I am a currently a researcher in Baltimore, Maryland at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, after having recently graduated with my PhD at Yale University in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. I also have a masters in public health degree and I double majored at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in Genetics and German.
I tutor algebra, geometry, biostatistics, German, and Russian. Before completing my doctorate, I tutored masters students and undergraduates in biostatistics and epidemiology. I really enjoy teaching statistics because it has so many important applications for the real-world. Since I am interested in health outcomes, I am interested in seeing how certain factors increase or decrease our risk for disease. But you can use statistics for more things that are more fun - like making models for fantasy football or baseball.
My teaching philosophy is "Keep it simple". I avoid using complex or unnecessary jargon at all costs. If I can't clearly explain a complex topic to someone on the street, then I am not communicating correctly. Oftentimes when teaching math, it helps to visualize everything. So I always try to bring in visual aids when possible as this often helps bridge any gaps in understanding. I have noticed that when teaching math, there is always an "Aha!" moment. I am always on the lookout for that because that gives me some assurance that the student is learning and that I am properly doing my job.
My first teaching experience actually began with a hobby that I became very serious about - chess. In 1999, I won the Tennessee High School State chess championship and represented the state in a national tournament in Reno, Nevada. After winning the state championship, I was approached by schools to teach their after-school chess programs. The important thing was not how good I was, but rather how effective a communicator I was. Perhaps the greatest feeling I had was watching my students flourish and become more and more confident in the skills they were acquiring. For me, this was the ultimate compliment in that I was indeed making a difference.
In my spare time, I enjoy learning new practical skills. As of late, I am learning on how to be a better cook (which my wife seems to enjoy). I also have an interest in gardening and hope that one day I can get all of my vegetables and herbs from my own garden. Until then, I'll keep going to the farmer's market.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Madison - Bachelor of Science, Genetics
Graduate Degree: Yale University - PHD, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases
GRE Quantitative: 780
GRE Verbal: 660
Chess, traveling, languages, cooking, gardening
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy can be reduced to three words "Keep it simple." Anything that can be studied in a textbook, no matter how challenging, can be--and should be--explained in the simplest and clearest possible language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first thing I would like to know is how they feel about the subject material. Do they hate it and are frustrated because they don't understand the concepts or do they love it and want to be challenged? For the former group, I would try to make it interesting for them and make them see the relevance of this subject.