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Daniel

I graduated from University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I have always enjoyed math, science (mostly physics), and logic puzzles. To me, math a type of logic puzzle. I like seeing the patterns in math and using these patterns to work towards the solution. I like knowing that there is an answer to every problem and that there are multiple ways to get the same correct answer. I am passionate about helping students because I enjoy the learning process. I feel quite good after helping a student expand their understanding. I like to see when they transition from not knowing what to do, to confidently solving the problem correctly on their own.

I have worked with a variety of different students. I have worked with sixth graders struggling with fractions, helped someone understand the concept of negative numbers, high school students with pre-calculus and helped someone with college algebra. I have helped these students to understand the math they were working on. I gained valuable experience in explaining the concepts in different ways and using real examples to better demonstrate how the concept works.

I tutor middle school math, high school math, calculus 1 and 2, and physics and some lower level mechanical engineering. More specifically, my math subjects include: Algebra 1 & 2, AP Calculus AB & BC, AP Statistics, Calculus 1 & 2, Geometry, GRE Quantitative, Pre-Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and SAT Math. Of all of these subjects, my favorite to tutor is Geometry. Tutoring Geometry is my favorite because of all the visual and logical thinking needed in order to solve the problem.

My teaching philosophy and tutoring style revolve around making sure the student understands the concept. I like teaching the thought process so that students are able to succeed without memorizing too many things. I also think that schools typically make a stressful environment, which can inhibit learning. I am a laid-back person and keep the tutoring sessions as low stress as possible.

As you may have guessed, I am somewhat of a typical nerd. My nerdiness is not only shown in my love for logic and math, but also in my free time where I enjoy playing strategy board games with my friends and family. I also enjoy playing computer games, including primarily: Rocket League, Hearthstone, and League of Legends.

Undergraduate Degree:

 The University of Texas at Dallas - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering

SAT Composite: 1950

SAT Math: 770

SAT Verbal: 590

SAT Writing: 590

GRE Quantitative: 165

GRE Verbal: 157

I like to play board games with friends, and computer games (Rocket League, Hearthstone, League of Legends)

College Physics

Engineering

High School Physics

Honors

Mechanical Engineering

Quantitative Reasoning

Study Skills and Organization

What is your teaching philosophy?

I want my students to understand the fundamentals of how the math works. Then students will be able to think on their feet when a new problem shows up.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I would introduce myself a little bit, give my educational background and my hobbies, and maybe some of my favorite movies. I would also like to find out something about the student. Then I ask what I can help the student with.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like to teach the logic behind my thinking when I am helping students. This way, the students will be able to use some of the strategies I teach on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is going to be different for different types of students. Generally, I would tell them that it takes practice to improve, and with enough practice they can succeed. It may feel like there isn't a lot of improvement happening, but the change will be worth it.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would explain in it different types of ways. I also like using a simple example to demonstrate how it works. Then, I can show a harder example and relate it back to the simpler one. This way, I can build on their understanding.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I am mainly a math/physics tutor. So, I would suggest looking for the important information. I will have the students try to identify what is needed to solve the problem. This includes knowing what the problem is looking for.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I think showing things in different ways helps solidify their learning. For example, if a student is having trouble understanding equations, I like to graph it out and show what the equations represent visually.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Some students ask, when will I ever need ___ in the real world? And it is true, some math learned will not be used later in their jobs. However, math teaches more than just the concept. Math also teaches problem solving and logical thinking. Every job needs problem solvers and logical thinkers. Greater things can come from learning math, even though it seems abstract and not very useful.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I show my thought process from beginning to end. I show how I approach the problem, figure out what I need to do, and use the concepts from before to solve the problem. This way, a student can specify where their trouble occurs, either the beginning, middle, or end. I can help pinpoint where they struggle and help them from there.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I consider myself an honest person. I don't just say "good job!" after everything the student does, right or wrong. I encourage their correct responses honestly and tell them it is okay to make mistakes. I help build their confidence by showing the progress they've made in their learning.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask the student where they need help. If they do not know, I look for recurring mistakes that show misunderstandings. I also check their work to see any mistakes and ask if they know how to correct it on their own first.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Generally, my tutoring consists of teaching how to think about the problem, and being able to manipulate it into more easily solvable parts. If my student just wants to know how to solve the problem, and not the logic behind solving it, I will provide a clean set of steps from start to finish that solve that type of problem.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I typically use pencil and paper. This way I can do rough sketches or outlines of how to solve the problem, and the student can use them after I leave. I can also show the student how to understand their own materials (often their textbook or calculator).