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I spent 23 years in the computing field prior to starting to teach fulltime at the college level. My industry experience was in both programming and database development. I began programming in FORTRAN and worked in the pharmaceutical industry doing scientific programming. I also learned how to be a database designer and administrator at my first job. Later I programmed in C and C++ for the telecommunications and grocery industries. Those jobs also required the use of various relational databases like Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server. My final job in industry involved the use of C++ and databases to create projects like a “print on demand” system for IBM, movie special effects software for Kodak, and a contract management system for Xerox.
I had spent much of the time while I was in industry teaching as an adjunct at local universities. I was approached by a former professor to join the information technology (IT) department at Rochester Institute of Technology. My prior experience was a good match for their program, so I ended up teaching various programming and database courses. When the IT department split into two separate groups, I went with the Interactive Games and Media program. I still teach programming and other computer related courses, but now these classes are geared towards the creation of video games. I also teach some game design classes.
Most of the teaching I have done has been at the college level. The majority of my students are freshmen. I do work with students one on one during office hours. This is when students come in with specific issues with the course content or with the assignments in the course. In general I like to have the students do some type of programming as part of the session. I view programming as being very similar to learning a musical instrument. If you just read about playing the violin, you won’t be able to actually do it. Programming works the same way. Unless you actually write code you really don’t know how to program. I also like to tie computing concepts back to events or activities the students may encounter daily. I've had a lot of success with these approaches over the years.
I am very used to dealing with students with ADD/ADHD as a result of teaching at RIT. In addition, one of my sons had ADD, another had ADHD, and a third had Aspergers Syndrome. So I have dealt with these conditions for the last 30 years.
I tend to run a very structured class and the students with learning disabilities tend to do well in my classes.
I am very familiar with the many challenges Aspergers Syndrome, since one of my sons has it. In addition, I teach classes where it is not unusual for several students to have Aspergers. I teach programming and other computer related courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I also took the training that my employer offers on teaching students with Aspergers.
I found that there are several approaches that help these students:
Clear Expectations: Making sure the students are clear on what is expected of them and what they can expect from me in a class.
Structure: Having a plan for a class makes it easier for all of the students to follow what is being covered.
Hands On Experience: It's not enough to just hear about a subject. You actually need to use what you have just learned. This could be through writing a program or solving some problems. It's the experience of actually doing it that helps the learning.
I spent 5 years working in C in a telecommunications firm in a UNIX environment. During that time, I developed a variety of programs, including some trouble ticket programs and a system for tracking annoyance calls that was used by our local phone company for many years. I also developed a check validation system for our local grocery chain in C.
I have spent the last four years teaching freshmen C# in our introductory programming courses. Course material includes advanced object oriented programming concepts and requires the students to perform a large amount of programming. (On average they write at least two programs per class period.)
I spent two and a half years working in C++ at Eastman Kodak, helping on their movie special effects software. I also wrote the digitalization software for a film and helped create a stand-alone package of software to support the transfer of images to computer storage.
I have taught programming at RIT for 14 years. Courses have ranged from the introduction to programming up to advanced programming concepts, like distributed application development. I am proficient in several programming languages and it's not unusual for me to teach in several different languages on any given day.
I have a computer science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. My main focus was on application development. Programming was done in C and C++. I also learned enough database to become a database administrator at my company.
I have been using Windows since version 3.1 came out. I am very familiar with the way the operating system works. Some of my graduate courses gave me the opportunity to see the underlying structure of the operating system.
Great tutor — Excellent explanations and very helpful for tough topics that are tough to grasp. Kevin's patient and walks you through problems you may need help understanding. ...
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