Law School Graduation Card From Amir

From Amir
Congratulations on Your graduation Shoshana!
I am very proud to say that I have a sister who is a harvard law school graduate! I must say your academic successes have made you a very hard sister to compete with. You really should slow down a bit and give your less talented brother a chance to catch up. Aw, who am I kidding? Uri doesnt stand a chance compared to the two of us. (Just joking;) Really I am very proud to have such a smart and accomplished sister. But dont rest on your laurels, I am eagerly awaiting your nomination as the first female jewish president! On that, i am not joking. I look up to you in much more ways than just for your academic accomplishments. Yo are honestly one of the most helpful and selfless people I have ever me. I cannot thank you enough for all the great help you have given me over the years. I love you! Thanks for being such a great sister.
p.s. I am sorry this present is so late. Blame Mobshop. Now that you have the skills I think you should sue them

To Shosh Re. Shoes

—–Original Message—–
From: amir lopatin
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 12:45 PM
To: Shoshana Lopatin
Subject: RE:

>”Lopatin, Shoshana” <[email protected]> wrote:
>did u get the shoes

Yes, I did! I am wearing them right now and I love them. They are light as a feather but ever so supportive! How are you doing?

To Shosh Re. Flag Colors

—–Original Message—–
From: amir lopatin
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 7:27 AM
To: Shoshana Lopatin
Subject: Re: Hi

>”Lopatin, Shoshana” <[email protected]> wrote:
>Amir I neeed advice on an important legal matter.
>What are the colors Of the american flag?

Dear shoshi! what do they pay you for?!!!! That is the first thing they teach in law school!!!!! red, white & yellow!

Personal Statement Draft

—–Original Message—–
From: Amir Lopatin
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2002 4:01 PM
To: Shoshana Lopatin
Subject: personal statement

Hi sho, here is my personal statement. I am not quite sue how to end it. Personal Statement I started programming in high school and fell in love with how it enabled me, an artistically challenged person, to create all sorts of things: pictures, stories, games. It was a natural choice for me, upon entering college, to pursue Computer Science as my main concentration and ever since graduation I have worked in the field of software development. At Teachers college I would like to continue along this path by Pursuing the E.E.D Program in the Department of “Communication, Computing, and Technology in Education”. There, I would like to focus my studies on educational software and more specifically on the many possibilities computers present to enhance a child’s educational experience through project based learning.

This is a degree course for which I fell I am well qualified. I have been working as a software engineer since graduating graduating Brown University in 1999: first as a software engineer with the Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation in Salt Lake and since then with Visible World in New York City. At Evans & Sutherland, I worked in simulation systems and was responsible for implementing a head tracking system for tank simulators. At Visible World, I have been the lead programmer for a tool that visualizes and analyzes MPEG-2 transport streams, which is the format by which television programs are broadcast on digital cable systems.

My first exposure to teaching was during my junior year through a volunteer organization in which specially selected children were paired up with college-going mentors. This program, more than anything else, impressed on me the tremendous challenges that the field of education presents. Until then, I had looked at the core problem of instruction as being one of simple articulation: I knew things that my student did not and all I had to do was tell these things to him and he would be fascinated and enlightened. Of course, this turned out to be a naive assumption and Allie Yu, my student, taught me to appreciate just how difficult it is to bring a child to the point where he is willing to just listen. In other words, I learnt that the main challenge of teaching is one of inspiration rather than articulation.

I believe that computers and technology hold great potential in helping teacher’s meet this challenge and this is where I feel I can make a contribution. It is my belief that there is potential in modern computer technology to make elementary and high-school education far more engaging [should I remove this last sentence? its kind fo redundant] . At Teacher’s college, I would like to use my technical skills to explore these possibilities. I have already begun in my own small way. During college, my senior project was devoted to the development of a piece of educational software that would allow non-programmers to program a computer through the use of graphical widgets. As a Teaching Assistant for the Introductory class in Computer Systems, I helped design the projects and problems sets through which the students learned how computers worked by actually designing small pieces of primitive microchips. Most recently, I have been applying myself in Project Live, a volunteer mentoring program run by the Children’s Aid Society of New York, where I have worked with my current student on building small electrical circuits and creating movies of microscopic organisms using the Intel computerized microscope. This work, which until now has merely been my avocation, has turned out to be just as rewarding to me as my main vocation in software engineering. The possibility of merging these two aspects of my life in the doctoral program of the department of “Communication, Computing, and Technology in Education” is extremely appealing to me and …

Reflections on Infinity

Stuck behind glass walls
there is no light outside
or maybe it’s just a hell of a lot brighter in here
so I see
and my reflection,
and over again.

until I am very small
in repetition
and still shrinking
into that oblivion

to see into that verifiable everything
where all is nothing.

Where framed in these
portals of eternity
I am no more.

Until my head gets in the way.

