John Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

John Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award

Picture of Giles Bischoff

The Award

Professor John J. Dropkin had a long, rich, and multifaceted association with School of Engineering, first as a graduate student, then as a faculty member, as Chair of the Physics Department, and later as Professor Emeritus. What may not be as well known is that after he retired from the Physics Department in 1978, Professor Dropkin continued his commitment to science education at Polytechnic by founding the Learning Center and directing it for ten years. This was a place where students could go for academic support in physics, chemistry, and calculus. They could speak with Professor Dropkin, or with one of the peer tutors he recruited and trained. Students could ask questions, get help with their homework, and prepare for exams.

Then, as now, engineering students were intelligent, curious, and hardworking young people with dreams of building their futures through careers in science and engineering. Like today’s students, they were often the first in their families to go to college, and many of them were recent immigrants to the United States. They often juggled their educational and professional goals with more immediate financial needs. Professor Dropkin was committed to reaching these talented young people through the sciences and to supporting their efforts to succeed in their chosen fields.

The Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC) is the direct descendent of Professor Dropkin’s program. We are proud to continue the work he began.

In that spirit, The Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award was established in 2007. The PTC gives this award each year in memory of John J. Dropkin, who chaired the physics department from 1947 until 1978, then served the students by establishing mathematics and science tutoring services. This award recognizes peer tutors who continue this tradition by helping their fellow students at the Polytechnic Tutoring Center.

Latest Recipient

This year's John J. Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award goes to:

Giles Bischoff

Giles Bischoff is a hobbyist mathematician and computer engineering major at NYU Tandon who hails from Las Vegas. His passion for math had ironically stemmed from his initial studies in economics and finance at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Econometric modeling was Giles' first glance at probability and statistics through the lens of economics, but realized that he was not satisfied with plugging in formulas and memorizing equations. He wanted to understand the intricacies of why these techniques worked and how he might go about creating his own models. For him, there was something magical about mathematics in its ability to predict and describe the future. He decided that electrical and computer engineering would give him the tools he needed to take this inherent curiosity further. In his quest to satisfy his mathematical curiosity, it has always been part of Giles' mission to share his knowledge of mathematics and the sciences with his peers and other fellow math enthusiasts and scientists. And so, he took up tutoring computer science at the Polytechnic Tutoring Center in 2019. In addition to his responsibilities as a tutor, Giles now devotes a lot of his time to being a research consultant for Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine where he studies blood oxygen saturation signals in patients to discern patterns and predict daytime sleepiness as well as cardiovascular disease. Giles will also be attending Purdue University in the Fall of 2021 as a PhD student in electrical engineering with a focus in communications and signal processing.

All Recipients

Year Awardee
2021 Giles Bischoff
2020 Rosaura Ocampo
2019 Steven Yang
2018 Kubra Akbas
2017 Tim Charlton
2016 Dylan Steffey
2015 Eugene Stolberg
2014 Aman Ali
2013 Edward Melcer
2012 Jinhui Zhao
2011 Rahul Anthony
2010 Karthik Muthukumar
2009 Shivani Patel
2008 Kartik Arora & Nahida Sultana