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Robert

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I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in April 2015. I pursued engineering because of my passion for science and mathematics, which I love to share with my students. During my undergraduate years, I assisted in research across various engineering and scientific disciplines: epidemiology, geology, robotics, and reaction engineering.

My aim is to impart to my students the skills and abilities that helped me succeed academically. Chief among these is a love for learning, and that understanding base principles in any subject will make future work in that subject easier. I love to help my students to understand these core principles of math and science, because the ability to figure things out from just a few ideas is the most beautiful and elegant concept in the fields.

In my spare time, I love to play music. I have played the cello for over 20 years, and I played it in a rock band, Kalon, for a decade. I also like to read a variety of fiction and nonfiction. Some of my favorite authors are Iain M. Banks, Cormac McCarthy, Hermann Hesse, Neil Gaiman, and Kurt Vonnegut. I also enjoy playing board games, like Settlers of Catan and Pandemic. I am an enormous hockey fan and also love to watch soccer.

Robert’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering

Hobbies

Playing Cello and Guitar, Reading for Pleasure, Playing Board Games, Watching Hockey and Soccer


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is to provide students with an understanding of not just the how of a subject but the why. Deeper knowledge of the fundamentals of subjects ultimately improves comprehension as topics become more difficult.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I like to explain skills and concepts in multiple ways. Examples are great at illustrating ideas, and I try to find examples that fit with a student's interests and experience, in order to put difficult tasks into a context they can better understand.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

There are two key components to reading comprehension: vocabulary and analysis. There is a certain baseline of vocabulary necessary to understand material at a given reading level. If a student does not have this vocabulary down, then I work with them on vocabulary in tandem with comprehension. Analysis of a passage is the other component of reading comprehension. It often helps to walk students through analyzing a passage, to ask them about topics such as main ideas and the author's point of view. The key point is to get the student to interrogate the passages they read. Successful readers constantly ask questions of the material they read. By asking my student questions about their readings, I inculcate these attitudes.