The above is another of Amir’s poems written during high school. Amir told me he was inspired by the infinity of reflections created by our then new mirrored bathroom. I love that he wrote a poem about that.

“Everything will be alright…”

The following is an email from Amir to his sister, Shoshana.

Subj: dont worry
Date: 3/12/2004 3:24:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: “amir lopatin” [email protected]
To: “shoshana lopatin” [email protected]

Hi shoshi,
Dont worry so much! Remember that no matter what you decide everything will be alright.
Love you, Amir

Amir Lopatin: Learning Sciences and Technology Design

This is a draft of Amir’s Stanford webpage. Please send me the final if you find it.

About Me:
I am currently a first-year PhD student studying under Roy Pea in the “Learning Sciences and Technology Design ” program of the Stanford University School of Education. Prior to Stanford, I studied at Brown University from where I graduated in May 1999 with an ScB in computer science. My goal here at Stanford is to apply my passion for technology within the field I think poses the most interesting and meaningful challenges: education. It is my animating faith that technology holds the key to making education accessible and effective for everyone and that education, in turn, holds the key to just about everything else that is worthwhile. My specific research interests are still inchoate but here is a short list of topics I would like to investigate before my time here is up.
Before coming to Stanford, I worked as a software engineer at a start-up company called Visible World . There, I specialized in user interface and data-visualization work. My biggest project was a full-featured MPEG2 Transport Stream Analyzer . I also wrote a nifty app we called the Command GUI which was used to monitor the media preparation process for Visible World’s patented intellispot technology. In NYC, my main avocation outside of work was Ultimate Frisbee . I even started NYC’s first public ultimate league, NYCPUL. I am not sure if the league will continue now that I am gone because, in truth, I did almost all of the work and the league was very hard to run within the space constraints of Manhattan.
Before NYC, I lived in SLC Utah for one year. There, I worked for a company called Evans and Sutherland . Evans and Sutherland is the oldest company working in the field of high-end graphics and simulation systems. I did some work there on head-tracking in tank simulators so that the field of view would change in the windows of the tanks as people moved their heads around inside the simulator. The job was pretty cool but Utah was not a good match for me (although I did love the skiing and the mountain biking).
A lot happened to me before that, but I don’t want to waste your bandwidth with the prehistoric details.

Research interests:

• Programming to learn: How can programming literacy most effectively be leveraged to facilitate instruction in fields outside of computer-science. People that can program have a language for describing processes that other people lack. This is similar to the way that people who understand calculus have a language for describing change and therefore have an easier time describing and comprehending concepts in physics and math. If curricula designers could take this literacy for granted could they design course materials that are more effective than conventional ones?
o Mindstorms.
o Allan Kay
o Andy Disessa

• Gaming to learn: Are video games an under-exploited educational resource or just a distraction?
o Prensky :

• Issues in educational motivation: What are the motivational qualities of competition? Can computers be used to isolate the beneficial qualities of competition while muting the pernicious ones? In my experience, competition has always been highly motivating. The downside of competition is that if you are on the losing side well Holden Caufield said too well: “Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game, all right; I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game.” The thing about computers is that they can adjust their difficulty levels so that nobody feels like they are losing allowing instructors to reintroduce competition without anyone feeling bad.
• Issues in assessment: Can real-time monitoring of student learning activities obviate the need for post-facto assessment?

Shoshana Lopatin’s Eulogy for Amir

Jonathan and Amir were best of friends. Birds of a feather. Both frighteningly brilliant. Both insightful and both unconventional. They were constantly getting into trouble at Ramaz for their unwillingness to live by the rules of the establishment. On one occasion, my parents were called in to the Principal’s office because Amir and Jonathan had once again refused to tuck in their shirts. Upon confronting Amir with his felony Amir answered I can’t do it – it’s too combine. Frankly, my mother never understood what he meant but just assumed that he was expressing his disdain for convention. We finally looked up the words today – an association of persons for commercial or political, often unethical purposes. I mean no disrespect to Ramaz but I have to hand it to Amir that he had a way with words. I loved his healthy disregard for convention and his critical approach to experience – every belief he tested against his own conscience and his own judgment only.

Amir was my favorite person in the world. Whenever I finished a conversation with him I couldn’t help but smile. Life seemed more worthwhile, more hopeful and more honest. In one of our last conversations Amir told me that whenever I was faced with a decision I should make that decision from an optimist’s standpoint. I should assume that any path I chose would have a good outcome. He had such beautiful dreams and convictions and I felt that I had a place in the world because I was loved by him.

William Phelps wrote that the happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Amir had the most interesting thoughts. It was so incredible to talk to him and such a privilege to be invited into the life of his mind. It is not something that I can explain only something that one must experience. I would like to end by reading you a poem that Amir wrote in 1994 – ten years ago while a student at Ramaz.

[read Journey I]

Amiri – you had the most interesting thoughts and you were the happiest of people. So how did you know already ten years ago that “together had departed”?