A photo of Mats, a tutor from Stockholm University

Mats

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I got my Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in Sweden 1999. My studies focused on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)and involved learning theory, with much math and quantum physics, and computer programming. I came to the University of Washington for post doctoral research and been here since then. The Ph. D. program in Sweden is 5 years long. Teaching is mandatory for about 20% of the time. I always found teaching great fun. My favorite subjects are computer programming, Python, C/C++, C# as well as theoretical/mathematical problems in Chemistry and Physics. My tutoring style involves a great deal of patience (it takes time to grasp new things!), and I do try to create engagement and curiosity, which I think is key for learning. I play quite a lot of tennis and squash on my free time as well as hiking in the mountains. I'm a pretty good guitar player as well and played in several bands.



Mats’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Stockholm University - Bachelors, Physical Chemistry

Graduate Degree: University of Stockholm - PHD, Physical Chemistry

Hobbies

Squash, Hiking, Music

Tutoring Subjects

Chemistry

College Chemistry

High School Chemistry

Python

Science

Technology and Computer Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Effort and time always gives results!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Introduce myself and chat about what is going on.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Giving them an experience of learning that is fun and rewarding. If that works, then the rest is automatic.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It depends on the student, but it's important is to see the whole picture. Motivation can't be forced; it’s gotta come from inside.

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

Try different approaches.

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

By patient.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Using time to understand the strong and weak sides for the student. Ensuring that mutual respect is established, as that is the foundation to build on.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

It depends on the student. However, for anyone struggling, it is often about finding the often-small things being in the way of moving forward. When that is done, the rest is easy!

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Questions and communicating with the student.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

By encouraging them to learn as much as possible in the subject, and removing the fear of failing once in a while.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

On a one by one basis.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Each student is different, so listening and probing about the actual needs are very important for efficient tutoring.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Paper and pen, calculator, and if needed, tables and textbooks.