I graduated in the Summer of 2012 from Queens College. I earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Pure Mathematics. After graduating, I applied to the Master's program and was accepted as a pure mathematics student beginning in Fall of 2012.
I have worked as a private in-home tutor during both my undergraduate degree and master's degree. Tutoring has typically been long-term, with a couple of short-term or one-off students. I tutored students between the ages of 11 to 16 years old, primarily with Mathematics, but also with English, Physics, and basic Chemistry. During this time, my experience teaching Mathematics has been in the fields of arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and pre-calculus.
I have also tutored a few of my college-aged friends to help them study for upcoming calculus and statistics finals.
By far, my favorite subject to tutor is mathematics. Arithmetic and geometry have such beautiful, intricate relationships which I find fascinating. I think, as a result, my teaching philosophy is more exploratory and less rigid. If a student is engaged, I am more than willing to help them explore the world of mathematics as well. I personally retain information better when I can see the elaborate underpinnings of the world around us, and I think I bring that same philosophy to my tutoring sessions. If a student is having difficulty grasping a concept, I will try to reduce it to its simplest terms, so that he/she can follow the threads on their own to unravel the solution.
Academics aside, I love music. Since 2006, I've played guitar as a hobby. I love blues and jazz music, both listening and playing. I own both an Applause AE-128 and an Epiphone SG-250 guitar. I had a Carlos Robelli, which I donated to a friend back in 2010 or so.
I also enjoy reading non-fiction literature. In the past few years, I've discovered that I love reading about the history of mathematics and physics. I feel almost as if it gives me a chance to live through the most exciting and interesting parts of history. Most recently, I've finished reading /Bridges to Infinity/ and /Prime Obsession/. On my bookshelf are copies of /Euler's Gem/, /Conned Again, Watson!/, and of course Euclid's "Elements." I'm currently reading /Five Equations that Changed the World/.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Queens College - Bachelors, Mathematics, Computer Science
Music, Reading, Math
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
College Computer Science
Elementary School Math
High School Computer Science
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
To help students discover and explore the world of mathematics. To spark their curiosity.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Review recent material, as well as go over any recent exams. The first step is to figure out where they're at, both in school and as a student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
My specialty is mathematics, and a lot of students ask the question "how is this useful in the real world?" I find that once students know the fantastic and bizarre uses of mundane things like complex numbers and differential calculus, they become a lot more interested in the material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Motivate the topic visually, with graphs or charts. If it's still an issue, then make it simpler and simpler until they get it. And most importantly: work slowly. Don't move on just because they figured out one problem. If necessary, I will spend an entire session on a single topic just to make sure the student understands it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Visualization is an important part of a lot of fields of mathematics, particularly analysis. I would help students understand what each part of a statement/theorem/example means, then ask them to draw an example.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Greet them warmly. Make sure not to be too stiff or formal so they can relax around me. But at the same time, I try to always dress and act professional.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Motivate with real-world examples that seem larger-than-life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask them to make problems for me to solve. Alternatively, ask them to draw/graph an example of what we've been studying.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
More often, lack of self-confidence in mathematics is from students' own insecurities. They think "I don't know this" because math is "supposed" to be hard. But that reality is untrue (at least up to the undergraduate college level), and just by explaining to them how simple a lot of things are, they become more confident.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I pay close attention to results from in-class exams, or when reviewing, I focus in on problem types they get consistently wrong. I had one student consistently have difficulty finding an inverse function given another. So I spent two hours explaining to him what an inverse was, how it looked graphically, and doing examples.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is more confident, then I have to be stricter. If a student lacks confidence, I try to build it up. If a student lacks motivation, I try to stimulate their minds to get them to see mathematics all around us.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper. Occasionally a pen or eraser.