I have been tutoring students and training professionals since 2011 when I was working as an emergency medical technician. Whether training in life saving techniques in the field or instructing math and physics in a classroom I have come to enjoy watching my students grow in proficiency and confidence.
I will be graduating in May Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University at Buffalo. In the fall I will begin graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering remotely from Purdue University. During my academic career I have worked as part of a university team constructing a satellite funded by the air-force, and have worked on several other projects such as designing a radar system, and autonomous navigation of robotic systems.
In my tutoring I have always strived to take a very practical approach. I believe that both memorizing equations, or "plug and chug" techniques are both inadequate. Conceptual understanding and practical application are both equally important as one informs the other. I know a student understands a topic when they are both able to discuss its implications as well as solve numerical problems.
Math and physics are some of my favorite subjects to tutor. Getting to talk about the first principles that lead to all of the amazing engineering I love is incredibly enjoyable for me. Outside of my academic pursuits I am an avid cyclist, rock-climber, ice-climber and hiker. I also enjoy photography, programing robotics and gardening. I have lived all over the country including Alaska and Hawaii and love to share all the tips of traveling I have learned over the years.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Current Undergrad, Aerospace Engineering
Graduate Degree: Purdue University-Main Campus - Masters, Aerospace Engineering
GRE Quantitative: 163
GRE Verbal: 163
Bicycling, Rock Climbing, Robotics, photography
Electrical and Computer Engineering
High School Physics
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Understanding of concepts and first principles reduces complex problem to trivialities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I let students walk me through their solution to a problem they feel they completely understand and have solved well; this lets me know what they know and what techniques they feel comfortable with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Provide tools, not solutions; explain a process in general and let a student apply it to the problem at hand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Demonstrate progress made and illustrate the concepts they do understand, instead of staying focused on the problem they are currently struggling with.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Take a step back to give the skill context of where are we and where are we going; this motivation often helps focus on what is important and why.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break sentences down into their subjects and intents, underline key phrases and ignore the distractions that often accompany word problems. Re-writing a more concise version can help.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting with a new student, it is just as important to determine what their skills and competency levels currently are as well as what their goals are. This helps in making realistic and attainable goals.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
When students lose sight of what their studying is getting them, or where it is leading, I like to show them where the concepts they are learning are being used to do amazing things, like fly space ships.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When a student is able to verbally talk about the implications of a concept, and connect it to other concepts they know, as well as clearly solve numerical problems, then they truly understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students' confidence comes from successful repetition; once they start getting through problems quickly and easily that were previously giving them headaches, then confidence grows.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In order to evaluate a student’s needs it is important to understand their educational background, as well as their academic goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students prefer to talk their way through concepts; others feel more comfortable working out equations on paper. Tutoring is easily adapted to allow a student to express their strengths, however getting out of your comfort zone every now and then can be good too.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper is always readily available, but big-ole white boards make complex problems easier to visualize.