Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I continued our discussion on the concepts of simple harmonic motion and waves. Today, we reviewed what we had already learned during our last session and then added to what we know about wave motion. We discussed the difference between transverse waves and longitudinal waves, giving examples of both, then I showed her what a graph of a longitudinal wave's distance over time would look like, giving the appearance of a transverse wave when graphed. Through this, I taught her that although they are distinct waves based on their motions, mathematically, they are the same thing. I drew a figure depiction a single pulse wave's motion over time and how each point on the wave goes through a position at equilibrium, as a trough of a wave and as a crest of a wave. We spent a good portion of the session playing around with the PhET online simulators on simple pendulums and wave motion. These are fantastic learning tools for students in the sciences to be able to experiment with different conditions of a particular system to see how these changes would affect the system as a whole. Being able to work with these simulators teaches not only mathematical variations of a problem, but also teaches conceptual information about the relationships between variables. We worked transverse waves with no fixed end and zero damping to show that without interference, a wave will travel forever with the same amplitude, and thus the same intensity. Conversely, we discovered that if we include damping, a sort of friction on a wave, the wave will lose intensity as the transferred energy dissipates over time, and the amplitude of the waves will gradually decrease to reach equilibrium. Today we were able to get through many of the problems provided in her textbook so that she can get familiar with what types of problems she will see on her upcoming assignments and tests. As always, she did a great job on the problems, with no mathematical errors and a full conceptual understanding of what is happening in each situation. Next session we will continue on working out problems and enhance her conceptual knowledge on waves, giving more examples that she can draw from."
"We covered titration problems for both weak acids and strong acids being titrated by strong base and strong acids respectively, calculating pH at different points in the process, using Ka or Kb for initial pH, using Henderson-Hasselbalch for the buffering period, the Ka or Kb as appropriate at equivalence point, and finding concentration of excess strong base/acid after equivalence point. She sometimes goes a bit too fast and doesn't take a moment to think about what steps she will be doing in the problem to find the answer."
"Physics: Adding vectors. Breaking vectors into X and Y components. Adding like vectors: X with X, and Y with Y. Summing up the final vector using the Pythagorean theorem and Trigonometry to solve for final angle."