Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we worked on centripetal acceleration. The student did very well with the equations and math involved in this section. She just needed some clarification on setting up these problems. Once we worked on a few, she got the hang of the fact that centripetal force is a resultant, unbalanced force due to a constantly changing direction of the velocity vector. We also looked at a lab that she did in class and went over a few of the conceptual questions on it."
"During this session we covered waves. We started off looking at the harmonics of standing waves when both sides are open. We looked at the patterns that arose with wavelength and were able to derive an equation relating the length of the system with the wavelength for each harmonic. We moved on to traveling waves on ropes and looked at how a particle on the rope behaves and what its equation of motion would be. We also discussed how to find the speed of the wave for this situation. We also covered the relationship between displacement and acceleration for a wave. We ended looking at the relationship between force and acceleration for an object exhibiting SHM."
"The student had her first test of the semester the previous Wednesday and will receive her complete score in her next class. She felt good about the first unit's material so we continued into the beginning of unit 2, on uniform motion. The basis of the first week is to build an understanding of general terminology such as displacement, distance, velocity, speed, and elapsed time. We are also going over time graphs, discussing the difference between scalar and vector values, as well as begin performing calculations to quantitatively assess these ideas. The class performed a lab tracking the movement of bubbles along a board to measure position, time and then calculate velocity. After the completion of the lab she was given her first handout that provided a graph of position vs. time of two different cyclists with a number of questions requiring thorough interpretation of the graph. The relationship between the slope of a position vs. time graph and velocity is frequently the most important piece of data that can be extracted from these graphs. She was able to move through this first worksheet rapidly. We were able to cover a few problems in each section of the second worksheet with a lot of success so when she receives these problems in class, she will have a solid understanding of the material and will be able to proceed easily."
"The student and I met for our first physics session today. He is taking an introductory physics course, and from what I could tell from his problem set, it is fairly comprehensive and rather demanding (considering its focus is on non-physics majors). This is a good thing! We spent the time reviewing how to tackle equilibrium, Newton's laws and torque problems. We also touched on rotational dynamics -- moment of inertia, angular velocity, and conservation of energy approaches to solving a rotational dynamics problem. We covered coordinate systems, vectors, trigonometry (for finding angles in a complex problem setup) and free-body diagrams, all good skills to master for further work in the course and invaluable for solving problems on problem sets and on the exams. Good work, and I look forward to continuing to work with you!"
"We worked on worksheet 3 and I extended each problem with a new example to ensure the student understood the premise for each problem. I then further had him do a problem of my own as well as watch a short 3-minute video from an MIT professor that meshed well with the session."
"We covered different types of vector subspaces, such as NullSpace and ColumnSpace. The student did well with these topics on a conceptual level. She is going to do practice problems for this material before we meet again. She also asked that we start covering proofs in our sessions, so we will be starting this next time."