For the last ten years, Google has been sending Google in Residence teams to universities across the country to increase diversity within the tech community.
This year, Morehouse College students have their own Googler on campus helping with introductory computer science classes.
Utsav Lathia, a product manager on Google Lens, is spending the fall semester at Morehouse teaching coding, debugging, simple data structures, and how to work with large code bases.
As the semester gets underway, we wanted to hear first-hand what Lathia is doing on campus and how he thinks about the GIR program.
Below is a fun Q&A Lathia did for Hypepotamus in between teaching his classes:
Question: Tell us a bit about your own professional journey into the technology space. Why was it important for you to do something like Google In Residence?
Answer: I came into college not knowing what I wanted to major in. Taking a computer science course my freshman year really showed me how powerful technology is and how much I wanted to be in that space. Later in my college career at the University of Michigan, I went back and became a TA for the same CS course that had inspired me. I taught a discussion section where I fell in love with helping students get that lightbulb to go off in their head when they figure out how to accomplish something and that it is possible. At Google as a Product Manager, I got involved in programs where I could volunteer in the teaching space and really make an impact, which I loved. That’s what put this amazing program, Google In Residence, on my radar and where I was able to come to campus and design and teach a course at the level I am super passionate about, where students typically decide if tech is for them, like I did not too many years ago.
Q: Walk us through a typical day for you this semester on campus?
I’ll start my day with a lecture where I am teaching a new programming concept in an interactive way, keeping the students engaged while making sure they are learning the new material. In lecture, it won’t just be me talking, but I’ll get the students participating and even coding some new exercises. Then I might meet with a student from Morehouse, Spellman, or Clark who wants to chat about working in tech or has questions about how to prepare for an upcoming interview. I will have two more lectures. It’s great that the lectures are smaller classes so I can make sure all the students are engaged. After that I’ll have office hours where students can drop in to work on a homework problem or project, or if they want to talk through a concept they didn’t understand. I also teach a lab section where we work through harder coding problems together. Myself and my student TAs are there to help as the students get stuck. I sometimes will be involved in a student club that has an informational meeting, or I’ll head home to start prepping for the next day.
Q: How many students are you working with through your classes?
Want to see what other campus have a Google-in-Residence this year? You can learn more about the program and the selected campuses here.