Math professor aids students through online media

By Desiree Lopez

Many students at East Los Angeles College are unaware of the free services they can obtain.

One of the services offered is Professor Daniel Judge’s math streaming videos.

About seven years ago, former college president Earnest Moreno and vice president Dr. Richard Moyer asked Judge if he wanted to be a part in creating a distance learning math courses for students to use online.

The purpose was for students traveling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for an extended amount of time to get a chance to take online courses.

As a former “lost and confused” ELAC student, Judge did not know what to major in, but he knew he wanted to become a pilot.

However, after being accepted to Marine Officer Candidate School, Judge learned he had a depth perception problem stopping him from ever becoming a pilot.

This led him to take Pre-Calculus, Calculus 2 and 3 with the famous Jaime Escalante.

Escalante is famously known by the film “Stand and Deliver” based on his life and the way he provided help to students at Garfield High School.

Being a shy and quiet student, Judge never spoke to Escalante, until one day, Escalante was asked who was his best student.

“Daniel Judge. The guy just won’t give up,” Escalante said.

Escalante was the reason why Judge majored in math because he believed as many students do, “Math was only for smart people.” That lead him to start teaching at ELAC in the year 2000.

“Judge has a way of speaking and interpreting a subject that most people have found to be so complex, but he somehow finds a way to get it through you by making it understandable and enjoyable, and actually making you like math,” former Math 115 student Maria Marquez said.

This idea was also going to help the enrollment issue at ELAC at that time.

“The economy tanked and everyone went back to school, and there was no more need to help enrollment, and the idea to stream videos were no longer needed,” Judge said.

Although the business side of streaming videos had stopped, Judge believed the idea was a good one and it was something he wanted to work on.

He believed streaming was going to give students who missed class the opportunity to go back to the videos and see what they had missed and for those students that would like to reinforce what they just had learned, to go back and review.

Judge’s unique methods of teaching help his students relate with math and his motivating ways are not the only known factors about this ELAC alumni.

“Judge helps you out, he is well paced, and he understands where we are coming from. Although this is my second time taking the class, the first time it was much harder, and did not motivate me as much as Judge does,” Miguel Arias from Judge’s Math 125 class said.

“Filming in a college setting was a good idea,” says Judge when speaking about his videos. He developed a full course on statistics based on topics, and put a lot of energy and time into it.

Judge has always kept his videos free of charge, by posting them on websites such as YouTube and Facebook.

Although every video filmed takes about 40 hours to edit, Judge said, “The benefit has outweighed the work.”

Receiving many letters from all over the world, a student from England wrote “finally someone who speaks English” when thanking him for the help his videos have provided.

Student Nicholas Christian, who has taken Judge for Math 110, 115 and is now taking him for Math 125 said, “Judge explains everything clearly and thoroughly, and if you do not understand something he goes back and explains it. He does care about his students.”

When he presented his videos about two years ago to faculty and administrators, they requested for him to work on making videos for Math 110 Introduction to Algebra and Math 115 Elementary Algebra.

Judge is currently working on these two subjects, and hopes to finish by spring 2014.

In the meantime, Judge is currently working on posting his videos to iTunes University, available for all students to have an easier way of downloading straight to their devices for free.

Going full circle, Judge said, “If you do work hard you can accomplish whatever you intend to accomplish. And those videos are designed to reinforce people and provide that kind of support if you are truly willing to work hard, they can help you succeed.”

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