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Meet Your ACE CAs

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Our ACE CAs are graduate and professional students in the School of Engineering who are passionate teachers and intentional about fostering learning environments based on equity, purposeful engagement, and inclusive teaching practices. ACE CAs are selected from a highly competitive applicant pool where they have successfully demonstrated content expertise, dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and ability to implement inclusive teaching practices. 

Math 19ACEMath 20ACECME 100ACECME 102ACECS 100ACS 100BMS&E 120ACE
Math 21ACEMath 51ACECME 106ACECS 103ACECS 107ACE 
Math52ACEMath 53ACE CS 109ACECS 111ACE 
   CS 161ACE  

Lead ACE CAs

Celine Escarmant |
Celine Escarmant (any/all) is a current fifth year Coterminal Student earning their bachelor’s degree in Biomechanical Engineering and Masters’ in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. Their academic interests include the intersections of medicine and engineering, particularly in cardiology. She’s done research as a ChEM-H scholar in Zhenan Bao’s lab working with flexible, skin like materials for diagnostics. Currently, she is doing research in the Cardiovascular Biomechanics Computation Lab under Alison Marsden, where she focuses on using numerical methods to create patient specific models of the cardiovascular system. She continued her research with this lab after participating in the Cardiovascular Institute undergraduate research program. She spent her undergraduate years as an executive member of the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers (SBSE) , a Patient Health Navigator for Cardinal Free Clinics, a student lead for Seeds of Change, a Residential Assistant (RA) for Ujamaa. This year, she will be an Ethnic Theme Associate (ETA) for Zapata, the Lead Course Assistant for ACE, and the Regional Northern California Zone Chairperson for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Outside of this, she enjoys playing tennis, ping pong, and really any racket sport, watching and rewatching early episodes of Spongebob (will make at least reference per day), and singing along to any Beyoncè song. She attributes her family and friends for her continued growth, holding them close to her core. Overall, she is happy to join the ACE family as a LCA in order to explore diversity and inclusion in STEM. She is passionate about these topics and wants to ensure students get an opportunity to engage in it!

Teaching Philosophy: As a person of many intersecting identities, I understand how being in these classes at Stanford, despite having loved math and science, impacted my learning. When it comes to learning these topics, there has to be an understanding that not everyone has the same background, learning styles, passions, etc, and it is important to take that into consideration while teaching complex topics. I believe incorporating inclusive learning practices starts with the instructor themselves, thinking “why am I teaching this the way I am? What are some implicit biases I have? What did it feel like when I couldn’t understand a topic, made a mistake, etc.?” This is important to build empathy with the students as we’re creating the curriculum and taking into account what they go through. After reflecting as an instructor, the next steps include building a foundation. I believe that these topics are the language used to communicate how the world behaves around us. Learning a new language not only takes practice, but it also takes context. We have words and punctuations to build sentences to communicate our thoughts, the way we have operations and variables to build equations to uncover patterns we see in different fields. I want to see where student’s interests lie and showcase how these topics impact them. Students could expect practice, reflection, and collaboration!

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Alka Panda |
Alka (she/her) is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. Born and raised in India, Alka, moved to the US in 2016 to pursue her BS in Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, Alka has received immeasurable support from amazing mentors and now she tries to be that support for underclassmen. She has been an ACE CA for Math 19, 20 and CME 100 and hopes to bring the perspective of an experienced CA as well as an international student to the the role of Lead ACE CA. Alka believes it is an educator's responsibility to make sure that a student thrives in a classroom, engages with the material and meets the learning objectives of a class. She believes continued lack of equity in education in higher education can harm a student's career trajectory and hope that through ACE, students find a space to voice their doubts, questions and concerns that might be hindering them in their primary lectures. Outside of ACE and research, you can find Alka binging kdramas, reading books, cooking or exploring Costco.

Teaching Philosophy: When students join my class I am quite honest with them and let them know that I am here to support them and get them across the finish line. I focus heavily on the fundamentals and building early concepts and try to connect topics taught later in class to them. I often give a big picture view of what topics they can expect to see come up again in the classes they will take next and their real world applications. Most importantly, I try to create a judgement-free zone in my classes as well as in my office hours so students feel comfortable asking questions.

