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I have had at least 4 years of experience tutoring prealgebra, beginning, and intermediate algebra as a university employee while studying graduate physics at San Diego State University.
Our program consisted of a "Math Lab" where beginning college students taking these classes could come in and work on their homework with free resources, including on-duty math tutors. As one of these tutors it was my responsibility to assist students with questions and to periodically check in on students who were studying in the lab.
Algebra 1 (or Elementary Algebra) introduces the use of variables in equations and usually concludes with the basic concept of functions.
The subject generally covers these topics:
*Substitution (replacing expressions with values)
*Simplifying Algebraic Expressions (cancelling comon factors, etc.)
*Writing Expressions and Equations (translating a paragraph into math)
*Solving Linear Equations (finding intersection points)
*Multiplying Binomials (F.O.I.L.)
*Inequalities (greater than or less than)
During my time as a graduate student at San Diego State University, I spent at least four years tutoring prealgebra, beginning, and intermediate algebra as a university employee.
Our program was based in a small room on campus, called the 'Math Lab' where young college students taking algebra classes were welcome to come in and work on their homework with free resources, including on-duty math tutors. As one of these tutors it was my responsibility to assist students with questions and to periodically check in on students using the lab.
Algebra 2 (or Intermediate Algebra) revolves mainly around the introduction, classification, and manipulation of functions of an indeterminate variable (i.e. equations symbolized by 'f(x)'). Successful completion of the course serves as an essential foundation for the future calculus student.
Algebra 2 generally covers these topics:
*Solving and Factoring Quadratic Equations (polynomials of degree 2)
*Solving Systems of Equations (finding the values of "x" and "y")
*Relationships between the Sides of an Equation (direct and inverse variations)
*Functions (mathematical relation between a dependent and independent variable)
*Matrices (used to solve systems of linear equations)
*Logarithms (inverse functions of exponential functions)
For over three years the University of Michigan employed me as a peer tutor for calculus students. This tutoring experience may well be my most significant qualification as a calculus tutor.
When you major in physics, you must be fluent in calculus and differential equations because physics cannot survive without advanced mathematics.
However, neither the time I spent earning my bachelors in Engineering Physics at U of M nor my time studying graduate physics at San Diego State University would help me efficiently share the methods of calculus. It was personal interaction with fellow students that gave me an edge.
Years of tutoring calculus sharpened my sense for how people learn math and science. I discovered the ability to connect any type of inquiring mind with abstract concepts by using concrete examples.
Consider the operation d/dx( f(x) ). It is difficult to know what these symbols are implying unless you might see that d/dx( x^2) = 2x, d/dx( x^3) = 3x^2, d/dx( x^4) = 4x^3, d/dx( x^5) = 5x^4. Eventually you might catch that the power of x in the parentheses drops down and becomes a coefficient in each equation. This is just one pattern you are guaranteed to learn with plenty of repetition.
For over three years the University of Michigan employed me as a peer tutor for physics students. This tutoring experience may be my most significant qualification as a physics tutor.
Neither the time I spent earning my bachelors in Engineering Physics at U of M nor my time studying graduate physics at San Diego State University could prepare me for efficiently sharing the knowledge of physics. That is, my studies did not prepare me nearly as well as did actively and personally working with fellow students.
Years of tutoring physics sharpened my sense for how people learn science. I discovered the ability to connect all types of inquiring minds with abstract concepts by using concrete examples.
Consider the formula d=vt. It is difficult to process the practical use of these symbols unless you might multiply 60mph by 2hrs to get 120 miles. Seeing this, it takes just a hint to realize this product tells us that driving 60mph for 2 hours straight can get us 120 miles down the road.