Tutoring and teaching experience:
In high school, during my junior and senior years, I was a tutor and mentor to younger students on the school math team. I tutored my fellow teammates during after-school problem solving sessions in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, linear equations, word problems, etc. We competed in math ‘meets’ with other schools once a week, where each student solved three math questions in 10 minutes in one of six math disciplines. Thus, I know how to solve math problems correctly and quickly and how to teach those methods to students. Accuracy and speed are both important when taking standardized exams such as the SAT and ASVAB which contain mathematics questions.
As a first year graduate student, I was a teaching assistant for a chemical separations course and a unit operations lab course in the chemical engineering department. I led a weekly two-hour problem solving session for the separations course for about 20 students. For the lab course (15 students), I gave pre-lab quizzes and assisted students with lab procedures and data analysis methods. As a teaching assistant, I also held a twice-weekly office hour for both courses to help students one-on-one with difficulties understanding chemical concepts and with roadblocks to writing lab reports. Thus, I have a lot of experience helping students in a one-on-one setting with scientific and mathematical concepts and the application of those concepts to solving problems in chemistry and other science subjects.
I have also worked as a biotech research scientist. I was a postdoctoral researcher for 4 years at UCSD and the Burnham Institute, both in La Jolla, CA. I worked for 6 years in the biotech industry in San Diego, applying computational chemistry methods. I am currently (Fall 2010) teaching an introductory chemistry course (CHEM100) at Mt. San Jacinto Community College in Menifee. There are 32 students in the class. As a teacher, I work on a regular basis with students one-on-one to answer their questions about chemical theories and concepts and the correct solutions to particular chemical and mathematical problems.
Approach to tutoring:
I believe people generally have an innate sense of curiosity about the natural world around them. I strive to tap and nurture that sense in my teaching and tutoring, through the use of relevant demonstrations, story pictures, and current events. Solving problems in science and mathematics is a key to learning. Students I tutor will gain experience at solving problems in an organized way both during our tutoring sessions and on their own between tutoring sessions. The method I use to solve problems (and which I teach to students I tutor) starts with noting what is known and unknown about a particular system and then deciding what equations, rules, and concepts can be applied to help solve for the unknown. Use of a solution map (a drawing of the key parts of a problem and the solution process) is very helpful in arriving at the correct solution and answer to the problem.
I strive to use a variety of styles (visual, written, verbal, tactile, etc.) to present and explain scientific and mathematical concepts during tutoring. One of my goals in tutoring is to discover the ways in which each student learns most efficiently. Then I apply teaching methods that mesh with the discovered ‘best learning style’. Encouragement and praise for the student are a major part of my tutoring style as I feel this positive feedback builds confidence and makes learning fun.
RHAM High School, Hebron, CT - college prep curriculum including AP Chemistry and Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY - B.S. Chemical Engineering, minor in Economics, GPA: 3.57/4.0
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, minor in Biochemistry
Undergraduate courses completed (related to the subjects I tutor in)
General Chemistry (2 semesters)
Organic Chemistry (2 semesters),
Chemical Engineering Lab (2 semesters)
Physical Chemistry for Engrs. (2 sem.)
Chemistry of the environment
Physics (3 semesters)
Thermodynamics (2 semesters)
Linear equations (1 semester)
Calculus (2 semesters)
Differential equations (1 semester)
Graduate courses completed
Protein Structure and Function
Principles of Biochemistry
Physical Chemistry of Proteins
Biosynthesis of Macromolecules (DNA and RNA)
Intermediate Biochemical Methods (biochemistry lab)
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