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Math ACE CAs

Mythri Paluri | Math 20ACE CA |
Mythri Paluri (pronouns: she/her) is a first year Master’s student in the Aeronautics & Astronautics department. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Aerospace Engineering, with a minor in Russian Language. She is passionate about helping students master the foundational skills to become the engineering leaders of tomorrow. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning new languages.

Teaching Philosophy: Mythri believes that all students have the inner flame to become exceptional engineers. Her class style is informal and expressive - she believes in getting to know her students and their backgrounds, and tailors her classes based on the needs of the students. She also connects with her students - serving as a mentor in addition to a CA. ACE students enrolling in her class can always expect a safe place to ask questions and be themselves.

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Lauren Gill | Math 21ACE CA |
Lauren (she/her) is a coterminal master’s student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, specializing in Sustainable Design & Construction. She also earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering. During her time as an undergrad at Stanford, Lauren was very involved in different campus communities, but her favorite was being a part of the executive board for the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers. She has extensive experience mentoring in different capacities and has tutored math since she was in high school. Lauren is very excited to be an ACE CA and to give back to the ACE community that was so helpful to her during her freshman and sophomore year. Outside of ACE, Lauren loves running, baking, traveling, and spending time with friends. She may or may not be known to bring baked goods to her ACE sectionees from time to time.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that no one should be penalized for needing additional help within the classroom. To that end, I strive to make my sections as welcoming as possible to questions big or small, and I always try to be conscious of the fact that everyone is coming from different math backgrounds and math experiences. In my section, there are many opportunities for small group work, and I encourage students to work together to gain not only a surface-level understanding, but to be able to explain to other students in the class as well. I encourage students to reach out to me at any point in the quarter if they are experiencing difficulties of any sort, as I want to be both an academic and moral support system for them.

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Darryl Thompson | Math 21ACE CA |
Darryl (he/him) is a coterminal master's student in the Management Science & Engineering department on the Health Systems Modeling track. In his undergraduate career, he was a Stanford Human Biology major focused on the Economics of Health Systems and Policy. Having immensely benefited from the ACE program himself, Darryl is excited to join the ACE family to help set his students up for success in his companion course and at Stanford as well. In his free time, Darryl enjoys watching and playing soccer aka the "real football', watching hours of ESPN FC on YouTube, playing the piano, running, and listening to gospel music and some Afrobeats.

Teaching Philosophy: I aim to create an enabling environment for all my students to thrive. In discussion sections, I cultivate a safe space for students to ask any questions without fear of judgment, to make mistakes and learn from them, and to overall enjoy the learning experience. I understand that students come from different backgrounds and as such, may have varying comfort levels with class concepts and more generally the rigor of college classes. As a result, I endeavor to meet students where they are, and provide them with all the support they need to ace their classes. I introduce students to resources that I believe would be helpful for the class, and their learning journeys at Stanford overall. I also incorporate check-ins and get-to-know-you activities into our outline for discussion sections to build a class community where we can get to know one another a bit better during the course of the quarter.

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Rahemeen Ahmed | Math 51ACE CA | 
Rahemeen Ahmed (she/her) is a second-year M.S. student in structural engineering, with a focus on disaster resilience for communities. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in civil engineering and worked as a consultant prior to coming to graduate school. She aspires to provide an environment through which every student can effectively learn and recognizes the value that such experiences had in her own university life, which is what prompted her to apply to become as ACE CA.

Teaching Philosophy: Rahemeen aims to create a collaborative and inclusive learning environment through which everyone feels comfortable asking questions and sharing their thoughts - you are here to learn and that's exactly what we are aiming to do, together. She welcomes feedback, especially if it'll help create a better experience for students and as such, her request is that students actively let her know if she can facilitate differently so that she can incorporate that into her teaching style as soon as possible.

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Aby Jose | Math 51ACE CA |
Aby (he/him) is a second year graduate student pursuing his Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. His field of interest lies in control theory and autonomous robotics. He completed his BTech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Roorkee, in India in 2020. Aby loves to play soccer, and watch Formula 1 and the Premier League in his free time. He was a TA for the Physics department last year, where he discovered his passion for teaching. He really loves the classroom environment where he can help answer the questions students might be too intimidated to ask professors. As an ACE CA, he hopes to help students to not only understand their course material better, but also to develop their collaborative and communication skills.

