Mike showed talent for programming early, teaching himself machine language in the fifth grade when there weren’t many home computers available (in 1979). He went on to win 10th place in the Science Talent Search, a national competition for high school students. He then got a degree in computer science from Caltech and worked for JPL/NASA for 16 years.
But coding is not his only interest. He’s passionate about what makes a good teacher. He has taken hundreds of hours of training in a system of mindfulness (called the Feldenkrais method) that is also good instruction in how people learn. Mike doesn’t just teach his junior high and high school students coding, but also effective learning strategies, such as awareness without judgment, embracing mistakes, and getting past self-criticism. He knows that patience and unconditional support is key to good teaching.