Getting Help

If you have a general question that other students could potentially benefit from, considering posting on Piazza or Discord. On Piazza, you can also set your questions to private or anonymous as you see appropriate.

For logistical questions (such as extenuating circumstances and DRS accomodations), we strongly prefer that you send an email to cse373-staff@cs, which notifies the whole staff, so we can get back to you as quickly as possible. For sensitive situations, you can also email Aaron directly if you would feel more comfortable.

We are often available at other times by appointment, and we encourage you to schedule 1:1 appointments whenever you want to talk about concepts, grades, internships, or anything else.


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Aaron Johnston



Schedule 1:1 Meeting

I was born in the Seattle area, where I’ve lived ever since — and not wanting to break the streak, I did my undergrad in computer science here at UW. While taking introductory CS (CSE 142/143), I had excellent TAs who inspired me to give it a try, and I absolutely loved it! I’ve been TAing and teaching ever since. Learning about data structures was the point in my CS education where I realized CS can be used for just about anything, and I’m excited to share that with you this quarter! In the past I’ve also taught CSE 333 and co-taught CSE 390B.

CSE 373 is a really cool class, but it’s only the tip of the CS iceberg. Come chat if you want to talk about where you can take these concepts beyond this course! I especially love systems programming, compilers, and natural language processing. Outside of tech, I’m also a fan of biking, badminton, calligraphy, and Australian Shepherds.

Teaching Assistants

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Brian Chan



5th-year Master’s student; from Sunnyvale, California; likes rhythm games.

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Eric Fan




Schedule 1:1 Meeting

I was born in Bellevue, Washington and lived in Redmond for 13 years before moving next to the Lake in Sammamish! I was fortunate to have attended a STEM-focused high school, where I took 3 CS-related classes that really piqued my interest in what’s possible through computing! I also took a few engineering classes in high school, one of which I built an obstacle-avoiding robot car using Arduino. I thought that was the coolest thing ever at the time. Fast forward a couple years from high school, and here I am now, more excited than ever to study Computer Engineering at UW! Data Structures and Algorithms was a class I really enjoyed with the amount of creativity I could express in it, as well as how relevant this class is in our society today! I hope you will enjoy this class as much as I did. :)

I used to play a lot of badminton! I started playing badminton when I was around 13 years old. My parents encouraged me to find a sport to play, and after a few lessons at the Bellevue Badminton Club, I realized that I absolutely love this sport! I never expected badminton to be such an integral part of my life. With some hard work and a ton of luck throughout the years, I attained a national ranking of #2 in the Boys Singles Under 19 category. I still occasionally play badminton here and there in college (I played in the Husky Badminton Club), and I’ll likely be competing in Husky Open for the remaining years I’ll be at UW! Definitely hit me up if you’d like to play some badminton with me, as I always enjoy finding new people to play badminton with!

Besides badminton, I also enjoy solving various puzzles, most notably the Rubik’s cube! It’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile now, but I used to be able to solve the 3x3x3, 4x4x4, and the 5x5x5. I think puzzles and brain teasers in general are a ton of fun!

I’ll also be doing research in the Ubiquitous Computing Lab at the UW. Being physically active under quarantine has been quite challenging, so I’ll definitely be looking to get active by picking up badminton again, going for a run, or playing with my dog!

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Farrell Fileas




I was born in a city called Bandung, near the capital city of Indonesia and grew up in the capital city Jakarta. I came to Seattle to pursue my education in community college for 2 years before I transferred to UW in 2018. I was first exposed to CSE in community college!

Ask me to show you a magic trick (assuming if I have a deck of cards with me).

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Howard Xiao



Schedule 1:1 Meeting

Howdy! I am your neighborhood infrastructure TA. This summer, I am also a Software Engineering Intern at New Relic, working on automating disasters and mishaps.

I was born here and have lived here, here and here. CSE 373 is pretty much my favorite course in the entire university, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did and still do!

If you would prefer, I can also chat in Mandarin and extremely broken Cantonese.

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Joyce Elauria




I grew up across the Puget Sound in a town called Bremerton, where I attended community college before transferring to UW. I hadn’t taken a programming course since high school, but decided to revisit it again at UW after figuring out my original major (biochemistry) wasn’t the best for me (it was really late in my academic career – junior year!). Had a blast, and now I’m here!

I play Dungeons and Dragons, knit/crochet blankets n’ socks, longboard, and swim competitively – all while enjoying a dope cup of tea. Tell me about your adventures, crafts, cruises, and victories! None of my hobbies really go together, but you can ask me about the time where I tried to do all 4 at once!

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Keanu Vestil




I was born and raised in Southern California and I originally came to UW to study math. I took some programming classes in high school, but it wasn’t until UW that I found my passion for computer science. I’m currently a senior but I’ll be here next year for the 5th-year Master’s program.

Ask me about Husky Marching Band, computer security, video games, math rock, philosophy, TV shows, or learning new languages… or anything else! :)

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Leona Kazi




I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but have lived in Washington all my life. I never thought I would be interested in CSE until I took my first computer science course at UW (CSE 142) and ended up really enjoying the problem solving aspect within programming. This has led me to chase opportunities that allow me gain more exposure to this field, and that’s why I am super excited to be TA’ing for the second time this quarter for CSE 373!

Ask me about the Bachelor/Bachelorette, being a Resident Advisor, or Harry Potter. Also, I love exploring, going out and staying active, so I appreciate any suggestions or stories you have on things that you’ve done around Seattle!

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Melissa Hovik




I am currently a Master’s student at the UW Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. My CS and Human-Centered Design & Engineering coursework have provided unique opportunities to apply my diverse interests in STEM, arts, and social sciences to solving contemporary problems. I am currently pursuing a career as a CS Teaching Professor at Caltech following my graduation at UW this year.

In my free time, I’m either studying a new technology or programming language, solving logic puzzles, or finding new things to learn, all with fresh coffee in hand and my four-legged friend at my side.

Ask me: What have been some of your favorite moments as a TA or instructor at UW? What do you like to do in your free time? What is a common myth about CS (or college) that you’ve debunked while at UW? What are some other things outside of teaching/school that you’ve done with CS?

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Siddharth Iyer Vaidyanathan




I was born in India and lived there before coming to UW for grad school.

Ask me about what books/shows/movies I am reading/watching right now or anything else.

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Timothy Akintilo



I did my undergrad in Illinois and almost went to medical school before deciding to come to UW CSE.

I love listening to and playing music! My favorite genres as of late have been ambient and death metal.