Learn Computer Science with Pasadena Tutor Mike Mossey

Where smart kids have fun programming

Hi, I'm Mike. Do you have a child who is excited about programming? I teach computer science to students in middle school and high school.

One-on-one tutoring

In person at your location or online

Caltech alumnus and former NASA programmer

Prepare for programming competitions, AP Computer Science A, and college CS classes

Have fun and build confidence

Free consultation and 30-minute lesson

I offer a free phone consultation to explain what lessons are about. I can even give your child a free 30-minute lesson in which we do a little programming together to see if we’re a good fit. I can also give you feedback on what your child has learned so far.

Why study computer science?

Programming jobs are becoming more and more important, and having tech skills is critical to succeeding in the economy of the future. By building your child’s programming knowledge at an early age, you help prepare them for high school and college CS classes, programming competitions, and even their future career.

Computer science is a great way to increase your programming IQ. Because of its problem-solving nature, computer science makes all other types of programming easier.

Mike has been a great tutor for my son. He’s professional, knowledgeable, and patient.  My son has benefited greatly from working with Mike and is well-prepared for more advanced classes and even an internship or coding job.  If you are looking for a tutor that is thorough, competent, and thoughtful, Mike is the guy!

   —Mother of 10th grade high school student

Why one-on-one tutoring?

When I work directly with your child, I can match their ability with the right level of challenge, which keeps them engaged and leads to fast learning. This is especially important for kids who are self-motivated or who want to go beyond what they can learn in school classes.

What is computer science?

Roughly speaking, computer science is the kind of programming needed to solve a coding puzzle or programming competition problem. It’s less about apps, games, or web pages. 

The type of students who are interested in computer science include:

  • Students who see programming as solving puzzles
  • Students who like math competitions
  • Students who want to participate in programming competitions

Computer science doesn’t have to be hard. I can start your child with easy problems and progress from there. For students who want more challenge, there are many problems available from past programming competitions.

Mike is a rare find. He has helped my son (junior high schooler) already tremendously even in his first lesson. With that he was able to explain difficult matter to my son in a way he understood and appreciated. My son went on to get a 5 on the AP Computer Science exam.

  —Steve, father of junior high school student

Local in the Pasadena area

If you live in the Pasadena, California, area, or one of the surrounding cities, I can come to you. In-person tutoring has many advantages, including building relationships and being better able to read body language. If you live elsewhere in the Los Angles area, it’s possible to use a mix of in-person and remote tutoring. I can teach anywhere in the world remotely using special software. My students find remote lessons to be effective and enjoyable.

Frequently asked questions

Q: My child has never programmed before. Can you teach them to start programming?

A: To begin work on computer science, my students need to have some familiarity with programming—at least six months of experience. If your child has never programmed before, I can recommend some online classes that will get them up to speed and ready for computer science. I can also be an advisor and tutor for an online class.

Q: What ages do you work with?

A: Generally, kids in the 7th through 12th grade are capable of learning computer science. I can work with younger kids who are particularly enthusiastic and gifted, but they have to be able to work in text-based languages, not block coding.

Q: Where does the tutoring take place?

A: For local clients (within seven miles of the center of Pasadena) I will travel to your location. For clients further away but still in the LA area, we can do online sessions using special software and also an in-person visit from time to time. Most of my students find online sessions to be fun and work very well.

Q: What languages do you teach?

A: Python, Java, and C++.

Q: Where can I find some examples of the problems you use with students?

A: This page, Sources of computer science problems, lists several of the major websites that provide challenging computer-science-related problems.

Q: Can you work with my child on a game or other app?

A: I don’t teach games, apps, or web pages. Instead I teach computer science using a range of problems from challenge websites and programming competitions. If your child primarily wants to create an app or web page, I can recommend some resources.

Q: Can you tutor my child in AP Computer Science A or another programming class?

A: Mostly I teach students who do programming as an extracurricular activity, but I can possibly tutor your child in a programming class. Contact me to discuss it.

Learn Computer Science with Pasadena Tutor Mike Mossey


© 2022 Mike Mossey