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Andrew M.

Engineer and Inventor Specializing in Math and Test Prep

Broomfield, CO (80021)

Travel radius
15 miles
Hourly fee
$35.00
Email Andrew M.

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My background is in engineering, but my father was a math teacher and my mother a substitute and special education teacher, so I think I inherited some natural teaching abilities from each of them! I started out as a hardware design engineer, then switched over to embedded software engineering after receiving my MSCS from the University of Nevada-Reno with a 4.0 GPA.

My academic specialties are: math, science, physics, electronics and programming embedded C, but I have also accumulated a pretty vast knowledge base of world and American history, geography, natural science, philosophy and psychology over the past 25 years. When I was younger, I scored very high on the math sections of the SAT, ACT and GRE, but I am very strong in English now since I have advanced so much in vocabulary, grammar, spelling and writing skills since then. I have published a few scientific papers and editorials in my professional career, and I write science-fiction literature, poetry, music and philosophy as a hobby as well.

I have had experience working as a mentor and guide in the past, and now also tutoring students with various learning disorders, mostly ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia. My previous experience is both personal and from interacting with others with these and other difficulties such as depression and bipolar disorder so I believe that I have a unique skill set to help reach those special or possibly gifted students that are capable of learning, but for some reason or another choose not to, or are otherwise hard to teach.

Since I began tutoring here, I have learned that I am a good match for above average and remedial students alike as long as they are motivated to learn and get better scores. A typical story I hear is that these students struggle and fall behind in the "one size fits all" public school system. The next step is losing confidence and self esteem which then leads to anxiety and truancy, thus completing a vicious downward cycle of falling further behind. I try to reverse this psychological trauma by making math fun and relatable to each student's personal experience.

As an amateur psychologist, I understand how the brain uses associative memory mapping - mnemonics, visual aids, etc. - to achieve robust learning and recall of facts, figures and methods. I am also getting quite good at decoding how my students process information since everyone is different and has strengths and weaknesses determined by left brain/right brain domination and communication. My goal is to "cross train" neural networks, so to speak, by simultaneously activating as much gray matter as possible when working through problems. This strengthens memory, linguistic, and critical thinking skills.

Contrary to traditional teaching methods, I do not discourage techniques like whispering problems out loud, "air writing" or using fingers to do sums, because all these techniques help activate several parts of the brain, especially in dyslexic students that have normal analytic pathways blocked or impaired. This in turn can help correct distorted interactions between the student and their environment.

So, I take an unconventional, individualized and holistic approach to motivation and learning as opposed to rote memorization and traditional teaching methods. My success as an engineer always came through my creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, and my ability to read people and understand their needs.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Andrew’s subjects

Corporate Training:
Grammar, Proofreading
Business:
GRE
Elementary Education:
Grammar
English:
ACT English, Grammar, Proofreading, Writing

ACT English

Throughout my life I have accumulated quite a large vocabulary and honed my grammar skills through abundant writing and intellectual conversation. To supplement these life skills, I have recently completed reading two reference books which cover the more technical aspects of the English language such as sentence structure, word definitions and usage and common grammatical errors.

My reading comprehension, logical deduction and inference skills are also good-to-excellent, and I have access to a vocabulary building program that has word lists specifically targeted at this section of the ACT test.

ACT Math

Every test guide will tell you that a big part of taking a standardized test is knowing HOW to take the test. This is very important because your two biggest enemies are mental fatigue and time management. You must have the confidence to attack each math problem presented and the mental stamina to stress your brain for three hours straight without making silly, careless errors which this test is designed to let you make. This challenge may be the most difficult and is often overlooked as part of test preparation. I can help with this through my individualized and holistic approach.

I am also making my own supplemental guide to augment popular ones since I've found these books to be lacking in creativity and robustness. I say this because the math sections require three things: a thorough knowledge of geometry and algebra, the ability to apply this knowledge to word problems and unfamiliar phrasing, and the ability to adapt to new thought paradigms when under stress and mental fatigue.

I teach many time saving shortcut methods that emphasize critical thinking, deductive reasoning, simplification, estimation and elimination, all working together to find efficient and effective ways to recognize and solve the problems. The goal is to prioritize and solve as many problems accurately as possible and not fall into any "time traps".

