Experienced, dedicated, expert tutor specializing in math, any section of test prep, and high-level critical thinking, reading, and writing. I'm friendly, patient, eager to help you succeed - and I guarantee you won't find anyone more knowledgeable or helpful, anywhere. (If you don't agree, I won't charge you!) Out of WyzAnt's more than 60,000 tutors nationwide, I've been among the busiest 100 for the past three years.
Unlike most other tutors, I tutor full-time and entirely independently: I've never worked for a tutoring company because I've never found one I respect intellectually. In fact, around half my students come to me after being disappointed by other tutors or by popular tutoring firms. You can check out more than 40 reviews on my Student Feedback page - that's more than any other WyzAnt tutor specializing in my subjects has in Massachusetts - to see what students say about what it's like to work with me.
MY EDUCATION: My two degrees are from MIT in theoretical math and literature. I also completed more than a semester of coursework at Harvard in English, philosophy, and intellectual history. While at MIT, I won prizes for my writing in both the humanities and the sciences. I've done labwork at MIT's Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. I've also worked as an editorial assistant at the Boston Review, a national magazine of politics, literature, and the arts. My academic interests are far-ranging and span most of 19th- and 20-century intellectual and cultural history, especially the history and philosophy of literature, science, and math. That's a fancy way of saying that I love to learn, read, and write about almost everything. I think it's not only possible but important for all students to be fluent in both the sciences and the humanities: the best way to learn how to think outside of the box - how to become a creative and critical thinker - is to think across many different disciplines.
MY SCORES: 99th percentile scores on all the standardized tests I teach. SAT I: 2400 800 Math, 800 Reading, 800 Writing. SAT II: 800 Math IIc, 800 Biology M. GRE: 170 Math, 170 Verbal, 6.0 Writing. GMAT: 780.
MY EXPERIENCE: I have thousands of hours of professional teaching, tutoring, and mentoring experience - eight years in the Boston metro area alone. I've worked with hundreds of students, both one-on-one and in classrooms, of ALL ages, backgrounds, and ability levels - from those in middle and high school to Harvard and MIT undergraduate and graduate students and adults in their forties.
MY PHILOSOPHY: My overarching goal in all the subjects I tutor is to help my students achieve real mastery - not at all what you get from a tutoring company with one-size-fits-all strategies or from teachers who aren't true experts. That means my focus is always on creative and critical thinking, not rule-following or rote memorization or ad hoc "strategies" (a word invented by the test-taking industry to sell products and fool you into thinking you're being told something useful). At the end of the day, the only thing I try to teach, no matter the subject, is that the kind of work it takes to learn something is, contrary to popular misconceptions, very different from the kind of work involved in looking up a fact or memorizing a rule: it is a kind of work on oneself. It involves learning how to talk, how to tell a story, how to have a conversation, how to generate ideas on your own, how to let something matter to you - and so much more. Of course all of these things require much more labor than memorization or rule-following. But, as the exercise gurus like to say, "no pain, no gain." And that's why we call memorization and rule-following "mechanical," after all: they can be done by a machine. True learning, and true teaching, is always humane, always exciting, always transformative - never mechanical.
Nevertheless, I don't pretend that concrete results aren't important. I give meaningful test-taking tips (which you won't find in any book) and teach with example problems constantly in view (which I make up on the spot to target the EXACT source of your confusion). But the bottom line is that, most of the time, the key to improving your grade in a class or your score on a test usually has less to do with reviewing basic facts or relearning forgotten rules - almost any book could teach you those! - than with improving your ability to think creatively, systematically, and articulately. Real understanding - the kind that will not only lead to good grades or test scores, but also stay with you and serve you forever, even in other endeavors - consists not in the knowledge of a laundry list of facts or a grab-bag of strategies but rather in the ability to organize and express that knowledge, to make and explain abstract connections, to name and describe relationships, to see a bigger picture. THOSE are the skills most people can't learn from a book - because they're skills you learn only by doing (especially by talking and writing and teaching others) - and that's exactly what we'll work on. One of the great forgotten philosophers of the last century, John Dewey, put the same point this way: "Practical skill, modes of effective technique, can be intelligently, non-mechanically used, ONLY when intelligence has played a part in their acquisition."
MY STYLE: My sessions are relaxed, fun, and very conversational: the emphasis, always, is on concepts and communication - on your ability to TALK about what we're doing (whether it's solving a problem, writing a paper, or simply trying to make sense of a new concept). That sort of meta-awareness - thinking about HOW you think - will help you NO MATTER the subject! By sharpening their ability to explain, my students not only refine their problem-solving skills and learn to ace exams, but also develop deep and lasting understanding.
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Matt's subjects
Calculus
I hold a degree in theoretical math from MIT, and I've taught every level of calculus -- from elementary to AP (both AB and BC), to advanced multivariable calculus at MIT, to calculus on differentiable manifolds for applications in mathematical physics -- for more than ten years.
Most tutors -- and teachers for that matter -- aren't truly qualified to teach calculus because they don't have the depth of understanding that comes from having a mathematics degree. I help my students acquire...
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Chemistry
I earned a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam in high school, and as an undergraduate at MIT I spent two years working in a renowned biomedical engineering laboratory designing iron oxide nanoparticles for cancer imaging and therapy. My work won a $1000 MIT Biomedical Engineering Society's Award for Research Excellence, awarded to only five MIT undergraduate and master's students each year; I'm also second author on the peer-reviewed article we published.
Grammar
I studied literature as an undergraduate at MIT and Harvard and took many courses in formal linguistics, and I'm currently an Assistant Editor at the Boston Review -- a national magazine of politics, literature, and the arts -- so I'm well-trained in both the science and art of English grammar. My grammar and SAT writing students learn how to analyze the deep structure of sentences by taking them apart and identifying the phrases and clauses that make them up.
