Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I always had the idea of teaching in the back of my mind. My parents were both educators, and the most meaningful part of my college experience was as a freshman dorm counselor. After spending twenty years as a software engineer and entrepreneur, I jumped at the opportunity to teach at the same private school that my eleven- and fifteen-year-old children were attending. I imagined that spending my day working with teenagers and hoping to be a positive contributor and influence would make a rewarding second career. It has turned out to be even better than I hoped.
Who was your mentor growing up?
One important mentor for me was Bruce Donovan, a dean of students at Brown University, who also oversaw the freshman residential counseling program. He was a scholar of the classics who modeled how a serious academician could also be a caring person concerned about the emotional and psychological well-being of his students (all 1000+ freshmen at Brown) as well as their intellectual needs.
What is your teaching philosophy?
The subjects that I teach, such as statistics, computer science, and math, are naturally fun and intrinsically interesting. I just try to let my students see the material through my eyes and to facilitate their enjoyment of interacting with the world through the lens of data and computing as much as I enjoy it. I also love creating a classroom where there is a sense of "us" and the students can feel my love for them and for our work.
I love bananas! I also love cara-cara oranges, but my 55-year-old stomach is becoming intolerant of the acidity. Oh the cruelty of aging!
Too many to name. Back to the Future is probably one of the most perfect movies ever made. So was Raiders of the Lost Ark. I also love Stand and Deliver.
Favorite thing to do in the summer time?
Communicating with parents about their children's math placement. Okay... maybe that is in second place ;) Traveling adventures with my wife is probably higher on the list.