Now in his third semester as a Bold Idea mentor, Karthik Velayutham mentors a small team of 13–15 year olds at the Frisco Athletic Center, who are just a few years younger than him.
Karthik is a Senior at Plano East Senior High School. With years of experience as a self- and school-taught programmer, he has his sights set on studying computer science in college.
We're fortunate to have him on the Bold Idea team, and it's clear that he has a talent for engaging young students in coding.
How did you become interested in tech and programming?
I became interested in tech and programming when my father first introduced me to computers as a young kid. I was hooked to the endless list of possibilities that I saw from the flux of binary. From then on I started learning C, Visual Basic, and other scripting languages.
What do you hope to study in college?
I'm planning on studying Computer Science with a double major in either Math or Statistics.
What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working with Rishabh on a cheaper, refreshable braille display that we hope to implement for visually impaired students.
What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
As a mentor I've learned a lot about programming itself. Teaching students concepts that I once saw to be so simple helped me realize that I did not fully understand concepts to the full extent. My most memorable moment would be when one of my students at Frisco, Jack, jumped up in excitement of his code working after he debugged it all on his own.
Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
I would definitely tell my younger self that the rubber duck method is the way to go.
Is there anything about our mission that really connects with you?
Teaching others isn't just a one sided thing. When we teach others and help them get better at something, we reinforce our own knowledge and begin to think in different perspectives that we may have not considered before.