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Po Tong Hired to Teach Mathematics at Cañada College

Po Tong, a veteran of the electronics industry, has been hired to teach mathematics at Cañada College. He will join the Science & Technology Division as a full-time faculty member in August.

Tong worked in the electronics industry for 25 years, developing mathematical algorithms and integrated circuits for broadband communications. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1997 for his contribution to the development and commercialization of the technology.
Tong received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Hong Kong and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Four years ago, Tong made a career change and began teaching. He was working at Cañada as an adjunct professor prior to being hired full-time.
“Being a first generation immigrant and the first generation in my family to attend college, I share the same background as many community college students,” he said. “During the past four years, I have enjoyed the small college atmosphere at Cañada. I appreciate the opportunity for personal interaction with the diverse population of the college. I want to use my passion in mathematics and my extensive engineering experience to mentor and motivate our STEM students.”
Cañada student Rita Melgar can vouch for Tong’s understanding of students from diverse backgrounds. She moved to the United States from El Salvador in 2007 and began studying computer science and mathematics at Cañada in 2010. “I’ve had many incredible professors at Cañada, but the one I respect and admire the most is Professor Tong. He was my Math 120 teacher and he recommended that I visit the Learning Center to begin tutoring other students in math. He is the reason I found my passion, not just for math but also for teaching, and why I am pursuing a double major.”
Tong and his family have lived in Los Altos since 1996. “My wife and I are strong supporters of public education,” he said. “My wife has been an active volunteer for years, and is currently serving on the board of the Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council.”
Their daughter recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is now working in San Francisco while Tong’s son is entering Los Altos High School this fall as a freshman.
Outside of the classroom, Tong enjoys swimming, tracking hurricanes, and investigating the interplay between mathematics and the art of origami.


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