Recently, I was a Teaching Assistant for Computer Systems and Programming, ECE 220, at the University of Illinois, from January of 2015 through May 2016. The course concentrated on C, C++ and assembly programming, paying particular attention to the details of the hardware system (befitting a Computer Engineering course). In this course I was lucky enough to teach two of the weekly programming studios, as well as developing assignments for a class of over 300 students. My students were kind enough to rate me as “Outstanding” for the three semesters I taught ECE 220 (http://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/measurement-evaluation/teaching-evaluation/teaching-evaluations-(ices)/teachers-ranked-as-excellent).
From 2008-2009, I was first a volunteer undergraduate, then a graduate Teaching Assistant for ECE 110, Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering. I concentrated on managing and assessing a new peer-led team learning program, under the guidance of Professor Michael Loui. In this cooperative learning pedagogy, students work in small teams on problems which emphasize conceptual thinking and problem solving methods. The teams are typically supervised by a peer who recently completed the class. The emphasis is on cooperative problem solving by the group, rather than lectures or working on problem sets. The assessment of this program also led to peer reviewed publications to disseminate the results of the program.
In the Summer of 2008, I was also a Teaching Assistant at the Digital Signal Processing Summer School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition to grading assignments and assisting with homeworks, I helped install, configure, and teach a real-time DSP laboratory in assembly. We utilized TI 55x DSPs along with LabView virtual instruments to provide a low-cost, but effective, laboratory experience.
I’ve also served as a mentor to many undergraduates at this point, often alongside my colleagues James Norton and David Jun. I’ve mentored senior design teams, independent study students, and undergraduate researchers. Projects have ranged from audio calibration in Labview to LED array control using an FPGA. Not every project has been successful, but it is a very enjoyable experience. I’ve certainly learned a lot about how to help students develop interesting, useful, and realistic project goals.
I’ve been able to participate in three Brain Awareness Days hosted by the Neuroscience Program in Champaign-Urbana. These events aim to reach the public (especially students) and introduce them to the study of the nervous system. I’ve presented booths on the visual and auditory system, along with complementary demos of computer vision and audio processing.
The College of Engineering also hosts an Engineering Open House for the public, which I’ve participated in several times. My projects have included a computer vision based Pong game, a large-scale multitouch computer screen, and more auditory and visual processing demos. These projects have been well received by the attendees and judges.