Teaching Philosophy: In my session, I typically begin with an overview of the concepts taught during the weeks lectures, while also briefly going over the topics needed to work on the upcoming homework. It is not a lecture, rather a more dynamic conversation between my students and I, where I try to gauge misconceptions and address them through questions and problem solving. I encourage group problem-solving activities in the sections to foster peer-to-peer learning and build teamwork skills. A lot of times, we learn from working with our peers, so I hope to provide space for that, while also giving personal attention to every student, working with them as we solve problems together.

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Samuel Chian | CME 100ACE CA |
Samuel (Sam) Chian (He/Him/His) is a first-year Masters student in Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME) concentrating in Data Science and hopes to pursue a career in the financial services. He grew up in Singapore and recently graduated from Northwestern University (NU) with a Double Major in Applied Mathematics and Statistics and was a Calculus Teaching Assistant (TA) there. Having being a TA before, he always found great joy in helping students break down complicated concepts into smaller digestible chunks, and ultimately become more confident in their mathematical ability. He believes that while everyone can succeed in mathematics, not everyone is given equal resources and hopes that through ACE, some of this gap can be bridged. Also, noting that not everyone learns the same way, he hopes that in this smaller classroom setting everyone can learn in the way that suits them the best. Beyond the classroom, Sam has worked briefly in consulting, as well as quantitative research and is happy to share more about his experiences with students. In his free time, you might catch him throwing some weights overhead in the gym or simply taking a leisurely stroll around campus. He is also a self-declared coffee snob and hopes to ultimately become a Dairy Queen franchisee at some point in his life.

Teaching Philosophy: In the classroom, I truly believe that no question is a stupid question. I know that many times one might feel that they have a doubt that no one else has. However, in my experiences, often if a point is unclear to you, it is unclear to at least a few other people as well. I hope that through my section, students will be able to freely ask questions, no matter how simple they think it might be. When I teach, I hope to ensure that students not only arrive at the correct answer, but also understand the fundamental concepts behind them. As such, be prepared for me to ask you a lot of questions too; I want to understand your doubts and help you to understand the concepts to reach the final answer. In general, other than going through course material and ensuring people understand them, I hope that my section will be a low-pressure environment where people feel welcomed, seen, and heard so that they will be able to have open discussions with the entire class so everyone can communally learn together.

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Ecy King | CS 100A CA |
Ecy King is a co-term student in Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction) who studied SymSys for her undergrad, concentrating in Human-Centered AI. She was born in Scotland, raised in Fresno and Clovis in California’s Central Valley, and her family hails from Sierra Leone. Kushɛ! She’s enjoyed being a part of the CS198 Section Leading community, serving in student government as a class president, writing for the Stanford Daily, studying abroad, and having amazing conversations with friends in different communities across campus. Recently, she wrote and illustrated an educational CS106A and CS106B-themed comic called Bit by Bit. She’s really excited to share it with the world through the Stanford University Press :)! Ecy is excited to be an ACE CA. In a lot of ways, it is a dream teaching job, being able to bring life and appreciation to computer science at a point where many are just beginning to explore the subject and wonder how they will fit in the Stanford CS world. Her love of teaching CS106, designing helpful course content, and seeing people thrive in a learning context drew her to the ACE program. She aims to provide a friendly introduction to the subject, support, and enthusiasm such that others can experience the full joys and their full potential in learning computer science. In her free time, Ecy enjoys doodling, Fractal Gridding, making music, and interesting conversations that last way past midnight.

Teaching Philosophy: For me, the ideal learning environment is one where someone is able to bring their full self into the classroom. This includes their intellectual curiosity and questions, their personality and ways of learning, their confidence and sense of belonging, in addition to having an open mind and desire to learn. Given this, fostering an environment where people are comfortable talking and making mistakes is essential. Beginning classes with icebreakers gets students speaking, familiar with each other, and okay sharing other aspects of their personality. Pausing for questions is necessary too. Through questions, we clear up misconceptions and further our understanding (yay!). I also “warm-call”. This involves solving a problem together as a class and providing classwide support to anyone if they are unsure of something. In CS, it’s especially important to be able to feel comfortable not getting something right and being committed to growing through that. Learning is indeed an iterative process! Making learning fun and engaging is also a priority of mine. This may include teamwork in class, student teaching, visual learning, and gamification. CS106A also moves fast (thanks quarter system!) and being able to bridge conceptual jumps in interesting ways— be it worksheets, demonstrations, or additional activities— is a part of my teaching style. I’ve learned in psych classes the importance of having a growth mindset and grit; I’ve learned from personal experiences how difficult that can actually be, especially as someone who can be quick to doubt herself in such intimidating environments. Because of that, I also value relatability, demystifying the learning journey, and providing encouragement. I also treasure feedback and continuous improvement. As I am teaching, I am also learning how best to serve students personally, academically, and holistically. It is a shared learning journey, and as with anything, I will do my best :)!

