TA Spotlight: Heath Murphy

Each week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Heath Murphy, who TAs CS 6035: Introduction to Information Security.


What do you do professionally?
I’m the director of architecture engineering for HMB, an IT services consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio. I help our clients solve their business problems with technology.

Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I want to give back. The program is challenging yet very rewarding. I was helped by many other TAs on my journey in the OMSCS program and want to pay it forward.

What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?
Take time to learn and understand the languages and platforms required for each course ahead of time. The program is tough, really tough. Throughout my career, I gravitated to web development on the .Net platform. Other students will have their go-to language or platform of choice. What I learned very quickly is that you need to break out of your comfort zone in the program or you’re not going to make it. Be willing and eager to learn languages and platforms ahead of the classes you’ll need them for. I’ll use an example from CS6035, which is the class that I TA. We have many students that come in with a strong math/Python background, so they excel at several of our projects but struggle mightily in the projects that require C or web technologies (JavaScript, html, PHP). Most students find it difficult to both learn the basics while also tackling the concepts we’re trying to teach within the project itself. Start early and pick these up ahead of the class if possible.

What's your favorite memory from your time in or working with OMSCS so far?
Finishing the algorithms class, my final one, and then making the trip down to Atlanta for graduation. I graduated in the second-ever OMSCS class, and it was really special to be down on campus. I highly recommend those considering it to take a few days off of work and visit Atlanta and personally walk to receive your diploma. Did I mention that the algorithms class was hard? Beware!