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The course staff includes the instructor, graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and undergraduate learning assistants (LAs).

If you want to contact us, please use Piazza rather than email or other means of communication; this helps us:

  • keep track of whether your query has been answered
  • better share the workload to answer your questions more quickly


Prof K (Yekaterina Kharitonova) she/they

Schedule a meeting with me

Hi everyone! I am really excited about teaching this class again, since every time we offer it, we add new ways to present the introductory Computer Science concepts in a more intuitive, fun and/or creative way.

When I am not sharing my passion for Computer Science and Data Science, you can find me drinking copious amounts of tea and exploring various hobbies, such as learning how to draw on my tablet.

This term, I’m going to be on the other side of the world (12 time zones ahead of Santa Barbara), but I look forward to connecting with all of you and helping you learn.

Teaching Assistants

Kimia Afshari She/her

As a Master’s student in Computer Science, I would like to welcome everybody to CSW8 and congratulate you on starting your programming with one of the most powerful programming languages. I use Python to work on my area of interest, including but not limited to Machine Learning and its intersections with Computer Vision. I am passionate about driverless vehicles and hope to have the opportunity to get into one of the autonomous driving companies to achieve my goal.

It may be your first time coding with a programming language and you may feel frustrated but don’t worry! You can reach me during my office hours to ask your questions and address your concerns.

Ajit Jadhav him/his

Hi everyone! Welcome to CS8! A bit about me - I am a second-year master’s student in the CS department. I completed my Bachelor’s in CS in 2020. I have experience developing AI systems primarily using Python. Some of the projects I have worked on include developing backend systems for AI-based chatbot automation systems and also, system for monitoring errors in automated ML training pipelines.

I would love to help students learn to code and work on interesting projects. Hope you guys have a great time learning with this course!

Nikunj Baid Him/his

Hey Everyone! Hope you are doing well and safe! I am a graduate student in the CS department, with a Bachelors’ Degree in the same field. I have around three years of industry experience working as a python/java developer. Python has been my go-to language for many of the utilities that I have built to date, both professionally and for personal use cases. I have some fascinating stories to share about the cool stuff that me and my friends did back during our undergrad days using python and I believe that would also open various doors for you to explore with this beautiful and yet so simple language! I like traveling, working out, and binge-watching for leisure. I am looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you better! Feel free to reach out to me for anything you would want to discuss, be it related to the course or anything random. Hope you guys have a great time learning with this course!

Pengfei Xu him/his

Hey there! Welcome to CS8! My name is Pengfei Xu, a graduate student in Computer Science department. I worked as a machine learning researcher at Ford and Katana Graph. I enjoyed learning facinating topics in computer science like programming languages, compilers and operating systems. Hope you guys can see how charming coding is by starting with some hands-on experience in this course.

In my spare time, I love to play ball games and video games. I am also a meat-lover, a traveller and a MJ fan. Looking forward to meet you all in the winter quarter!

Xinyu Liu she/her

Hi guys, welcome to CS8! This is Xinyu, a second-year Master’s student in Computer Science, also one of your TAs this quarter. This could be the first coding class for some of you and if so, you may see a steep learning curve at the beginning, but no worries, as we will try our best to help you get it done, and I promise, coding is not that hard :)

Yifan Yang him/his

Hi! My name is Yifan and I’m really excited to be the TA of CS8 this quater. I’m a second year PhD student in Computer Science, with the focus on the field of Online Convex Optimization, Trustworthy AI and Bayesian Inference. I obtained my bachelor degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China in 2021.

In free time, I like some outdoor activity, like hiking, climbing or kayaking. I also enjoy photography, like landscape, urban photography. So sometimes, I would like to take camera to the downtown, seaside or the mountain top to capture the beautiful scenery. I’d like to know new friends. Feel free to join my office hour to have a talk, I can help you with your course work or just discuss about some interesting things, for both research or life!

