What is going on here?

General purpose

This site is primarily a portfolio to showcase online services offered through Utterberg Data & Development (U:D/D) but the blog component in particular is a platform for documenting my experience with various languages, programs, and projects.

Motivation

My background includes (among other things) a B.S. in Mathematics from a liberal arts college and an M.Ed. in Education Research from a large city university. In building an Utterberg brand, my goal is to combine a variety of my skills and passions into a more cohesive vision. In order to achieve this, I have been extending my formal programming experience (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, R, Maple, C++/Visual Basic, and SQL) with self-directed reviews of these and with online coursework in languages/platforms that are new for me (SAS, Python, Swift, PHP, and Ruby). One of the reasons I became a teacher was the joy of helping people, so hopefully this digital paper trail will prove helpful to someone out there.

Professional development goals

My contract for the 2017-2018 school year is with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) as a high school math teacher. Unless the district explicitly approves an internal transition to a data science or research administration position, I am committed to completing this contract. However, I am increasingly certain that classroom teaching is not an effective use of my skills, nor is it a sustainable career for my hyper-analytical personality. If I am still teaching full-time in the 2018-2019 school year, it will be because of user error, not by design.

Though I am leaving the profession in this capacity, I do have a fierce passion for our education system. My main focus is on the fundamental disconnect between how it is currently structured and what structure it needs to have in order to meet more modern needs. My dream would be to gain employment that would allow me to research quantitative and qualitative trends in this domain, publish commentary or recommend models based on the results, and thus contribute to cultural or political improvements in the way we grow the minds of our youth and train them for effective participation in civics and the economy. I want to explore and explain why so many teachers are leaving the profession for other sectors because I believe the same underlying causes are doing a disservice to our students and to our culture.

My pragmatic side realizes the improbablity of arriving at this goal immediately, but the implementation of data science and analytics must be second nature in order for me to structure and perform such research to appropriately high standards. I already have a solid foundation in human empathy, object-oriented programming, project management, and mathematical modeling; my next step is to build experience in applied data science or software engineering to tie these skills together.

Notes: I am also handy with WordPress, G Suite, and Office365. A short-term option of mine is to freelance in web development and app integration consulting on the side or in the summer. This is mostly out of need, though I do enjoy building and maintaining websites. My other “for fun” project is Linux. Two old PCs are still alive and kicking in my office, so I have been playing with different Linux distributions and hope to find more time to spend on that project this summer.

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