ACT Science

Physics and physical science are my strengths, and I am fairly knowledgeable in biology and chemistry. However, I intend to study more on these latter subjects to eliminate even these minor weaknesses because my goal here is to become the best and most knowledgeable tutor possible for this test.
My particular fields of interests and knowledge are: Astronomy and cosmology, nuclear science and radiation, geology and geography, climatology and weather, paleo-history, anthropology and genetics, electronics, computers, communications and power transmission/generation, green energy systems, applied mechanics and thermodynamics, aerospace engineering, mining, refining and manufacturing, transportation infrastructure, artificial intelligence and robotics, space exploration, regional and global ecosystems. Oil and gas exploration/exploitation and alternative bio -fuels, agriculture and the study of the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and stratosphere.

Some areas I still need refresher courses on are: organic chemistry, biology and micro biology, more expansive anatomy of the plant and animal kingdoms, quantum physics and string theory.

Algebra 1

For Algebra I students, especially GRE and ASVAB test prep students, I use a Cliff's guide book which also includes a summary of all the basic pre-algebra concepts such as number theory, operations, powers and exponents, squares, cubes and roots, signed numbers, fractions and percents.

The guide then goes on to cover sets, equations, ratio and proportion, factoring, and algebraic fractions. The next sections cover inequalities, graphing, absolute value, coordinate geometry, domain and range of functions and variations. The next two chapters discuss roots, radicals and quadratic functions, including the quadratic equation and completing the square. The guide ends with an entire chapter devoted to common word problems such as compound interest, percent, applied number problems like age difference, sum of coins, mixing two items together, and simple physics problems like motion and work.

I also have constructed many of my own help sheets that cover some of these topics in more depth (especially common word problems that often appear on standardized tests such as the GRE, ASVAB, SAT and ACT). Some of these help sheets are very dense in information that are meant to be memorized thoroughly, which frees up the pre-frontal cortex to perform executive tasks (reasoning and critical thinking).

Algebra 2

As an engineer, inventor and independent researcher in the field of investing and macroeconomics, I have used and still frequently use algebra and trigonometry to solve interesting real world problems. Thus, when I first joined this site in late Sept. of 2012, I passed the qualifying tests all the way through pre-calculus and physics fairly easily.

However, I did have some memory holes in some advanced topics, so I spent quite a bit of time reviewing my college textbooks and even purchased some new intermediate -advanced algebra books covering topics like graphs & functions and linear algebra to fill in these memory holes and to expand my expertise.

More recently I have been studying some calculus and physics for engineers textbooks, which focus on applied math and technology usage (graphing calculators and advanced topics), so working through these problems is a constant review of advanced algebra and trigonometry.

I specialize in teaching high level reasoning and critical thinking skills needed to interpret word problems and scientific problems into equations that can be solved using advanced algebra techniques. Thus, I feel that my knowledge and insight of this level of mathematics is an advantage to others with only teaching experience.

Astronomy

I have been fascinated with space and astronomy since the late Apollo Era, which I still remember vividly as a child. Since then, I have absorbed anything and everything I could read about space exploration and cosmology. Now, my ultimate goal is to design a revolutionary new rocket that will be an order of magnitude more efficient and less expensive than current "giant tube" designs that are literally 70 years old.

I also have designs for rocket engines that are currently based on "fringe physics" that are only suitable for my science fictions stories, but yesterday's magic is today's science, so it does't stop me from dreaming.

ASVAB

I am quite familiar with this test now and have direct experience tutoring other students. It is exactly the sort of general knowledge test that I excel at because I have experience teaching the core math and English sections. Plus, my experience as an inventor and engineer includes practical knowledge of many general and applied science, physics and mechanical engineering type questions - I have experience with metal working and machining, power systems (motors, generators, batteries and transmission techniques), fluids, gasses and solvents.

I have a wide range of interests and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I watch a lot of science, history and sociology documentaries so I am knowledgeable on just about every topic from astronomy to zoology.

The key to this test, even more so than other standardized tests such as the GRE, ACT and SAT is time and stress management. While the math sections are not particularly difficult, they are laden with "time traps" and other tricky questions meant to test your critical thinking and reasoning skills. It is imperative that you understand how to approach these problems and how to do basic math quickly in your head. I teach students many short cut methods and memory aids to facilitate this process, especially if they are not strong in this area.

