Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Chemical Engineering)
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Master's)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (PhD)
The essence of my teaching philosophy is to engage each and every student so that each ultimately attains a solid understanding of the course material. I strive to have every student develop the analytical and quantitative skills required to become successful practitioners of the subject matter taught. A key aspect of my teaching style is to clearly bridge from one concept to another while stressing connections between concepts and how a given concept embeds in a broader context. I also like to highlight the historical place of information. I believe doing so augments its value and retention. Yet, I am known for humorous elements in my lectures as well.
My paramount teaching objective is to comprehensively and effectively teach the subject matter of the course. I employ a three part strategy to achieve this goal. As is critical for the successful mastery of mathematics and engineering, as well as most science, I focus on getting my student(s) to comprehend quantitative relations that give rigor to the field. I strive to have each student become skilled at appropriately applying such relations to achieve solutions. I also discuss the phenomenological and qualitative importance of topics in the field. One of my greatest assets is my adeptness at crafting visualizations that transform complexity to simplicity and common experience. I embrace the fact, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
I earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 having very much enjoyed earning a superb and rigorous education. My passion for learning motivated me to take a wide breadth of classes in several different disciplines not required for my major: math, science and psychology classes. In fact, with only 2 more psychology classes, I would have earned a minor in the field. Similarly, in earning my masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, I enjoyed taking classes that well complemented and supplemented my chemical engineering education. Such classes fortified my physical understanding of surface chemistry, the area in which I conducted my doctoral research, but also opened my mind to the synergistic benefit of being interdisciplinary minded.
Since earning my PhD from the University of Michigan in chemical engineering in December 1998, I have worked at NASA Glenn research center in Cleveland, OH and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. I have conducted original research and published in the areas of surface chemistry, chemical species detection, sensor technology, fuel cells, and catalysis.
I have decades of teaching experience that began with peer tutoring in the 7th grade. With that opportunity, and the inner fulfillment that came with it, I knew that I was meant to be an educator. I have both designed and taught courses at the collegiate level as well as for K-12. Great joy rushes over me when my student has that Eureka! moment evidenced by an assessed ability to comprehend and correctly apply course content. My previous teaching experience includes having taught courses standard in any chemical engineering curriculum as well as more novel ones. For example, I developed the course content for and taught an entry collegiate course on bridging from science knowledge to engineering application. I so look forward to assisting you in your learning journey.
The essence of my teaching philosophy is to engage each and every student so that each ultimately attains a solid understanding of the course material. I strive to have every student develop the analytical and quantitative skills required to become successful practitioners of the subject matter taught. A key aspect of my teaching style is to
My son is not the most focused student; however, Valarie kept him on task. He was working, laughing, and learning. I could see his confidence increase after each section.
I look forward to getting to future lessons- at this rate he will be caught up in no time.
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My qualifications for teaching the C++ computer programming language include experience with writing straightforward programs in the language as well as more advanced object-oriented programs. The latter type programs are essential components of C++ programs which are portable and have public user interfaces. Other supporting credentials include my inherent analytical problem solving abilities which have been honed over more than a two decade long engineering career. Further, my ability to vividly visualize abstract concepts, a key & necessary skill in mastering C++ program writing, equips me to help students along in their personal development of the same ability.
My adeptness at assisting others to understand and write source code in the C++ programming language is rooted in the fact that I understand C++ as a ‘mixed’ programming language. C++ is plentiful with ‘high-level’ programming language that is close to spoken word but also includes ‘low-level’ language that allows technical reference to the 0’s and 1’s (binary) language of computers. The latter aspect of the C++ language enables direct manipulation of information stored in the hardware of a computer’s memory.
Further, I understand that a major attribute of C++ programming is achieving data abstraction-the separation of how a data type is used from its internal coding as well as which user interface calls upon it. The same is true for C++ data storage types. In addition, C++ has mechanisms to establish relationships between data types and ‘data holders’. More advanced C++ programming requires a programmer to comprehend the latter so that portable programs can be written that are user modifiable. When the student advances to writing such programs, an understanding of how to shield aspects of the coded objects as private from those accessible to the public is necessary.
In working with a student to learn to write programs in the C++ programming language, I plan to speak about the source code as the construct for establishing the flow of control throughout the program. I also plan to stress how the syntax of the C++ language enables a programmer to write efficient programs that are modular and portable. Further, I will explain how elements of the language are used to construct a virtual space for information which is partitioned in such a way that information can be stored and retrieved from assigned locations within that space.
Hopefully, my uniquely constructed mental tools/instruments for comprehending the C++ language will also be highly effective at assisting others to learn the language. In particular, I plan to use analogies to assist and accelerate the rate of comprehension. For example, I found thinking of composing the source code as creating the framework for a home as useful. Then, I think of a function ‘call’ by the source code from a designated library like retrieving an item from a local storage bin, using it as needed & designed, then returning it to the bin once done. No need to ‘clutter’ the home (source code) with such infrequently used items.