Carina Quan She/her

Hi everyone! I am a first-year master’s student in the Computer Science department. I also got my Bachelor’s degree from UCSB. This is my second time being the TA for CSW8. I am very excited to work with you all this quarter. If you have any questions, like how to take the online course, course content, or other CS courses at UCSB, you can always come and ask me:)

This course is an introductory coding class. You may feel like overwhelming at the beginning of the course. Please be confident in yourself and I am here to help you all.

In my free time, I like traveling with my family and friend. I always look forward to finding new things during my trip. I am looking forward to knowing you all!

Undergraduate Learning Assistants

Peter Boyland Him/his They/their

Hello everyone! I’m Peter Faith Boyland, in my third year as a PhD student in the Computer Science Department. I am working on Rust and in particular conversion of existing code from C/C++ into Rust to increase its safety. I really enjoy mentoring students, and I think it’s especially important in remote classes like this one that you can get help from us in understanding the basic concepts of programming. In my spare time, I like to play boardgames, both simple and complex, and reading in all sorts of genres, including non-computer science academic fields.

Gita Supramaniam she/her

Hi everyone! I’m Gita and I’m a third-year Computer Science student. This is my first quarter being a ULA, so I am looking forward to be involved with this class. This may be a first coding class for some of you, which is very exciting! I hope to be of help throughout the class the same way that others have helped me.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, drawing, and exploring Santa Barbara. I look forward to meeting everyone!

Jiabao Ji Him/his

Hi! I’m a first year Ph.D. student working with Prof. Shiyu Chang. This is my first time as a TA at UCSB and I’m very excited to be involved in CS8. Coding is super fun, especially when you are writing Python :), hope you can enjoy it!

Shamita Gurusu She/her

Hello Everyone! My name is Shamita and I am one of your ULA’s for CS8 this quarter! I am a 2nd year computer science major and this is my first quarter as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant!

I am beyond excited to be working with all you guys this quarter and am already proud of you for deciding to venture out and explore computer science by taking CS8! Although, I didn’t take CS8 at UCSB, I remember when I took my first CS class and how intimidating it could get when all these new CS concepts and conventions were being thrown at me. You may find some concepts challenging and might struggle with grasping the fundamentals the first time around but that is perfectly ok. Please never hesitate or feel intimidated to reach out to me with any questions you may have!

I specifically chose to be a ULA for CS8 because I want to help show students curious about CS how wonderful and supportive the CS community is and how versatile CS can be. Personally, I am fascinated by the intersectionality between the humanities and computer science. I have always wanted to help build a more equitable and sustainable society, so when I discovered how powerful of a tool CS could be in making this change, I was hooked and fell in love with CS. Currently, I am working with Professor Chang and his NLP team as a part of the Early Research Scholars Program(ERSP) to help make the education system more equitable by building a personalized learning model that adapts to each student’s individual learning needs rather than teaching the same generalized content that fails to take into account different learning backgrounds.

Feel free to drop by my office hours or message me via Piazza if you have any questions or would just like someone to talk to! I am always happy to help :)

Yunhao Luo him/his

Hi everyone! My name is Yunhao, and I am a third-year CS major. This is my second quarter being a ULA. I am super excited to meet you all and help you through this amazing course. Like many of you, CS 8 was the very first CS class I ever took at UCSB. I do believe that this class helped me to lay a solid foundation in understanding some of the most fundamental concepts in computing. I really enjoyed this class. There were definitely obstacles throughout the journey, especially when trying to understand a concept for the first time or being stuck on a bug for so long. However, I and other TAs/ULAs are here to support you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help! This is also why I love being a ULA and computer science major because no matter whether it’s in school or out there in the real world, we have always been trying to create a supportive community. I really love python. Learning it at the early stage of my CS journey quickly enlarged my skillset. The abundant python packages allowed me to explore different fields like data science and app development even when I was still new to programming. Some of the packages are also easy to learn and super handy in a lot of places. The most recent little project I did was a simple desktop game using a python GUI package. I’d love to show off to anyone who is interested and talk about it! Outside of programming, I love hiking, playing basketball, and just going for a walk. I am also a fan of aviation. I love everything about airplanes, and hope I can one day get my private license! I look forward to an incredible quarter with you all!