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Thomas

Hey, I'm Tom. I graduated in May of '16 from Beloit College, a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin, with a degree in physics. Currently, I am a data science intern for a start-up called Polco where I am learning software and analytical skills. I love snowboarding, mountain biking, playing music, and hiking so am thrilled to be living in Denver. Intellectually, I am interested in math, physics, and computer science. I think that one of the best ways to learn is by teaching so I look forward to sharing what I know and deepening my understanding along the way.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Beloit College - Bachelors, Physics

Snowboarding, mountain biking, guitar, music production, software dev, film, cooking, surfing

College Physics

High School Computer Science

High School Physics

Mathematica

Python

Statics and Dynamics

Technology and Computer Science

What is your teaching philosophy?

I think that learning by doing is a great approach. I've retained most of my knowledge from working on projects where I apply the concepts I am learning to something I care about, instead of memorizing concepts in a vacuum. For the same reason, I'm not a huge fan of lecture style teaching. It often fails to relate to the multiple backgrounds in a lecture hall. Fortunately, when tutoring one on one, you can get to know the student and relate the concepts in a way that makes sense to them. Everyone learns differently, so it is my job to find the best way and adapt my style accordingly.

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

I like to get to know a student's background, interests, and understand how they learn best. Also, I'd like the student to get to know me. By forming a relationship and understanding each other's approach, it will make teaching and learning more enjoyable.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Relating topics to what stimulates a student's interests can instill a desire to learn. Too often, teachers fail to relate what they are teaching to the potential applications or benefits to the students who learn them. Instead, learning becomes a game to memorize something just to regurgitate it on the next test. By giving students the tools and some potential applications, I think they are much more likely to want to learn more on their own. This was a big change in mindset for me, which unfortunately didn't occur until college. When I finally understood what I could do with knowledge to interact in the world and create new technologies, I started studying topics that I wasn't going to be tested on but which I had a genuine interest in.