About Me

My name is Adam Blank, and I am a Lecturer in the CSE department at UW.

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, machine learning, human computation, and collaboration to improve the way that we teach computer scientists at the collegiate level.

As of February 2014, here's my teaching statement and research statement.

Documents

If you're visiting this page, you might be interested in one or several of the documents I've written.

LaTeX Tutorial. 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

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

Lectures

Below is a sampling of some lectures I've given in the past. In many of the classes I have taught, the lecture slides have served as course notes, and I often use "pauses", in which partial slides appear during the lecture. The versions below have all the pauses removed for easier offline reading. I have many more lectures on similar topics, and they are available by request. If you read any of these, and find them useful, please send me e-mail! I'd love to hear from you!

Functions. This is another 15-151 lecture which motivates and discusses various important function properties. For fun: 𝔼 F:N->[0-9]

Asymptotic Analysis. This is, yet again, another 15-151 lecture that motivates asymptotic notation, gives examples of the "tree method", and derives the merge sort recurrence.

Finite State Machines. This is a 15-251 (guest) lecture that discusses Deterministic Finite Automata (DFAs). It uses turing machines and regular expressions as motivation.

LSB Steganography. This is a lecture to an introductory CS class that introduces binary representation, image representation, very basic steganography, and the PPM file format. It includes a PDF of the lecture, a ZIP of stubs in Java, and some sample images in PPM to decode.

Office Hours

Courses

Winter 2015 (UW)
CSE 143: Computer Programming II
(Instructor)
CSE 143H: 143 Honors Seminar
(Instructor)
Autumn 2014 (UW)
CSE 311: Foundations of Computing I
(Instructor)
CSE 143H: 143 Honors Seminar
(Instructor)
Fall 2013 (CMU)
15-151: Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
(Instructor, Course Designer)
Fall 2012 (CMU)
15-151: Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
(Instructor, Course Designer)
Fall 2011 (CMU)
15-131: Great Practical Ideas for Computer Scientists
(Instructor, Course Designer)