Who We Are
PROGRAM: AdaGrad is a Massachusetts-based U.S nonprofit organization aiming to redefine the standards of computer education. A subject that is not typically covered in traditional curricula, computer science is rarely centralized; online programming courses either lack coverage of fundamental concepts, are costly, or fail to put the information in a greater context. Many aspiring computer scientists are discouraged by this lack of attainable resources.
These are issues that we hope to address through our unique education model. We place heavy emphasis on teaching students basic concepts, as this enables them to utilize them in various ways later on. Our educators are volunteers who simply enjoy what they do and are willing to share their expertise with others, which enables us to generate content free of charge. Lastly, we partner with other not-for-profit organizations in need of reliable software to give students a chance to immerse themselves in professional-level projects. This is a valuable experience that will undoubtedly give our students an edge over competitors in the job market.
What We Offer
Community. We understand that computer education doesn't have a one-size-fits-all solution; different ideas require different mindsets and methods of approach to execute. That's why, instead of relying on video tutorials, we develop a diverse group of mentors in the hopes that one might meet the needs of an individual. This personalized experience is something many organizations are unable to offer, but it's something we strive to achieve.
Centralization. Starting a project on your own can be daunting, and figuring out everything that you need is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Our team of mentors frequently publishes new content to cover all that we can, and they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
What is Program Adagrad?
In the world of AI, AdaGrad is a powerful gradient-based optimizer that many practitioners as a default setting, as it automatically tunes the learning rate. AdaGrad is short for Adaptive Gradient Algorithm. As the name suggests, it is an algorithm - and it's adaptive. AdaGrad is unique because it dynamically adapts its parameters based on prior observed data to improve the performance of a machine learning model. It works like a really good teacher who adjusts his lessons based on what the students are having trouble with.
So how does this relate to us? The goal of an optimization algorithm is to teach a model how to perform a specified task. Our goal is also to teach something to students: the confidence and skillsets required of professional developers. We want to offer students an adaptive learning experience similar to the likes of AdaGrad, in the sense that individuals can find assistance and unique opportunities suited to their needs.
What does this mean? It means that we won't use code notebooks nor guided examples, because teaching students to copy code from others isn't helpful in the long run. Instead, we will equip students with the tools that they need to build their own projects from the bottom up, then give them an opportunity to develop and volunteer those skills in a professional setting.
(Also, programada means 'programmed' in Spanish. How cool is that??)
Aaron Tian is a senior at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science @ WPI in Worcester, MA.
David is a senior at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the Treasurer and a member of the board of directors at Program Adagrad. Currently, he is helping to create Java curriculum for AP Computer Science A. In his free time, David enjoys losing to the lowest difficulty Mac chess bot, sleeping (sometimes), and getting stuck in traffic on the way home from school.
Diego Suchenski Loustaunau
Looking to join the team? Tell us about your skills and interests here: