Dean Blank is a TA for CS 6291: Embedded Systems Optimization. Keep reading to learn more about Dean!
What do you do professionally?
I am a Senior Software Engineer at Capital One, on a Credit Card Technology team.
Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I TA for OMSCS because I enjoy helping students reach their goals. There are numerous professors and TAs that have contributed to my success and fueled my passion for learning in the OMSCS program; I want to provide that same positive experience for other students in the program. I see myself teaching throughout my career, and hope to become an adjunct professor someday in my spare time.
What is your advice for future OMSCS students?
I recommend connecting with classmates on LinkedIn and other platforms like Slack, Whatsapp, etc. Although OMSCS is a remote program, it’s possible to create strong friendships with classmates. Having friends in the program can motivate you to work through difficult assignments, help you learn difficult course concepts through open discussions, and even provide assistance when applying for full-time jobs. For example, last year, I referred a classmate from HPCA (CS 6290) to a senior engineer role at my company and they got the job. It felt rewarding to help a fellow classmate with their career, and creating strong relationships in the OMSCS program made this possible.
What is your best study hack?
My most useful study hack is a technique I use to retain information extremely well. This technique consists of writing down ideas and speaking out loud during study sessions. For example, if I have to read 10 PowerPoint lectures before an exam, I will do so while writing down concepts on a scrap piece of paper and speaking the concepts out loud. I believe people can retain concepts better when they are written and spoken. This strategy has never failed me and has attributed to my success in taking college exams.