Meet Our Mentors – Michael Yang

Michael is studying Computer Science at Stanford and has a passion for education. He is originally from Charlottesville and started coding when he was a kid himself, so is able to relate to his extremely smart students who are in need of a challenge!

When did you start to code?

In sixth grade, my dad bought me a coding book and it was all over from there. I fell in love pretty quickly with making simple desktop applications and games, including one about a flying potato named Willy. Over time that passion has expanded to include algorithms, languages, and AI; so I’m ready to engage at any level my students need!

Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?

Computer science is about more than fun apps or logical thinking, although it is both these things. Computer science teaches abstract ways of thinking, design, and approaching problems which are transferable to life outside of the screen. It’s also fun! Kids stand to benefit from code because they are at a receptive point in life and the earlier they are introduced to these concepts, the more opportunity they have to change their lives as a result.

What do you find rewarding about teaching kids to code?

I love discovering good explanations that work. I love when concepts click, and I love when I get to share in the pride of a student who has just finished a rewarding project.