Tum Chaturapruek is on a mission…
to make STEM opportunities limitless
Sorathan “Tum” Chaturapruek ’14 was awarded a full scholarship from his native Thailand to attend Harvey Mudd College and received the Giovanni Borrelli Mathematics Fellowship. He competed in the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest and ranked 14th among nearly 4,300 students participating in the national Putnam Mathematical Competition.
Now, he’s turning his talents to MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses intended to bring higher education to a broader audience. Chaturapruek said, “My interest in MOOCs started when I took an online machine learning course for free. I would love to share that same kind of opportunity with other people.”
For his capstone project, he’s working with Elly Schofield ’13, Professor Michael Erlinger and others at the College to provide a new kind of MOOC. Rather than guiding students in self-directed learning, the Harvey Mudd MOOCs offer classroom resources for teachers. Chaturapruek designed the Web page for the first MOOC, which teaches programming basics. His responsibilities also include deploying the Web platform and improving the existing curriculum.
“My team will provide a ready-to-go course, complete with lesson plans. This will allow many more middle and high school teachers to teach computer science,” he said. “The MOOC project can open up STEM education to more students, including those from underprivileged groups. I believe the potential benefits of MOOCs are limitless.”