Tag Archives: knewton team

Meet the Video Team: Ian Parker, Multimedia Man

In this post, meet Ian Parker, a member of the video and product team.

Name:

Ian Parker

Position:

Multimedia Man

What were you up to before you came to Knewton?

Freelance video production, producing British web TV, editing at a film company, teaching high school math

What part of your job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I’m really happy with the way the Hack Day documentary turned out. I’m also proud of the video production pipeline behind our screencast + green screen videos.

What are you working on now?

Making preparations so our video platform can handle tons of content from 3rd party publishers.

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

I’m a big advocate for media literacy and DIY culture. Those interests led to me starting a fun side project called the Goddamn Cobras Collaborative with some friends. We think DIY is great, but DIO (Do It Ourselves) as a community is even better! We make videos, theater, food and throw events as a means of connecting techies, foodies, urban farmers, and other crafty people doing important things in the city.

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

Greenpoint in North Brooklyn. I’ve been there for almost 3 years now, and to me it has always felt like the whole neighborhood is one big hidden startup incubator (I like startups). It’s close enough to Manhattan’s energy but insular enough to keep me sane. But mainly it’s because of Peter Pan’s donuts.

Meet the Marketing Team: Andrew Tayo, Partnership Account Manager

This week in Knewton Peeps, meet Andrew Tayo, part of the Marketing and Business Development team.

Name:

Andrew Tayo

Position:

Partnership Account Manager

What were you up to before you came to Knewton?

I used to work for another, though perhaps more accurate former, NYC startup called the Theladders.com. I did account management there for our F1000 clients, helping boost engagement and keep the relationships warm for renewal. I also worked on ecosystem security processes and automated feed management.

What’s your background/what was your path to Knewton?

Me finding my way to Knewton was one of those happy accidents of the universe. I applied on a whim, from a public job posting no less, mostly because I found the site’s copy quirky and entertaining and Jose’s bio compelling. However, once I was in the room, Chris and Effie blew me away with the grander vision: creating a scalable and open platform, built on adaptive learning technology and data mining, to power educators throughout the world. I was sold on the spot.

What part of the job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I enjoy the degree of autonomy I have with which to pursue projects and opportunities to find partners that help enhance the Knewton brand and spread our products to new customers. I also spend a lot of time optimizing our customer service ops. Our efforts there resulted in us providing a much higher level of service with a bigger student base.

What are you working on now?

Working on corporate outreach projects, a mobile partnership, web-based lead gen, and furthering our reach to likely customer segments.

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

I have an uncanny ability to recognize faces and voices. I never forget a face, but never remember a name. Go figure.

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

I like running up to Carl Schurz Park on the UES. I’m from here, so I have a soft spot for all things NYC.

Meet the Tech Team: Daniel Straus, QA Lead

In this Knewton Peeps post, meet Daniel Straus, tech team member.

Position (and what you actually do):

QA Lead – Ensure the quality of all Knewton’s products (GMAT/SAT/LSAT/Adaptive Learning) (i.e. make sure stuff works right). :)

When/how did you start programming?

I have a degree in Computer Science, but started as a phone support person when I came out of school a long long time ago. I’ve been doing QA related development for the past 5 years.

What have you built that you’re most proud of?

A testing framework for Knewton using the new Selenium 2 platform to support our new adaptive learning products (which also works in the cloud to allow us to test things in parallel)

What are you working on now?

Working on building out our testing frame work for the new Knewton products as they come online

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

Music is a passion (especially punk rock).

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

Union Sq and Brighton Beach.

Meet the Video Team: Dave Ingber, Master Teacher

In this installment of Knewton Peeps, meet Dave Ingber, a member of the video and product team and our of our esteemed instructors.

Name:

David Ingber

Position:

Master Teacher

What were you up to before you came to Knewton?

Doing stand-up comedy around the city and writing musicals (I still do
the second one) (Ed. note: Check out one of Dave’s musicals, Fantasy Football: The Musical? here!)

What part of your job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I taught a seminar for the SAT one time about getting “unstuck” on math questions. We’d tackle an extremely tricky problem simply by “doing something,” as opposed to freezing up, as many test-takers do. After the class was over, every student in the class sent me a very nice message, either about how much fun they had or how much more confident they felt. I really, really love teaching.

What are you working on now?

I am on the team that creates 5-10 minute math videos that can be watched by college students who need extra help while working through their textbooks.

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

I write musicals! Also, I can make the drip sound that Cameron makes in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

Riverside Park, near my apartment on the Upper West Side.

Meet the Biz Dev Team: Nina Reed, Research Coordinator

Here’s another Knewton Peeps post, in which we give one of our team members his or her moment in the sun. This week, we cordially introduce you to Nina Reed, a member of the Business Development team here at Knewton.

Name:

Nina Reed

Position:

Research Coordinator

What were you up to before you came to Knewton?

I worked for a company that provided tutoring to students under No Child Left Behind.

What’s your background/what was your path to Knewton?

I’m an elementary school teacher originally.

What part of the job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I really enjoy learning about how different schools and organizations are working to make education better for everyone.

What are you working on now?

I’m slowly but surely developing post-secondary education fact sheets for each state.

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

I sew, crochet, and cook.

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

The green markets and any place with a body of water.

Meet the Content Team: Christina Yu, Content Developer

Some of our team members got jealous of all the Student Spotlight posts we’ve been doing, so we agreed to give them their own 15 minutes of fame. In this week’s Knewton Peeps post, check out Christina Yu, a rockstar member of the Content Team (and blogger extraordinaire).

Name:

Christina Yu

Position (and what you actually do):

I’m a Content Developer. I write blog posts and copy for the website as well as educational content for our math and verbal courses. I also run Knerd Week, maintain some of our social media interfaces and provide essay feedback to students through our academic support system. In the future, I’ll be working a sort of dual content/marketing role for our new APIs. I basically provide a “public face” for the APIs, and a point person for people who want to use them.

What were you up to before you came to Knewton?

I was an Adjunct Professor of English at Kean University and Southern Connecticut State. I’m also the founder and publisher of Cavalier (check it out at www.myliterarycouture.com), a nationally distributed print and online magazine featuring both established and emerging voices. I’m proud to say we’ve published winners and finalists of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Strangely enough, I was also working as a nightclub promoter (hey, I had to survive) at the same. The funny thing is that I was able to use the nightclub-promotion skills to plan events and fundraisers for my magazine.

What part of your job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I love writing blog posts and working with social media! It’s so inherently fun, and I get to learn about the world and what people are doing out there. Sometimes it’s just pure wonder. A total immersion in humanness. I got to write a post recently about 7 social media tools to use in the classroom, and I felt like a kid with new toys!

What I like best about my job overall is that we’re encouraged to solve problems and figure out how to make things better, faster, etc. We’re encouraged to be entrepreneurial, roll up our sleeves, and make things happen. It can be frustrating to be a young person trapped in a bureaucratic organization where you feel like all your skills, creativity, and energy are going to waste. Knewton is not like that.

What are you working on now?

I’m wrapping my head around the Knewton APIs!

Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?

Well, I like to think of myself as a serious writer of literary fiction. My stories have been published in journals nationwide, including New Letters, Fence, Indiana Review, BOMB, New Delta Review, etc. I’ve written three books–a novel, a collection of short stories, and a collection of very short pieces. I like to relax by indulging in theater, dance, art museums, craft fairs, and used bookstores. I do not like to exercise!

What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?

Truthfully, I don’t have one. I like Soho, East Village, West Village, pretty much everywhere including cheesy tourist spots like Times Square. I like contrasts, plunging into different worlds.