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Stepan (Stephan) Sharkov | CS100B ACE CA | stpshrkv@stanford.eduStephan (he/him) is a second-year coterm/master's student from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He is pursuing his master's in Management Science and Engineering, focusing on Technology and Engineering Management. This past June, he graduated with a Computer Science degree, in which he specialized in Artificial Intelligence, as well as pursued a minor in Economics. Stephan is very interested in applications of Artificial Intelligence, especially in social networks, economics, and improving everyday experiences. He has previously interned as a Software Engineer and intends to pursue a career in this role for a while before potentially returning to academia. Stephan loves teaching, he was a CA for CS229 this past summer and he was part of CS198 for 2 years where he taught CS106A/B/AX. But most importantly, he is very excited to expand his teaching experience with CS161A. Stephan initially struggled at Stanford and CS as it was his first time having an education in English, but he eventually got better at it with the support of his friends and Stanford. Throughout his career, Stephan found CS161 content super helpful. He is very excited to be part of the teaching team for the class and contribute to the algorithms learning experience for all students.

Teaching Philosophy: It is important for me to develop an environment where students feel welcomed, represented, and comfortable. I genuinely believe that everybody can succeed in Computer Science, but it is important to acknowledge and provide additional resources to those who need them to succeed. In my section, I would like to create a safe space where everyone feels comfortable asking any questions, because that is a very important part of mastering the material, and there are no bad questions! I intend to use examples that are familiar to people from any background so that everyone can relate closely to the problem and not spend time learning prior information. Every quarter I foster the community among the students and try to give them an opportunity to learn more about each other and make friends, as I personally benefited a lot from the help I was able to receive from my friends in the same classes.

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Ryan Guan | CS103ACE CA |
Ryan (he/they) is a Computer Science coterm student in his fifth year at Stanford, specializing in theory and computer security. He has been teaching computer science since 2020, including section leading for CS 106A/B/AX and holding office hours for 100B ACE and 107. He's extremely excited to help ACE students tackle CS 103: he loves supporting students one-on-one and untangling new concepts, and he hopes to convey his enthusiasm for the material in the process! A lifelong Bay Area resident, Ryan enjoys baking with Stanford Challah and making art.

Teaching Philosophy: My first goal is to make each section worthwhile. Section will emphasize practical skills, such as how to approach new math problems and structure proofs. We'll review topics from the previous week, work on practice problems in small groups, and discuss problems together as a large group. I'm committed to encouraging a supportive, respectful environment where uncertainty is okay and everyone feels comfortable asking questions. I also welcome feedback to adapt my teaching style to students' needs. My second goal is to provide consistent support outside of section. While 103 can be an abstract and challenging course, I want to help you understand the concepts however I can. I truly believe that you can succeed no matter how much experience you have at the start of the quarter. My hope is for students to leave 103 ACE with not only a better understanding of the material but also confidence in their mathematical ability!

