Shahnawaz
Certified Tutor
I am a graduate student who will start their PhD from University of Maryland in Applied Mathematics this fall. I completed my MSc in Applied Mathematics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland. I did my Bachelor in Science, majoring in Mathematics, from Lahore University of Management Science in Pakistan.
Teaching is something that I am truly passionate about and I have had many opportunities as a teacher. I was a teaching assistant for two undergraduate courses: Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics. My duties involved giving weekly tutorials and designing and evaluating homework and quizzes. I have also taught underprivileged high school students as part of an NGO. I taught math, computer science and english speaking skills. This is why Mathematics is my favourite subject to tutor. I am also comfortable tutoring for standardised tests such as the GRE and SAT.
My goal is not merely to teach facts and formulas but rather to help the student develop the intuition behind them. I value critical thinking and problem solving skills and that is what I would like to teach my students as well. These are skills that are highly valued today even outside the classroom.
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Undergraduate Degree: Lahore University of Management Science  Bachelors, Mathematics
Graduate Degree: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich  Masters, Applied Mathematics
 GRE Quantitative: 165
 GRE Verbal: 161
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What is your teaching philosophy?
My goal is to teach in a way that helps students develop an intuition behind the facts and formulas they learn. I also focus on developing critical thinking and problems solving skills.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to first go over the curriculum that needs to be covered. I would then assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and customize a study plan accordingly.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By making the student solve a problem on their own. I would give small cues and hints on the way in order to ensure they are on the right track. I would also want the student to think out loud so I know how they approach the problem,
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By carefully choosing problems that are not that easy and neither too difficult so that the student feels like they are accomplishing something. I would also add in interesting facts about the topic, such as application of what they learn, so that students retain their interest.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, try to go through the background material that is needed and ensure that the student is capable of learning the new topic. Secondly, try to break it down into smaller steps and try to give as many examples as I can.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By communicating verbally and going over the text at a relaxed pace.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Assessing their background, strength and weaknesses. Asking them about their expectations and then making a study plan tailored to their needs.2. Going over the material with them and making sure they understand by providing context and examples.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By going over the easier topics first so that I can build their confidence. I would also provide everyday applications of that subject in order to motivate them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask conceptual questions and ask for examples routinely. I would also regularly ask questions from different angles about the basics of the course so that I know that the student has a solid foundation.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By progressively increasing the difficulty of problem sets and by helping the student at each step.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By talking to them about how they feel about the topics and taking assessment tests.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I try to figure out what learning method work best for the student and then try to teach along those lines.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencils and my laptop. I use different websites and software to show different kinds of graphs and simulations and have the student interact with it. This way they can visually see how changing the inputs changes the output.