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Hi! My name is Anton, and I first became a tutor in 2007, when a close friend of mine, on quitting a part-time tutoring/test prep job he had been working at in my neighborhood, recommended me to his boss as a replacement. My UC Berkeley degree and good SAT scores (800 Math, 770 Verbal), as well as my friend's recommendation, got me the job, and I quickly found that I liked it.
I worked there on and off for about a year, but ended up moving on to other jobs, such as sales, which attracted me partly because of the full-time hours. I would still occasionally do small tutoring jobs on the side, however.
I have always loved learning. Virtually every day, I learn something new about math, science, computers, politics, history, philosophy, music, etc. I am good at teaching myself, which I think helps me to teach others, as well. My ability to teach myself is what got me back into doing tutoring as my main source of income.
It is, I think, an interesting story...
I play guitar, and have since about the year 2000. In 2009 some of my friends and I started a band. For about half a year, we regularly met to improvise new music and practice. It was one of the most fun things I've ever done. The band ended up breaking up, for a variety of reasons, just when (in my opinion, at least) we were starting to get good enough to play shows.
After the band broke up, the drummer and I would sometimes talk about how we missed it. He was a computer programmer by trade, and so we started talking about the possibility of writing computer programs that would, semi-randomly, generate interesting music. I had learned how to program a little bit back in high school, and I felt like I wanted to try it again — so I did, and realized that I had a passion for programming that I had not previously been aware of.
Working with music software quickly brought something else to my attention: I did not understand some mathematics that is frequently used in the current theory of sound. I am thinking, specifically, of Fourier Series and Fourier Transforms.
Well, I said to myself, I think that I can teach myself this stuff...
Fourier Series looked a bit hard when I read about them online and in books, just a big mass of unfamiliar symbols and equations. I thought back to high school, and how I had really loved math back then, before my mind moved to different subjects such as Literature and Philosophy. I decided that I would give it a shot.
It worked... it took a couple of months before I felt like I actually understood what was going on, but it did happen, and I understood what people were talking about when they were talking about Fourier Series.
Along the way, I fell in love with mathematics again. From Fourier Series my interest widened... I read about Set Theory, Number Theory, Multivariable Calculus, Complex Numbers, and other topics. Another thing happened: my re-awoken interest in math merged with another stream of thought that had been in my mind for a while.
Ever since I was a teenager, I had always wanted to (some day) actually understand modern physics such as Electromagnetic Theory, Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics. I realized, though, that to really grasp these topics in the form in which they are generally spoken of, I would have to learn a lot more mathematics than I knew at the time. For example, I would have to learn about Differential Equations, Differential Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Linear Algebra.
So I began to put in the very rewarding effort of teaching myself about these things, an effort that is on-going.
In late 2010 I needed a job. At this point I had been spending hours per day for months reading and thinking about mathematics. I thought back to how much I liked tutoring when I did it, and realized that, with all of my recent mathematical work, I would be a better candidate for a tutoring job than I had ever been before.
Full of confidence, I walked into a local tutoring company (TestMagic, Inc. of San Francisco) off the street, talked to them, and got the job. I haven't looked back since...
I am interested in many more things besides mathematics, and this is reflected in my tutoring... as well as math, I have also tutored English, History, and various sciences, such as High School Chemistry, High School Biology, and High School Physics.
My high level of confidence in my ability to learn anything is one of the main reasons why I actually have been able to teach myself many things that most people, if they learn them at all, learn in college. I think that it also makes me a better teacher — since I have taught myself successfully, I believe that other people can teach themselves as well, and that, if they want help, I can effectively help them.
Teaching is very rewarding for me: I love seeing the look of understanding appear on someone's face when they 'get it' and the sense that I am building people's confidence. Teaching also gives me the opportunity to constantly learn myself, and to work on the fundamentals of the subjects that I teach. This practice then translates into making more advanced efforts easier for me.
I would love to put my abilities at your service.
I have several years of experience as a math tutor, and have taught calculus a good number of times.
Calculus is based on only a few core concepts -- the rest is applying these. The core concepts are the limit, differentiation, and integration. The important thing with learning calculus is to really understand the basics. But calculus is a different kind of thinking than any sort of math that a student is likely to have encountered before, and so lots of people get lost. This can be fixed, however, and it does not take much time.
Through a tutoring company, I have experience with tutoring a college student and also two high school students in differential equations. I have also independently studied in the field. I am familiar with the basic theory of ordinary differential equations and the Laplace transform, as well as with some particular partial differential equations such as the wave equation.
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