Teaching

Throughout my undergraduate career at Virginia Tech, I’ve had many opportunities to assist in the classroom.

Brief Teaching Philosophy:

Disseminating knowledge is just as important as creating knowledge. As society progresses further into the 21st century, new technologies enable us to deliver information in creative ways. As an educator, it is my responsibility to:

  • Utilize cutting-edge technology (Microsoft Education platforms, mixed digital media, etc.) to teach younger generations about engineering and its cultural impacts
  • Articulate not just the “how,” but the “why”
  • Foster a hands-on, active-learning classroom via demonstrations and regular engagement with other peers
  • Make my educational resources open-sourced and open-access to promote education worldwide
  • Champion educational change, from pedagogical approaches to curriculum reforms.

Classes I’ve Instructed/Served:

ME 2004: Engineering Analysis Using Numerical Methods (~350 students/semester); Fall 2019, Spring 2020

Catalog Description:
Numerical methods applied to engineering analysis with a design/lab studio. Numerical techniques including root finding, linear algebra, integration, ordinary differential equations, curve fitting, discrete Fourier transforms, optimization. Structured programming and iterative problem-solving using a high-level environment such as Matlab.

This unique class blends MATLAB programming with solving real engineering problems. It is the “gateway class” to almost every other class in VT’s undergraduate ME curriculum. I, along with the rest of the teaching team, migrated grading to an automated platform (MATLAB Grader) to provide students instant feedback on their assignments. The move was well received by students. Most importantly, it allowed us to spend more time focusing on teaching instead of grading. I prepared weekly coding demonstrations for my recitation sections and wrote 7 Final Exam questions that utilized the MATLAB Grader platform.

SPOT (VT’s anonymous end-of-semester teaching evaluation) Scores and Student Testimonial Excerpts:

  • The instructor presented the subject matter clearly. 5.82/6
  • The instructor provided feedback intended to improve my course performance. 5.82/6
  • Overall, the instructor’s teaching was effective. 5.84/6
  • “Jaisohn empathized with us as a fellow student and explained concepts in a way that put in perspective how useful it would be in the future and how to actually implement it.”
  • “He is always eager to help and grades everything on time. He responds quickly to questions about homework. Overall a great guy and would not have done well in the class without him.”
  • “He was very good at providing constructive feedback and teaching us to translate our problems from the statement to the coded solution.”

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UH 1054: Honors First-Year Seminar (11 students); Fall 2017

Catalog Description:
Introduction to the challenges, expectations, and opportunities in the Virginia Tech Honors College, including the philosophy of the VT-Shaped Student, the mission of the Honors College, creating an honors plan of study, working with student and faculty mentors, reflecting on personal development and wellness, and engaging with others across differences to form communities. Emphasis on personal, university, and local contexts and resources.

I was the sole instructor of a discussion-based seminar aimed at 11 first-semester freshmen in Virginia Tech’s Honors College. We discussed a variety of themes each week, such as effective communication strategies, tackling imposter syndrome, creating a 4-year academic plan, and how to to take advantage of opportunities offered by the Honors College. Each week, I assigned students a few resources (web articles, TED Talks, etc.) and asked them to write a reflection. I also created out-of-class Explorations, which encouraged them to familiarize themselves with the campus and Blacksburg. Some of my favorite Explorations included dining at a restaurant in downtown Blacksburg, visiting the Moss Arts Center, and attending a resume review workshop offered by the Smith Career Center. I had a fantastic time teaching this class and got to know the students well due to the small class size.

SPOT (VT’s anonymous end-of-semester teaching evaluation) Scores and Student Testimonial Excerpts:

  • The instructor presented the subject matter clearly. 5.67/6
  • The instructor provided feedback intended to improve my course performance. 5.78/6
  • Overall, the instructor’s teaching was effective. 5.78/6
  • “He was very relatable and understood how to explain the material in the way that we could understand it and implement it.”
  • “Jaisohn came up with various creative activities and assignments that fostered learning very well. Rather than strictly conforming to some kind of curriculum, I felt like I actually learned interesting things and had valuable experiences through Jaisohn’s activities and assignments.”
  • “I very much enjoyed having Jaisohn as an instructor. He was very friendly and supportive and an all-around good instructor. He always kept the class interesting, and other than being at a time that I wasn’t particularly fond of, I always looked forward to going to this class. I went to him personally with various questions multiple times, and he was always very helpful. Being a student, I felt like he could identify with me well, and he gave me good advice when I was seeking it. I really like Jaisohn and thought he did a great job of teaching this class.”

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PHYS 2205: General Physics (~200 students/semester); Fall 2017, Spring 2019

Catalog Description:
General physics course sequence for students in curricula other than physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering, who have not studied calculus. Applications of reasoning in the natural sciences using physical laws in a real-world context and in the student’s own discipline. Overview of intercultural and universal aspects of physics, and of human benefits of physics to address global challenges. 2205: mechanics, wave phenomena, fluids.

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PHYS 2305: Foundations of Physics I (~150 students/semester); Spring 2018, Fall 2018

Catalog Description:
Introductory sequence for students in physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Overview of intercultural contributions to physics and universal aspects of physics, and of human benefits of physics to address world-wide challenges. 2305: classical mechanics of translational and rotational motion, Newtonian gravitation, and thermal physics. 

In both PHYS classes, I prepared homework solutions, exam review sessions, and held office hours. I’ve enjoyed interacting with students and professors, and these opportunities helped me strengthen my own knowledge of physics as well. Having repeated exposure to these classes has molded my pedagogical approach to teaching; I emphasize knowing why a concept is important and its real-world applications.