Because of his family, Roy Gabriel, a fifth-year in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has always had a sense of service. “I grew up in the Middle East, and since I was young, I have noticed a lot of inefficiencies there,” he said. “My parents always helped in any way through the community and the church, and so I thought, ‘Maybe I can contribute to that somehow.’”
This call to help others stayed with Gabriel when he moved to the U.S. for a dual-degree program. He spent three years at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and is now approaching his second and final year at Georgia Tech. One way he is passionate about helping others is teaching. Gabriel helped his friends with math and science courses in high school, was a teaching assistant for his native language, Arabic, at Covenant, and has offered private teaching throughout college as a source of income.
“I started tutoring more often than not to the extent that I started noticing places where I could say, ‘If I could teach that subject, then I would make that educational program better,’” he said. “So, as opposed to just coming to you for a private session, I can actually make current educational programs better.”
And with that thought, Gabriel’s business, Makademy, was born. Makademy is an educational business that serves to improve or create educational platforms for companies. Gabriel’s current client is IvyLine Capital Group, an investment firm with an educational arm that he was a student in himself. Gabriel works specifically with IvyLine’s educational cohort, creating lecture videos and tests on the application of machine learning in finance.
“Once I joined that program, I learned a lot about how to invest, but then I realized through my industrial engineering studies, you can use machine learning to invest,” he said. Gabriel then created his own algorithm using machine learning and derivative training that proved successful and wanted to give back to IvyLine. “I approached the founder and said, ‘You guys taught me a lot about investing, all the basics, so how can I make the educational program better? I’ll add statistical modeling. How can we remove the investor’s emotion from the factor or the risks? I can minimize them by using my teachings.’”
Gabriel’s future goals for Makademy include adding more clients, building a website with educational programs, expanding the subjects taught, and hiring private tutors. He plans to continue this after graduation while also working toward his master's degree in quantitative and computational finance at Georgia Tech.
“Makademy is here for any institution looking to revamp its educational cohort,” he said. “For example, if you work at a certain company, and they have learning modules that you’d like to make better, whether they're too old-school or you’d like them to be more graphically intensive for Gen Z, then you can sign up with Makademy.”
Gabriel’s main motivation is to give everyone access to quality education. “Because every person learns a different way, if you can resonate with a student, you can make an impact in not only your community but the world,” he said. “The idea is when you grew up in school, whatever you ended up doing afterwards was because, in my opinion at least, you had good teachers teaching you that. If I can help everyone get good teachers in all these different subjects, then imagine what the world would be like in 10 or 20 years.”
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering