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I have been working as a certified math teacher in a Chicago public high school where I teach Advanced Algebra, College Algebra and Pre-Calculus. I also taught Math part-time at the Chicago City Colleges. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked as a R&D design engineer for 2 major high-tech companies. My job was to write software that uses a lot of Math. My favorite hobby is to go ballroom and Latin dancing, and I am still learning new dances. I enjoy traveling and visiting places where there are big mountains, forests and rivers. I visited many of the National Parks: Bryce Canyon, Zion, Olympic, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great smoky Mountains, Appalachian, etc. I traveled to places like China, Madagascar, Spain, Canada and Caribbean and Mediterranean isles. As a person, I like to explore new places, try new cuisine and enjoy learning new hobbies. Above all, I like very much to show or explain to people how things work or are done.
My philosophy about ACT Math is that in order to do well on it you must first have an excellent mastery of algebra I and geometry. Once this is acquired, the algebra 2 part will just falls in place. Therefore, preparing for the ACT simply amounts to knowing your algebra I and geometry concepts inside out and being able to recognize and apply them to various situations. This only comes with a lot of practice, which in turn allows you develop strategies as how to attack a problem.
The prerequisite for calculus is to be comfortable with writing and solving equations, graphing functions and interpreting their graphs. You should be familiar with the equations and graphs of basic functions (linear, quadratic, absolute value, logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric) and be able to write and graph their equations when they are subjected to transformations such as translation, scaling and reflection.
The study of calculus deals with the limit and continuity of a function, maximum and minimum of a function, and the rate of change of a function (derivative). The derivative is used to characterize the behavior of a function.
As a final note, AP calculus is tailored to be application-oriented, whereas college calculus is more computation-oriented (meaning that to work out problems you may have to do pages and pages of algebraic manipulations).
Pre-calculus is basically taking Algebra 2 and Trigonometry to the next level. It builds upon the concepts you learned in those areas and prepares you for Calculus, which will be your first college math course if you decide to pursue studies in the sciences or engineering. My method of teaching is to first review and reinforce the fundamentals of Algebra I, II, Geometry and Trig, and then add on the more advanced concepts. If time allows, I present some basic concepts of calculus.
Salsa is probably the most popular Latin dance. I have danced salsa for over ten years and still enjoy learning new steps every now and then. The key to being good at any dance is to learn the basic steps really well. This means that until you become very comfortable with timing, leading/following and the music at the basic level, keep reinforcing the basic concepts before moving on and taking more advanced steps. Once you develop a bad habit, it is very hard to break out of it. This is a quote from one of my dance instructors that I will never forget: "If you do the basic steps very well, you will look better than 70% of the people on the dance floor."
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