Meet Dr. David Thornton, Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science

Meet Dr. David Thornton, Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science


(Music)>>What really got me into computer science and
gaming, was that ever since I was a kid I loved to play with electronics and see what
made them tick. And additionally of course like everyone else
I loved to play games. I was just lucky enough to get to play with
both in my actual career. JSU has a small class size. Our typical class size is around in the 20s. Which means that I know all my students names
in the first couple of weeks. I can give them a personalized set of instruction. I remember who they are after that semester,
and I can help them both with their further academic career and also their job in the
future. To engage my students one of the biggest things
I have to do is be entertaining and exciting. The concepts and the content will always come
secondary to getting the students actually interested in what you’re talking about. My classes are a little different than most
standard courses that you might think of. They’re not lecture based. They’re mostly the same pattern of teaching
a small concept and then practicing that concept probably on the actual device that we’re going
to use it on. The really key part and the most fun part
of doing it, is scaffolding the concepts just right so that they build up on top each other
and also building that gap just right so that most of them can jump over it with the right
amount of concentration, but it’s not boring and it’s not impossible. I probably take a lot more personal approach
to teaching now than I did when I first began; in part because, of our small class size here
at JSU I can do that. I have the luxury of getting the time to know
students and to help them succeed.

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