About Me

My name is Adam Blank, and I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at Caltech. My pronouns are they/them.

Mission

I am interested in the teaching and practice of Computer Science. My teaching drives everything that I do, and I love to try new techniques to help students learn in my courses. My research involves using technology, human computation, and collaboration to improve the way that we teach computer scientists at the collegiate level.

Option Representative

I am currently the Undergraduate CS Option Represenatative. For questions related to option administration, please e-mail Carmen Nemer-Sirois who is the option administrator. If you need to make an appointment with me related to my option representative duties, please see the section on "meeting with me" below.

CV & Teaching Statement

As of January 2018, here's my teaching statement and CV.

Contact Information

I can be reached via e-mail at blank at caltech.edu. If you want to meet with me, please see the section on "meeting with me" below rather than reaching out via e-mail.

Meeting with Me

Due to the online nature of this next term, meetings with me have changed slightly. You can see my schedule here.

Feel free to stop in whenever my door is open; I'm happy to meet with students whenever I have free time.

When requesting a private meeting with me, please make sure to explain in as much detail as possible why you are requesting it. I'll do my best to accommodate as many students as I can, but it's important for me to remember why I'm meeting with you.

If you would like to request a recommendation, please read this first.

If you would like to meet with me for any reason, please use this website.

Documents

LaTeX Tutorial (and the accompanying homework template). Many of the courses I've worked on have required that students submit their solutions using LaTeX; so, I wrote a short tutorial which also acts as a LaTeX reference.

Advice for new TAs. Back when I was TAing, I found that many first-time TAs had no idea what to expect. I've been told this document has helped some people. It offers advice for new TAs who want an idea of what pitfalls to avoid.

How to ask for help. I've found a really common issue for freshmen is that they get stuck for the very first time, and they aren't sure how to get help. This document outlines ways in which students can turn "getting stuck on homework" into a positive experience.

Research

I am also working on a visualizer for introductory Java programming courses that demonstrates recursion and references effectively. We're working on porting the old one to IntelliJ.

Research projects I have worked on in the past (and, for some, am still working on) include: More details can be found in my research statement and/or my Master's Thesis.