I received my BS (2010) in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my MS (2012) and PhD (2016) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During my time as an undergraduate I ran discussion sections twice per week for students enrolled in Engineering Dynamics where I provided brief lectures and supplemental problem sets for students looking for extra help outside of the lectures. In graduate school, I continued working in academics as a teaching assistant for a senior level composite mechanics course. Also in graduate school, I served as the laboratory manager for the Composites Manufacturing Laboratory on campus were I instructed hundreds of students on the basics of fabricating composite parts for a variety of applications including vehicle wing elements, rocket casings, and sporting goods. When tutoring a student, I prefer to learn what motivates them to be successful and where their passion lies with a subject. My passion is for understanding the world around me through engineering, math, and science, so I prefer and enjoy tutoring those subjects above all else. Outside of academics, I enjoy making music, running, and playing ultimate frisbee.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Madison - Bachelors, Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics
Graduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - PHD, Aerospace Engineering
Ultimate Frisbee, Running, Card Playing, Piano, Trumpet, Jazz Music, Video Games
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
High School Physics
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy centers around application of curriculum to the world around us. Instead of understanding "what is the derivative of this function?", I'd rather teach "what does the derivative of this function teach us about economics, or planetary motion, or fluid flow?" I believe that coupling real world application with mathematical tools is incredibly important for information retention.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session with a student is typically a conversation about their reason for seeking a tutor and their goals for our time together. I will commonly ask to review the student's previous work (old exams, homework, etc.) to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Motivation for independent learning only comes if there is an application for the knowledge. So to best motivate independent learning, I try and show students how the tools they're accumulating can be applied to the world around them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Typically, if a student is struggling with a topic, I like to move away from it for a short time to something they are more comfortable with. This lets the student re-build confidence and gives me time to re-asses my teaching strategy for the more difficult topic the student is struggling with.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I believe that getting to know the student personally is very important for both me as the tutor, and them as the student. For me, an impersonal, "strictly business" relationship is alienating and gets in the way of learning. There needs to be high-fives and laughter.