Lastly, I have also had experience working for the Navy for the first 8 years of my career and both of my siblings were successful officers in the armed forces (Air Force and Navy). Both were stationed in the gulf during each of these wars so I have their life experiences to draw from. So, I believe I am the ideal candidate to tutor for this test.

Geography

I just love maps, and to travel across space and time via Google Earth and history books.

I have also physically traveled to every state except Alaska and Hawaii, and also to some foreign countries like England, South Africa, Australia and of course Canada and Mexico.

Geometry

When I first joined this site in September of 2012 I purchased a study guide in order to refresh my memory on all topics that may come up in a formal class in geometry. I worked through every problem and went above and beyond what was presented in the proofs in order to deepen my knowledge of the subject.

I added many extra proofs and in-depth analyses of some topics to the math study guides I am creating for students preparing to take various standardized tests in which an understanding of basic geometry is a must.

The first several chapters of this guide covered such topics as parallel lines and transversals, planes, triangles, polygons (perimeter and area) and similarity. It then moved on to right triangles, circles (with secant and tangent lines) and geometric solids. The guide concluded with the algebra I crossover topic of coordinate geometry: graphing lines, solving linear equations in standard, point-slope and slope-intercept form.

GRE

See descriptions for English, Geometry, Algebra and Algebra II first, as these are directly applicable to this subject description.

I have two Princeton Review guides to aid in studying for the GRE: "Cracking the GRE: 2013" and "1,014 GRE Practice Questions" (3rd Ed). I am also making my own supplemental guide for the math sections because I've found these books to be lacking in creativity and robustness. I say this because doing well on the math sections requires three things: a thorough knowledge of geometry and algebra, the ability to apply this knowledge to word problems with unfamiliar phrasing, and the ability to adapt to new thought paradigms when under stress and mental fatigue.

This part of test preparation is often underestimated by students, so I can help with my innovative and holistic approach. I teach many time saving shortcut methods that emphasize critical thinking, deductive reasoning, simplification, estimation and elimination, all working together to find efficient and effective ways to recognize and solve the problems. The goal is to avoid "time traps" by prioritizing and solving as many problems as possible.

I also have access to vocabulary building software that is specifically geared towards the GRE and other standardized tests. This is one area of improvement that will increase your scores on the English sections with the least amount of time and effort spent.

Physical Science

I have just completed a thorough review of Barron's "Earth Science Study Guide" in order to refresh my memory and solidify my knowledge base of all Earth Sciences that may be found in high school level science classes or on the ACT and ASVAB exams. The book was separated into sections covering the Lithosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere, and discussed interactions between all of these in a comprehensive way.

The book also introduced some basic Astronomy, but my understanding of planetary, interstellar and cosmological evolution is orders of magnitude beyond what is presented in this book due to my own personal interest in all of the space sciences from ground based observation and robotic exploration to theoretical constructs of quantum theory.

Physics

When I first signed up for this site, I realized that I had some some catching up to do on many physics topics, so I completed a review of my non-calculus based college text which covered everything from classical mechanics to quantum physics and relativity.

For the past several months I have been doing a more rigorous investigation by working through some newer calculus and physics for engineers and scientists textbooks, so I feel confident now in tutoring AP physics B and AP calculus AB, with an emphasis on applied mathematics that develop higher level critical thinking skills found in AP and college level courses.

Prealgebra

I am qualified to teach geometry, algebra I, and algebra II, and in the process I have gone back to review every lower level topic that may have fallen down the memory hole. Therefore, I am very qualified to tutor pre-algebra.

Precalculus

In addition to tutoring high school students with standard and "Core Mathematics Plus" curricula, I have spent a lot of time reviewing a couple different calculus books (one with a supplemental emphasis on applied calculus and use of the latest graphing calculators) and also some calculus based physics texts in order to expand my client base to more advanced college level calculus and engineering physics students. These books require a solid foundation of pre-calculus topics including advanced algebra, trigonometry, and vector and matrix operations.

In working through so many diverse problems sets, I feel I have an excellent grasp of all precalculus topics now from rational root theorems to advanced trig identities and transformations.

PSAT

The PSAT is simply a less rigorous standardized test taken prior to a full SAT. The math sections are roughly equivalent in difficulty to the ASVAB, so a thorough knowledge of pre-algebra is needed, and a good knowledge of algebra 1 and geometry is required to score well on the math sections.

