CAMBRIDGE, MA–Harvard College has launched a fund to support a new group of student teaching fellows in the Computer Science department in memory of Alexander H. Patel, The Harvard Crimson reported.
As a part of the Alex Patel Peer Teaching Fellows Fund, the Computer Science department plans to form a team of students who will serve as supplementary teaching fellows for various department courses and will provide individual tutoring to students, Alex’s father Hiren Patel wrote in a letter to family and friends, reported Crimson.
“We were looking for something that would be very one-on-one and would be specific to the CS department and would also help foster that kind of personal relationship that Alex really felt was important,” Hiren told the Crimson in an interview.
Patel, a Harvard undergraduate who died last semester at the age of 22, was remembered by peers and faculty as not only a brilliant student but also an “incredible friend,” according to Crimson. On top of his academic coursework, Patel served as a teaching fellow for several Computer Science classes throughout his time at the College, the newspaper said.
Patel, a Philosophy and Mathematics concentrator, died by suicide, according to the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office, reported Crimson.
Patel’s passion and dedication for his work as a teaching fellow served as the inspiration for the creation of the new fund, Hiren told Crimson.
“This started because we were trying to think of a way to honor Alex, and Alex loved teaching, particularly on a one-on-one basis,” Hiren told Crimson. “He wanted to actually help you, not just getting through your [problem set], but to get to know you better and to understand and to make a connection because he believed that was part of what the teaching process involved.”