Computer Sciences Dept.

Matt Sinclair

Assistant Professor, Computer Science sinclair 'at' cs 'dot' wisc 'dot' edu
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I believe that teaching is a very important part of working in academia. My beliefs about teaching have been shaped by my experiences as a CS and ECE student. Fundamentally, my goal as an instructor (or a teaching assistant) is to help students become life-long learners. I have three pillars of my teaching philosophy: engage students, develop a rapport with students, and be prepared and clear. This pillars provide students with a framework to succeed and become lifelong learners. My full teaching statement is available here.

As a graduate student, I received the CS Department's Outstanding TA Award and was twice recognized by the University of Illinois as one of the top TAs campus-wide (selected based on the student's TA evaluations). I have also been selected to help run the TA training for new CS/ECE TAs at both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois. To continue improving as a teacher, I completed a Graduate Teaching Certicate from the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. I have also taken a course on effective pedagogy (EOL 585), joined the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), and attended the ASEE Annual Conference.

Teaching Experience:

In the Fall 2009 semester, I was a TA for ECE 376 - Electronics & Electronic Circuits at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ECE 376 is an introductory course designed for non-ECE students to learn about various electrical concepts such as Boolean logic, Ohm's Law, KCL & KVL, and various other concepts. I was a lab TA for this course, and I ran four lab sections. The main goal of the labs was to reinforce the topics covered in lecture.

In the Spring 2014 semester I was the TA for CS598-SVA: Heterogeneous Computing: Scaling the Power Wall. CS598-SVA is a graduate level course at the University of Illinois that is designed to bring together graduate students from different areas of the field to discuss how to create more efficient heterogeneous systems. Since this was the first time the course was offered, I was able to contribute significantly to the content and format of the course in addition to my normal TA duties. For my work in this class I was recognized by the CS Department as an Outstanding TA and by the university as one of the top TAs (selected based on the student's TA evaluations).

In the Spring 2016 semester I was the TA for CS 433: Computer System Organization. CS 433 is an upper-level undergraduate course at the University of Illinois that introduced more advanced computer architecture topics such as branch prediction, instruction level parallelism, and cache coherence. As one of the two TAs for the course, I held office hours, coordinated grading of the homework assignments, and lectured when the professor was out of town. With the other TA, I also helped create and check the homework assignments and exams, and graded the exams. For my work in this class, I was again recognized by the university as one of the top TAs (campus-wide) based on my student's evaluations.

 
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