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Steve S.

Tutoring in Precalculus, Trig, and Differential Calculus

Westford, MA (01886)

Travel radius
15 miles
Hourly fee
$150.00
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Having used math throughout my 30 year career in industry as an electrical engineer, I became a Lowell High School math teacher in 7/2001. While teaching, I got an M.Ed. at UMassLowell and a professional math 9-12 teacher's license from Massachusetts. The first courses I taught were algebra, geometry, advanced math functions, and descriptive statistics; but for the last five years I taught only precalculus and Fundamentals of Calculus at both the college and honors levels. I retired June 30, 2013.

Too often high school math is presented as a bunch of topics whose relationships to each other is sometimes left as tenuous or non-existent. But math is not a pile of rocks; it is a tree of knowledge with strong roots and multiplying branches pushing leaves into the sky, all connected back to the roots. And it is ever growing. That is the vision I want to instill in my students. I avoid formulas, instead teaching the how and why from previously learned knowledge. Excellent math skills and knowledge are not a bag of tricks easily learned; like athletic skills they take long hard hours of practice guided by good coaches.

At the beginning of my calculus courses, I told my students that the new calculus concepts they would be learning were not the hard part of the course; the hard part was that calculus uses every math concept that they were supposed to have learned before calculus. So I strongly suggested that they use resources to review, strengthen, and/or (re)learn those prerequisites. (I said similar things to my precalculus students).

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Steve’s subjects

ACT Math

“The ACT Mathematics Test is a 60-question, 60-minute test designed to measure the mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken by the end of 11th grade.” “In the Mathematics Test, three subscores are based on six content areas: pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry.”
During my first seven years as a math teacher at Lowell High School, MA, I taught various levels of algebra I, II, and geometry (plane). Then, during my last five years at Lowell High School I taught both college and honors level precalculus, which included trigonometry and analytic geometry. In all my teaching I drew on my 30 years of experiences in industry between college and becoming a math teacher to provide my students with a perspective of where and how the math they were learning is used in "real" life. On the ACT Math WyzAnt qualification test I scored 100%. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes ACT math.

Algebra 1

I took Algebra I in junior high school many years ago. I used the skills and knowledge I learned in my subsequent high school and college math and science courses, as well as in my 30 year career as an electrical engineer in industry. During my first few years teaching math at Lowell High School, MA, I taught Algebra I and used its content and skills in my later teaching of Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, and Fundamentals of Calculus. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Algebra I.

Algebra 2

I took Algebra II in high school many years ago. I used the skills and knowledge I learned in my subsequent high school and college math and science courses, as well as in my 30 year career as an electrical engineer in industry. During my first few years teaching math at Lowell High School, MA, I taught Algebra II and used its content and skills in my later teaching of Precalculus and Fundamentals of Calculus. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Algebra II.

Calculus

I learned my calculus as an engineering student at Cornell University and the United States Air Force Academy. During my last five years as a math teacher at Lowell High School, MA, I taught the year-long Honors Level course Fundamentals of Calculus (essentially the first semester of college calculus). I drew on my 30 years of experiences in industry between college and becoming a math teacher to provide my students with a perspective of where and how the calculus they were learning is used in "real" life. On the Calculus WyzAnt qualification test I scored 100%. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Calculus.

Geometry

I took Geometry in high school many years ago. I used the skills and knowledge I learned in my subsequent high school and college math and science courses, as well as in my 30 year career as an electrical engineer in industry. During my first few years teaching math at Lowell High School, MA, I taught Geometry and used its content and skills in my later teaching of Algebra II, Precalculus, and Fundamentals of Calculus. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Geometry.

Prealgebra

I took Prealgebra in junior high school many years ago. I used the skills and knowledge I learned in my subsequent high school and college math and science courses, as well as in my 30 year career as an electrical engineer in industry. During my first few years teaching math at Lowell High School, MA, I taught Prealgebra as prerequisite knowledge review while teaching Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, and Fundamentals of Calculus. On the Prealgebra WyzAnt qualification test, I scored 100%. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Prealgebra.

Precalculus

My first exposure to precalculus was in high school as an honors math student. Back then it was a sequence of two half-year courses, analytic geometry and trigonometry. The prerequisites were algebra I, geometry, and algebra II. Of course I used my precalculus knowledge and skills in learning calculus and engineering at Cornell University and the United States Air Force Academy. During my first seven years as a math teacher at Lowell High School, MA, I taught various levels of algebra I, II, and geometry. Then, during my last five years at Lowell High School, I taught both college and honors-level precalculus along with Fundamentals of Calculus. In all my teaching I drew on my 30 years of experiences in industry between college and becoming a math teacher to provide my students with a perspective of where and how the math they were learning is used in "real" life. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Precalculus.

SAT Math

The [SAT] Mathematics Level 1 Subject Test assesses the knowledge you’ve gained from three years of college-preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry. The [SAT] Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test covers the same material as the Mathematics Level 1 test — with the addition of trigonometry and elementary functions (precalculus).
During my first seven years as a math teacher at Lowell High School, MA, I taught various levels of Algebra I, II, and Geometry. Then, during my last five years at Lowell High School I taught both College and Honors level Precalculus along with Fundamentals of Calculus. In all my teaching I drew on my 30 years of experiences in industry between college and becoming a math teacher to provide my students with a perspective of where and how the math they were learning is used in "real" life. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes SAT Math.

Trigonometry

Since Trigonometry is part of precalculus, please see description of my qualifications for that course. I would add that my approach to Trigonometry is to consider Trigonometry as the study of circular functions defined in general on the coordinate plane, with Triangle Trigonometry as a proper subset. This is the modern approach with emphasis on the periodicity of the Trigonometry functions and their use in modeling modern engineering problems of motion and wave mechanics. Triangle Trigonometry is, of course, still very useful in surveying-like static applications. I hold a Massachusetts Math 9-12 Educator’s License, which includes Trigonometry.

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Education

Cornell University (Electr. Engineering)

Cornell University (Master's)

Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell (MEd)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $150.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Parent must personally monitor home tutoring. Less travel can lower rate. Tutoring 3-4:30 school days, weather permitting.

Travel policy

Steve will travel within 15 miles of Westford, MA 01886.

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