A photo of Brendan, a tutor from Texas Christian University

Brendan

Certified Tutor

Call us today to connect with a top tutor
(888) 888-0446

I spent the last 4 years in Fort Worth, Texas getting my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Christian University and graduated in May of 2016. Now, looking forward, I am at UCLA working on my Master’s degree, also in Mechanical Engineering, with an emphasis in structural dynamics and mechanical vibrations.

My tutoring experience has been largely informal, but throughout my academic career, I have continuously spent much of my time helping my friends and classmates to understand subjects we were working on in class. I tutor in college level math and engineering classes, as well as high school level design, math and physics courses. Of course, I enjoy helping students most in the topics that most interest me in mechanical engineering, but I believe that I excel in helping others understand the world through math and science in any subject.

My tutoring philosophy is ground in the idea that the world can be understood and explained through math and science, and that these subjects provide us with the necessary tools to gain that understanding. I believe that the best way to be successful in a course is through understanding the material, not just being able to regurgitate it. In addition, there is no one best way to learn a subject. I understand that each student’s path to full comprehension of a topic is different than the next, and I pride myself on being able to explain often complex topics in engineering and math in a variety of ways to find the approach that best garners understanding. These approaches can include metaphors, real-life applications, examples, mathematical derivations, and others. No one approach is superior to the others on its own, and I prefer to use more than one to ensure a more wholesome understanding by a student.

Outside of school, I am an athlete and an outdoorsman. I spend my time playing for the club water polo team at UCLA, refereeing NCAA soccer, hanging out at the beach, bodysurfing, backpacking and exploring the great outdoors of this beautiful country.

Brendan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Texas Christian University - Bachelors, Engineering (Mechanical Emphasis)

Graduate Degree: University of California-Los Angeles - Current Grad Student, Mechanical Engineering

Test Scores

GRE Quantitative: 170

GRE Verbal: 159

Hobbies

Water Polo, Soccer, Hiking, Backpacking, Body surfing, Traveling, Cooking.

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My tutoring philosophy is ground in the idea that the world can be understood and explained through math and science, and that these subjects provide us with the necessary tools to gain that understanding. I believe that the best way to be successful in a course is through understanding the material, and not just being able to regurgitate it. In addition, there is no one best way to learn a subject. I understand that each student's path to full comprehension of a topic is different than the next, and I pride myself on being able to explain often complex topics in engineering and math in a variety of ways to find the approach that best garners understanding. These approaches can include metaphors, real-life applications, examples, mathematical derivations, and others. No one approach is superior to the others on its own, and I prefer to use more than one to ensure a more wholesome understanding by a student.

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

In a typical first session with a student, I am most interested in gauging a student's goals, short term through long term, and identifying the best pathway forward to increase their chances of success. All students have different goals in mind, from understanding all the material to ensuring they pass a test or class, and a tutoring plan should be catered to match the needs of a student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The key to being an independent learner is developing sustainable study habits. I once had a teacher tell me "My job is to make my job unnecessary." I believe the same applies in tutoring. If I can give a student the right study tools and background knowledge to be successful in a subject without me, then I have done my job well.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It's easy to lose motivation in a subject if you don't see the value in studying it. I like to try to find the value in a subject that a student can relate to. Tutoring mostly in the maths and sciences, I find there's value in all the topics I work in and enjoy helping students see the same value as me.

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

I like finding new ways to explain the skill or concept, especially using real-life examples that are relatable.

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

I've found the best way to get a student excited or engaged in a subject that they struggle in is to relate that subject to their everyday life. Especially in math and the sciences, the subjects are always involved in everyday life, often unbeknownst to students. Pointing out the practical application of subjects is a great way to get students more engaged and excited about a topic.

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

After I walk through examples and have spent time working through a subject with a student, I like to work through another example or problem with them, except this time they get to explain it to me. By doing this, I can easily evaluate what parts a student understands and what parts still need more explaining. This process can go back and forth for many problems as we keep working towards a student's thorough understanding of a topic.

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

There are two factors that play into a student's confidence in a subject: exposure to and repetition of material and a thorough understanding of all facets of the material. We achieve this by working problems and examples with an emphasis on subject comprehension, and not just problem repetition. This will improve both factors that have a significant influence on a student's confidence in a subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The best way to evaluate a student's needs is to start working with problems and examples. By letting the student start off with a problem, I can begin to walk them through the parts they struggle with and make note of areas for improvement. This will allow me to spend less time tutoring on topics a student already understands and spend more time helping them where it's needed most.