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Jessica Yu | CS 107ACE CA |
Jessica Yu (she/her) is a first-year coterm at Stanford from Portland, OR. She is pursuing an M.S. in Computer Science with a focus on Information Management & Analytics, building on her Systems track B.S. Her interests in the domains of systems and security are driven by a desire to understand the design choices underpinning modern computer architecture. Jessica discovered her passion for teaching in the CS core when she joined the CS198 program in Fall 2021. She loves the unique position of core classes within students' academic journeys, as they serve as some of the most foundational building blocks of CS. She has since section led for CS106A/CS106B/CS161A, and loves the warm communities that flourish within the small classroom environment of section in the 106 and ACE programs. She is super excited to return to the 106B teaching team and support students through 100B ACE! In her free time, Jessica enjoys outdoorsy activities like nature photography and hiking, though she is currently attempting to dabble in the world of introductory perfumery.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy centers around creating a supportive learning environment where everyone feels comfortable, included, and respected. CS106B covers some of the most fundamental and often challenging concepts in computer science, and for that reason it can both an exciting and an intimidating class. Our sections will assume no prior experience and be structured as a lecture recap followed by small group/class-wide practice problems. I’ll aim to break down concepts covered in class and provide additional examples, putting emphasis on understanding the thought process behind approaching a problem and exploring various problem-solving methods. Questions are welcome and encouraged: ask questions often and know that you will never be judged (in fact, you might find that questions you thought were “simple” have convoluted answers that stretch outside the scope of the class!). Most importantly, this class is about you, and I'm committed to tailoring the learning experience to your needs and preferences. I'll seek ongoing feedback to understand what is/isn’t helpful in order to ensure the class aligns with your learning goals. I understand that everyone learns differently, and my goal is also to make sure every student feels supported individually through office hours, check-ins, and more. I’ll also aim to help cultivate a strong sense of community within our section as I believe learning from one another is a vital part of the educational process (and it makes things a lot more fun). Through 100B we'll navigate the challenges of CS106B together and I hope everyone leaves with a deeper understanding of computer science + a strong sense of accomplishment!

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Michelle Qin | CS 109ACE CA |
Michelle (she/her) is in her 5th year at Stanford, pursuing her B.S. and M.S. in CS on the AI track. The reason she's continued on the same track is because she loves learning about AI! In addition to taking several AI classes at Stanford, she has experiences as a research assistant for a medical AI project and as an AI/ML intern at Apple. Michelle's especially excited to teach CS109A because it is such an important class for starting one's journey in learning AI. Michelle is motivated to be an ACE CA because she believes in the power that mentorship and community can have in helping a person grow and succeed as a student, no matter what background they come from. Besides teaching, Michelle enjoys learning to cook and exploring the outdoors!

Teaching Philosophy: In a CS106A section that I previously taught, a student told me, "A person from my dorm finished the homework in a third of the time I did." In response, I said, "In order to run, you first have to learn how to walk" and I think this captures my teaching philosophy. First of all, I believe that you can produce high quality and efficient code. But, we first need to work together to build a strong foundation through clearly understanding concepts from every angle - and this takes time and effort! As such, I encourage a classroom environment that balances structure, organization, and clearly communicated lectures with less formal space to ask questions of any kind or bring up any issue. One of the best ways to learn is to solve problems, and so I try my best to prepare exercises and problems intended to make you think hard. We will encounter hurdles, as that is natural in the process of learning. Therefore, above all, I want to foster a growth mindset in my section around the belief that through our efforts, we will become masters of the material.

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Trip Master | CS111ACE CA |
Trip (he/him) is a second year coterm in Computer Science with a concentration in Computer Systems. His undergraduate specialization was Computer Engineering. He enjoys low-level computing because he thinks computers are "magic boxes" and is determined to figure out exactly how they work. A native of Staten Island NY, Trip didn’t have much exposure to Computer Science before coming to Stanford, but after taking CS106A, he was drawn to the field because of the CS198 Section Leading program. He soon realized that his passion for Computer Science was only matched by his love of teaching, and he spent much of his time as an undergraduate as a Section Leader for CS106B. For Trip, CS111A is a dream-job, because it allows him to combine his love for teaching with his love for computer systems. To that end, Trip can’t wait to get back into the classroom and resume in-person teaching! Trip is also an avid musician, and he sings in the a cappella group Fleet Street as well as in Stanford’s Chamber Chorale.

Teaching Philosophy: I am committed to fostering a classroom environment where everyone feels comfortable learning and participating. Although this is easier said than done, I’m excited to employ some strategies I’ve used in the past few years that I have found success with. First and foremost, I have found that acknowledging the difficult and demanding nature of Stanford’s technical classes can go a long way in instilling confidence within students. This acknowledgement is twofold: on one hand, frequent student check-ins and affirmations establish a strong communicative bridge between student and instructor. On the other side of the coin, it is the teacher’s obligation to establish a culture (usually done by example) where use of jargon and flaunting one’s technical privilege are prohibited. I would say that my teaching style is high-energy, but I strive to meet each of my students at their optimal engagement levels. I hope that students can find some amusement (and motivation, ideally) in my enthusiasm that I show for systems material, and by making my classroom a safe place, I hope to make my lessons as enjoyable as they are educational.

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