A photo of Richard, a tutor from Stanford University

Richard

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Hi there!

I graduated from Stanford with a degree in Symbolic Systems where I studied computer science and cognitive psychology (how the brain works). I specialize in teaching technical subjects, like math and science, which involve mastery of procedures to solve problems.

My teaching method is centered around 3 principles:

1. Decomposition
Many people fear complex problems because they don't know where to start. Decomposition is the idea of breaking down problems into simple parts that are easier to understand. I help my students use decomposition to break down problems into smaller, more manageable components that are easier to solve.

2. Real-life application
Learning is most interesting when it is applied to real-world problems. I ground my lessons in real-world applications so my students understand the value of what they are learning.

3. Learning by doing The best way of learning how to do something is to simply do it. I've developed a learning method called "Do Learn Do" that helps students learn by doing. The first "Do" is the student's first (solo) attempt in solving the problem, which often turns out to be quite difficult. In "Learn," I give my students feedback on how to improve their process (what they did well, what they didn't do well, and how they can improve). And finally, in the second "Do" the student solves the problem again with the improvements. I've found this process to be extremely successful in helping students learn complex topics.

In my free time, I enjoy cycling around the beautiful bay area and cooking with friends. I'm an avid lifelong learner and love to mentor students with their academic and career decisions.

Richard’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University - Bachelors, Symbolic Systems

Hobbies

cooking, cycling


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My approach to tutoring is centered around 3 principles: decomposition, real-life application, and learning by doing 1. Decomposition: Many people fear complex problems because they don’t know where to start. Decomposition is the idea of breaking down problems into simple parts that are easier to understand. I help my students use decomposition to break down problems into smaller, more manageable components that are easier to solve.2. Real-life application: Learning is most interesting when it is applied to real-world problems. I ground my lessons in real-world applications so that my students understand the value of what they are learning. I once taught a student how to conduct a computer science sorting algorithm at the kitchen table with a handful of spices. :) 3. Learning by doing: The best way of learning how to do something is to simply do it. I’ve developed a learning method called “Do Learn Do” that helps students learn by doing. The first “Do” is the student’s first (solo) attempt in solving the problem, which often turns out to be quite difficult. In “Learn,” I give my students feedback on how to improve their process (what they did well, what they didn’t do well, and how they can improve). And finally, in the second “Do,” the student solves the problem again with the improvements. I’ve found this process to be extremely successful in helping students learn complex topics.

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

I like to start with an evaluation of my student's strengths and weaknesses, identifying specific topics and ways of learning that I can help him/her improve.