can go onto mixing concepts and skills, and applying it when needed.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This would come up in the initial meeting, so I would try and help them in the way they are most comfortable, helping them whenever needed in terms of the reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Always have an open mind, be adaptable, have a clear understanding of the student's goals, and get to know them a little bit personally to help them along. You also must be willing to learn yourself throughout the process, as you will be stumped at problems that you will have to figure out yourself, and you must adapt to help solve it.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Through finding applications of the subject that they are interested in. For example, if a student is into photography, you could tailor an assignment to programming Andy Warhol-like Posterization, or how grayscale actually works.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
For most cases, multiple choice questions will suffice, but I prefer to give them working questions that they can write out, talking aloud as they do, and solve the problem. This way I can not only see if they understand the material, but help find additional problems that they may have.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I mostly use online resources, as for most people today they are easily accessed and are necessary for Computer Science. I also use past assignments and material that I have gathered from my own classes on the subject.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It's all about little victories. Many little victories lead to the big victory of understanding the subject. Also, using assignments and questions that have visible outcomes that the student can see for themselves without the tutor evaluating it.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Mostly from talking with them about the subject, helping them decipher their misconceptions with the subject, and seeing through practical applications on where their problems with the subject lie.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Through constant feedback from the student as they answer my questions. The types of questions a student asks can help guide a tutor's understanding of the problems they are facing and allow them to adapt.