Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we went through the student's lecture notes regarding discrete probability distributions. We quickly talked through the types of variables and then spent the majority of our time going over binomial distributions and calculating the probability of an event. After talking through several of the examples she was getting a good grasp of how to determine what the question is asking for. She was grasping how to identify what number represents what variable (aka what is the n, the p, and the k). We also went over the Poisson distribution and how it is used to approximate the binomial. At the end we went over how to use the binomial and Poisson distribution probability charts in the appendix of the student's textbook. I utilized the examples in the lecture notes to quiz her on how to read the charts. The student is going to work on the homework for this section and we are going to go over it together in our next session."
"Went over more about enzyme kinetics, free energy, amino acids, peptides and proteins in preparation for test tomorrow. Talked about cofactors and allosteric modifiers and how they affect catalysis."
"The student and I spent this session talking about the concept of chemical equilibrium. First we talked about what equilibrium means and then we covered the concept of the equilibrium constant. The student seemed to understand these fundamentals pretty easily, so we practiced manipulating the law of mass action formula. We also talked about using partial pressures at equilibrium instead of concentrations at equilibrium to find Kp. We also discussed the formula to convert between K and Kp. After he felt comfortable with that, we started talking about what happens when a system is not at equilibrium conditions. We discussed various ways to predict which way the system will shift to go back towards equilibrium. Then we talked about finding the reaction quotient (Q), which is similar to the equilibrium constant, K, but is for systems that are NOT at equilibrium. We then practiced comparing Q and K values in order to predict what will happen to the system. We then practiced solving problems where the equilibrium concentrations are not given and you have to use an ICE table to solve for the amount added or subtracted from the reactants and products, given your knowledge of K and Q and the initial concentrations of reactants and products. These problems can be tricky and sometimes require the quadratic equation to solve. The student seemed to do well on setting up the problems but he was having many problems getting the right answer by plugging in the numbers on his calculator. I explained to him that it's very important to use parentheses when you're plugging in numbers with exponents into your calculator and this seemed to help him, but he needs to keep practicing. We ran out of time before we could finish the chapter, so next session we will talk about the rule for if K=10^-3 or smaller and Le Chatelier's principle."