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I am a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the CUNY Graduate Center, with research interests in algebraic topology and category theory. I am also an instructor at Brooklyn College, where I have taught introductory college math courses for the past year. My interests in mathematics are broad, and I tutor at all levels. I completed my BA at Swarthmore College in 2014, and that is also where I began tutoring, primarily through the math department. I have tutored college-aged students in all levels of mathematics, from college algebra and trigonometry to real analysis and topology. I have additionally tutored high school calculus students as well as elementary school math, and high school and college physics. Largely due to my focus on mathematics, my favorite subjects to tutor are within these fields as well: while any opportunity to explain new mathematical concepts to students is a great joy to me, I find that the breakthroughs students experience in calculus and basic algebra (Algebra I or Algebra II) are the most exciting, and those subjects are correspondingly my favorite to tutor.

When I'm not tutoring or studying, I'm pretty reliably involved in some way in one of three activities. I devote a significant amount of my time to solving crossword puzzles, and am a regular competitor in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. I am also a baseball fan, and spend a lot of time watching the St. Louis Cardinals, reading about them, or reading about baseball in general. The last of my main hobbies is calligraphy. I've always been interested in the way that letters look, and so I'm often learning new types of handwriting, and practicing on any scrap of paper that I can find. These hobbies are all connected by a love of intricacy and an attention to detail that is found through all levels of education, especially within mathematics.

I firmly believe that tutoring is an extension of the teaching process, and that as such my job as a tutor is to give my students the skills they need not only to solve the particular problems they bring to me, but also to fully understand the subjects they are studying, and to understand the techniques behind the solutions to their problems. In particular, this means that my tutoring style is very student-involved: I will always begin a problem by asking the student where they think they should start, or what progress they have made on the problem. I find that the student misses a significant part of the tutoring experience if they are not the primary force behind solving the problems they bring to me, and as a result I consider myself as more of a resource to guide the student to the right solution rather than a solution manual to consult or a teacher to recapitulate a lecture. Of course, if what the student needs is a further explanation of lectured material, I am also happy to provide that, but I find it is best covered within the context of particular problems: we learn best by doing, and solving homework problems is no exception.

Within math, I tutor nearly every subject. Particular areas of expertise include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus (1, 2, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC). Outside of math, I tutor first-year high school chemistry (including honors chemistry), physics (honors, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, college physics), as well as SAT prep. I have a strong preference for in-person tutoring, as I find it much easier to work face-to-face with a student, but I am willing in exceptional cases to tutor online as well.

John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Swarthmore - Bachelor in Arts, Mathematics

Graduate Degree: CUNY Graduate School and University Center - PHD, Mathematics


Baseball, Crossword Puzzles, Calligraphy

Tutoring Subjects