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Newton Cheng

Newton Cheng

Global health and performance lead | Google | Class of 2000

In one particularly memorable 300-level engineering course at Illinois, Newton Cheng got two lessons for the price of one — one in physics, the other in passion.

“I was in Kevin Kim’s ECE 340 class, which was full of abstract, difficult-to-understand physics concepts,” Cheng says from the Bay Area, where he works as Google’s global health and performance lead.

“What I remember most was his explanation of the concept of electrons and holes in semiconductor physics. He used an analogy of boys and girls jumping over a wall — that he fully acted out — that was strange, amusing, entertaining and incredibly effective.

“It showed me what real passion and creativity in teaching is all about.”