A student needs to have a good knowledge of grammar and fairly advanced vocabulary to score really well on the verbal sections however, so reading a lot and increasing your vocabulary is critical for scoring in the top 95%, which is a minimum score needed to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship.

Thus, other than being a good preview test to see how you might perform on the far more important SAT (for scholarships and college admission purposes), serious students should approach this test the same way as the SAT. Also, it will show if you truly have what it takes to compete with other top students for scholarships and other perks when it comes down to picking and choosing your desired academic future. Even if you are taking college prep classes, at the very least it will expose the areas you need to improve in since it will expose weakness under pressure.

SAT Math

Every test guide will tell you that a big part of taking a standardized test is knowing HOW to take the test. This is very important because your two biggest enemies are mental fatigue and time management. You must have the confidence to attack each math problem presented and the mental stamina to stress your brain for three hours straight without making silly, careless errors which this test is designed to let you make. This challenge may be the most difficult and is often overlooked as part of test preparation. I can help with this through my individualized and holistic approach.

I am also making my own supplemental guide to augment popular ones since I've found these books to be lacking in creativity and robustness. I say this because the math sections require three things: a thorough knowledge of geometry and algebra, the ability to apply this knowledge to word problems and unfamiliar phrasing, and the ability to adapt to new thought paradigms when under stress and mental fatigue.

I teach many time saving shortcut methods that emphasize critical thinking, deductive reasoning, simplification, estimation and elimination, all working together to find efficient and effective ways to recognize and solve the problems. The goal is to prioritize and solve as many problems accurately as possible and not fall into any "time traps".

Trigonometry

As an engineer, inventor and independent researcher in the field of investing and macroeconomics, I have used and still frequently use algebra and trigonometry to solve interesting real world problems. Thus, when I first joined this site in late Sept. of 2012, I passed the qualifying tests all the way through pre-calculus and basic physics fairly easily.

However, I had forgotten some of the more esoteric trig identities, so I spent some time reviewing my college textbooks to relearn anything that might come up in a high school trig or pre-calc course.

More recently I have been studying some rigorous calculus and physics for engineers textbooks, which focus on applied math and technology usage (graphing calculators for advanced topics) so working through these problems is a constant review of advanced algebra and trigonometry.

I have experience tutoring at this level and I also have teaching, training and mentoring experience from my career. I specialize in teaching high level reasoning and critical thinking skills needed to interpret word problems and scientific problems into equations that can be solved using advanced algebra techniques. Thus, I feel that my knowledge and insight of this level of mathematics is an advantage to others with only teaching experience.

World History

I have a big interest in World History and I often watch documentaries - everything from ancient Mesopotamia to recent conflicts in that same area. I am also interested in the deeper meaning of history beyond dates and events. E.g., I understand the "why's" and "how's" of many cultures, religions and nation states in addition to the "who's and "when's".

I also have a few World History books to use as reference including a college text and a complete timeline that correlates historical and political dates with arts and literature, science and technology, religion and philosophy, and daily life.

Writing

I have been an active writer throughout my professional career and personal life. As an engineer, I was often tasked with writing technical documents and presentations or summaries for management. I have published two scientific papers in journals and won an award for best presentation at an artificial intelligence symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1995. I have also been a member of and regular contributor to an on-line research and investing site for 13 years where I have published a few articles and editorials.

I have written dozens of science fiction short stories and one full length novel, but have yet to publish any fictional work. I am currently re-writing some of them now, since my knowledge of character development, psychology and philosophy is so much more advanced now.

Throughout my life, I have accumulated quite a large vocabulary and honed my grammar skills through abundant writing and intellectual conversation. To supplement these life skills, I have recently completed reading two reference books which cover the more technical aspects of the English language such as sentence structure, word definitions and usage and common grammatical errors.

Read all subject qualifications »

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Education

DeVry Institutute of Technology, Phoenix (BSEET)

University of Nevada-Reno (Master's)

Good tutor very responsive. Andrew was very responsive to emails and flexible setting up meetings. He understands pre-calculus very well and was able to help my daughter in a very difficult class. ...

— Jen from Westminster, CO on 12/6/13);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $35.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

Base rate is for high school level math, physics, and test prep; expert engineering students will be $40/hr.

Travel policy

Andrew will travel within 15 miles of Broomfield, CO 80021.

Email Andrew

Usually responds in about 6 hours

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