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Mark

I am a bioengineering graduate student at Georgia Tech who has a passion for learning and teaching others. I have been a tutor since high school and also served as a teaching assistant for two undergraduate biomedical engineering classes at Georgia Tech. I would be happy to help with math, science, engineering, and test prep. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in being tutored or have any questions.

Thanks,

Mark

Undergraduate Degree:

 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus - Bachelors, Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Degree:

 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus - Current Grad Student, Bioengineering

GRE Quantitative: 167

GRE Verbal: 161

Computer Programming, Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Hiking, Weightlifting, Reading

What is your teaching philosophy?

I feel that the best way to teach is to have students attempt the problem on their own and give them small hints and guidance if they get stuck. This lets them realize they can solve problems on their own and helps them to better retain what they learned.

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

During a session with a new student I would spend a few minutes getting to know a little bit about them and their academic background as well as telling them about myself. I would then ask them if they have any specific concepts or questions they would like to go over. If they do, then that is what I would cover first. If they are not sure what exactly they need help, with I would start reviewing the general subject with them, and would have them stop me to explain things in more detail if they get confused.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To help a student become an independent learner, I would give them some control of the lesson. By that I mean that I would let them choose problems and topics to go over so that they get in the habit of determining what they do and don't know. I would then have them try to solve as much of the problem as they can without my help and would try to assist them only when necessary. I would also have them try to explain topics to me, because that shows both independence and mastery of the material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To help a student stay motivated, I would be very positive and encouraging. If they get discouraged, I would help them realize how much they have already learned and reassure them that they can eventual master even the most difficult topics. If they get very frustrated with a particular problem or topic, I might suggest that we switch to another topic for a while so they don't become upset, and the lesson can still be productive.

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

I would first try to figure out as specifically as possible what they don't understand. I would then try to explain it to them in a simple way. If that doesn't work, then I would try to come up with an analogy to some other type of problem or even something completely unrelated that they understand well. If they still have trouble, I would try to walk them through simple examples and explain every step.

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

To help students with reading comprehension, I would try to figure out what exactly they are struggling with, and then devise strategy to help them break down the text into more manageable bits. For example, I might suggest they mark sentences or words they don't understand as well as sections that might be particularly important. I would also make sure that they are able to summarize the text in a few sentences, to ensure they don't get lost in the details.

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

I think that the best strategy is to listen to the student's needs and design an individualized approach for them. If the student doesn't know what they need help with, I would start by reviewing what I think is important and having them ask as many questions as possible. I would also try to be very positive so they stay motivated and excited about learning.

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

I would try to take a broader approach to the subject. Rather than just working problems, I would also show them interesting uses of the subject they are struggling with, or frame the problems in a way that is more interesting. For example, I might show how biological principles are used in cancer treatment, how calculus is used by NASA or something similar. I would try to get the student to realize that, although homework can be tedious, it is worthwhile to learn the subject well.

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

I think the best way to test a student's understanding is to turn the tables on them and have them explain the material to me in as much detail as possible. This usually reveals gaps in knowledge, which I could clarify for them.

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

I think confidence is best built through a lot of practice and consistent encouragement. I would also have students try to solve problems with less and less help as they get more experienced so they are sure they can do the work on their own and really understand it.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would first ask students directly what they think their needs are. If they are unsure, then I would work through problems with them to see if that makes them more comfortable with the material. If it does not, then I would try alternative approaches, until I found one that worked well for the student.

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

I would try to be as flexible and open-minded as possible and would listen to student suggestions to make the lesson more helpful to them.

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

I would typically use a whiteboard or screen sharing program to work specific problems. I would also use textbooks or resources that the student is familiar with through their classes so that there is continuity for them. Additionally, for more conceptual material, I may write an outline or make a slideshow they could use to review.