Physics
I took the advanced sections of mechanics and electricity and magnetism at MIT. I've tutored Physics I and II to many high school and college students around the Boston area. I have a degree in theoretical math from MIT.
While an undergraduate at MIT, I specialized in mathematical physics -- the study of the mathematical structures and techniques that underlie theoretical physics. I'm fluent in the many advanced formalisms of special and general relativity and quantum mechanics, including...
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Precalculus
Precalculus is a gateway course for more advanced mathematics -- so it's no surprise that many students, even those who have a track record of good grades in math, find themselves overwhelmed by both the depth and breadth of the material. I've tutored the subject since I was in high school and earned a perfect 800 on the SAT Math II subject test, which draws almost all of its content from a course in precalculus. More recently, in the Boston area, I've worked with students taking precalculus at...
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Trigonometry
I took trigonometry my freshman year in high school and have been teaching and tutoring it ever since. Most high schools these days don't offer a course solely in trigonometry; rather, trig is typically integrated into a pre-calculus, algebra 2, or geometry course.
Writing
I studied literature as an undergraduate at MIT and Harvard, and I'm currently an Assistant Editor at the Boston Review -- a national magazine of politics, literature, and the arts -- where my daily work involves managing, editing, proofreading, and fact-checking essays written by some of the nation's most famous public intellectuals. While in college, my writing won major prizes in both the sciences and the humanities.
Statistics
I earned a perfect score of 5 on the AP Statistics exam and have been tutoring the subject in all its forms -- from high school introductions to advanced college classes -- for more than ten years. And I don't just know the theory! I routinely performed statistical analyses as an undergraduate researcher in the many labs I worked in at MIT, so I'm versed in its applications in fields from biomedical engineering to cognitive neuroscience.
SAT Math
I earned a perfect 800 on the SAT math section and have been helping students improve their scores for more than ten years. When I teach the subject, I emphasize two aspects: first, The Essential Facts (making sure my students know exactly what material the College Board likes to test, and how they like to test it), and second, The Essential Strategies (making sure my students know how to think like an expert SAT instructor and attack problems the way they were designed to be attacked).
Economics
I earned A+'s in Econometrics and Microeconomics at MIT. I specialize in helping high school students in AP Microeconomics and college and graduate students who lack the advanced mathematical background required for higher-level coursework in economics.
Finance
I hold a degree in theoretical mathematics from MIT and am fluent in the applications of advanced mathematics in finance -- especially in derivatives options theory -- including stochastic calculus, partial differential equations, and Black-Scholes theory.
GRE
I earned a perfect score on the GRE (170 math, 170 verbal, 6.0 writing), which switched to a new format in August 2011. The good news is that vocabulary is now tested only in context -- so there are no more antonyms; the bad news is that the new format includes several new math question types, including the especially difficult "multiple multiple choice" questions that may have more than one answer.
My last GRE student increased by more than 300 points (on the old scale) after working...
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SAT Reading
I earned a perfect 800 on the SAT Reading section and have been helping students improve their scores for more than ten years. The key to improving in this section is learning how to talk and think about passages like an expert reader: the greatest challenge my students face (especially those who haven't taken AP English) is not knowing what to DO with a passage -- how to take it apart, how to skim it, how to describe the relations between its parts, how to describe what it does rather than what...
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SAT Writing
I earned a perfect 800 on the SAT Writing section and have been helping students improve their scores for more than ten years. The good news is that it's actually VERY EASY to improve your writing score! My students start out reviewing the essential grammar basics (from elementary topics like subject-verb agreement to more advanced topics like comparative constructions and parallelism) and write their own SAT-style questions for each major type of error (to help them better understand what to...
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Philosophy
I'm currently enrolled as a masters student in philosophy at Tufts, the most highly ranked philosophy MA in the nation. As an undergraduate I took several philosophy courses at both Harvard and MIT.
GMAT
The GMAT is probably my favorite standardized test --- because it's serious. The infamous data sufficiency questions in the math section and the critical reasoning questions in the verbal section require higher-order logical thinking; they are actually great tests of deep conceptual understanding. The catch is that most students come to the GMAT without extensive training in this sort of thinking, so these questions can often seem baffling or downright impossible -- especially on top of all the...
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Differential Equations
I earned an A+ in differential equations my second term at MIT, and have tutored the course to math, physics, and engineering majors for years. I hold a degree in theoretical math from MIT. I've written my own notes on the standard ordinary differential equations topics in the undergraduate curriculum, including:
-- Laplace and Fourier transforms
-- delta functions and Green's function (especially with applications to electromagnetism)
-- the general theory of systems of linear...
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Business
I hold a degree in mathematics from MIT and specialize in quantitative methods in business and management science, including business statistics, quantitative modeling, single and multiple regression, linear optimization and decision theory.
Econometrics
I took econometrics at MIT and have tutored the subject to many graduate students in the area; I'm especially familiar with the course given at BU.
Linear Algebra
As an undergraduate theoretical math major at MIT, I have taught and tutored the subject for years. I hold a degree in theoretical math from MIT and skipped out of linear algebra -- the study of linear transformations on vector spaces.
When I teach the subject, I emphasize connections between theory and computation, a link which too many courses obscure, tending as they do to focus on one to the exclusion of the other. Engineers need to know enough of the theory of linear algebra to...
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Logic
I studied theoretical math at MIT, where I took courses in formal logic---which covered everything from the metatheory of propositional and predicate logic to Godel's incompleteness theorems and computability. I'm also currently enrolled as a master's student in philosophy at Tufts.
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