Computer Science Tutor Reunion
“To me, it's not a tutor reunion, it's a family reunion.”
That's how Anu Mupparthi (BS '08, MS '11) described her experience at the recent computer science tutor reunion June 7 on campus. "I come back to the people who made me who I am," said Mupparthi, who now works in the Google+ photo group. She is one of the 170 alumni of the tutor program who came back to UC San Diego for their second-ever reunion.
"Any engineer can write code," said Stuart Moskovics, also a former tutor (BS '96, MS '00). The difference between a regular engineer and a great engineer is the ability to teach what they know, and that's one of the skills tutors gain, explained Moskovics, now a Qualcomm employee.
Tutors are stationed in undergraduate labs, where they provide one-on-one and small-group mentoring. Students in introductory classes get help at crucial moments; tutors develop marketable leadership and teaching skills; and the entire department benefits from a stronger sense of community. Tutors work for Susan Marx, Rick Ord and Gary Gillespie (The latter two are CSE alumni and served as tutors themselves.)
(L-R) Kylie Taitano, Eliah Overbey, Anu Mupparthi (BS '08, MS '11) and Gabriela Ponce. See more photos at: http://bit.ly/18tQ2Nj
"You go out into the world and you realize how much further along you are than other people," said Chad Martin (BS '08), who tutored for Gillespie. "I've been working for a while, and I really appreciate my education."
The current students who presented their video game demos for CSE 125 just prior to the reunion impressed Taurin Tan-atichat (BS '06, MS '08). A member of the Jacobs School Alumni Council, Tan-atichat thinks an even better generation of computer science graduates is on the way.
Rick Ord and Gary Gillespie inspired Ojas Sitapara (BS '04), now at Intuit, to come to the reunion. "Gary and Rick create an environment amongst tutors in their classes that made you feel connected to other students."
"This really is a family," said Ord, who recounted the story of an exam he gave on a finals-week Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Instead of grading alone all night, as he imagined, tutors showed up at Round Table to help. Ord and his tutors did the grading as a team.
As part of the Inspiring Imaginations initiative, the computer science department created the CSE Tutor Challenge with the hope of raising $250,000 for the tutor program. The department will match all gifts for the tutor program 1:1 up to a total of $125,000. Many former tutors have already stepped up, including Taner Halicioglu (BS '96) who recently made a $25,000 gift to the program.
Take the challenge, and make a gift online at: http://bit.ly/17gFaTo