Philadelphia, PA, 19139
Joined on July, 2013
Weekdays after 3PM
Sunday after 12 Noon
Sunday after 12 Noon
Up to 20 minutes away for no additional charge
EducationBachelor of Arts, Mathematics, Classical Studies, 2012
Rice University, Houston, TX
ExperienceI have five years' experience tutoring high school students in mathematics, from the level of 8th grade algebra to calculus (differentiation/integration). I went through the International Baccalaureate program in high school and took no AP classes or exams, but I do not believe this at all to be a deficit because the nature of mathematics precludes any real, substantial differences between paths of examination. I can provide assistance with studying for standardized tests (e.g., SAT). In addition, I can help college students in single-variable calculus, geometry, linear algebra, and real analysis.
I have a deep and thorough understanding of the mathematical subject matter encountered by high school students, both in the methods of solving individual problems and in the underlying theoretical structure. To me, these two aspects of mathematical study must both be mastered by the student. This is the manner in which I seek to teach my students: they must be able to apply the proper algorithms to solve problems posed to them in assignments, but such ability is vacuous without an understanding of how and why the algorithm works, and of how all the myriad (often seeming wholly disparate) individual subjects fit together.
One of my greatest complaints about math education today is that, given the immense fixation of the education system on standardized tests, students are primarily taught to solve problems so as to achieve high scores on tests. While this is of course a much desired outcome, I feel that it should not be the focus. Rather, the goal of mathematical instruction must simply be understanding and mastery of the material, both theory and mechanics. If a student truly understands the structure within a certain topic, then solving individual problems is nothing more than applying this knowledge. A memorized method can be forgotten or confused easily, but a theoretical understanding allows the student to use reason and logic to apply the method and to detect mistakes.
For this reason, in my tutoring I seek foremost to make sure that my student has full understanding of the material. I prefer to approach any new subject first by (re-)explaining it, stressing key theoretical points, in an effort to build an image of the mathematical structure in the student's mind. If I feel that the student understands, or that proper understanding would be best fostered by seeing an example, I guide the student in solving problems (generally those on homework assignments). In addition, I strive to bring the student to see that the many subjects under study are in fact quite interwoven despite appearing to be discrete and unrelated. This synthetic view is too often underplayed by teachers, for it can quite help comprehension to see each individual minute topic as part of a larger whole. Finally, and quite dear to me as someone with a fiery passion for mathematics, I do my level best to engender in my student the same love for the subject that I have. I want them to see the beauty in it that I do, that to me makes it one of the greatest parts of human knowledge.
In short, my goal in tutoring is to foster ability, understanding, and admiration. I love to teach because I can do exactly that. I view learning as the greatest human endeavor, and I love to participate in that endeavor on both ends, as learner and as teacher. I think this is why I have been a successful tutor and why I wish to continue to perform in that capacity, because I desire for others to understand what I myself do. I love my subject and I relish sharing it.
I am currently in the University of Pennsylvania post-baccalaureate program in classical studies (Greek and Latin literature), aiming to enter graduate school; I wish to pursue a teaching career in the classics (or something similar), having decided that, though I love math deeply, I wish to make my career in the humanities. I am a strong writer (as I hope I have demonstrated so far) and can provide as an additional service proofreading of essays for grammar and style.
I live in University City without any mode of transportation other than walking, so I can meet students in the close vicinity of the University of Pennsylvania (skewing toward the west, where I live). I am willing either to the student's house if in that area or to a public place of the student's choosing (e.g., a cafe).
HobbiesI am an academic at heart with wide-ranging interests and so in my free time may be doing anything from watching TV or movies and playing video games to reading books on math, philosophy, history, linguistics, or other such things, or conventional literature. Also very important to me is music: I listen to rock (especially progressive rock), metal (most kinds), folk, classical, medieval, jazz, and a bit of country (the folkier side, e.g., Marty Robbins). I love to discuss music and share recommendations.
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