I am a recent graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a degree in Physics, I love physics and math, and getting people as excited about it as I am is (as my family and friends will attest) one of my ongoing projects. Whether someone is struggling or looking for more of a challenge, my approach when explaining difficult concepts is to present the material in a way that gives him or her the same sense of wonder and awe that I do. In my experience that is what leads to deep and lasting learning.
I spent one year as a Reactor Operator and two as a Senior Reactor Operator at Reed's nuclear research reactor, and one of my major responsibilities was working with student trainees to prepare them for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing exam at the end of the school year. The exam covered extensive and varied material ranging from reactor physics to procedures to government regulations, and helping the trainees learn the material thoroughly was a challenge that I very much enjoyed. Additionally, the environment in the Reed Physics department was very collaborative. Explaining an assignment I had already completed to my colleagues who hadn’t or helping underclassmen with a particularly hard problem were frequent occurrences. Reed helped prepare me for working with students in one other significant way: my senior thesis, which is a requirement for all students, provided me ample opportunity to explain complex and abstract ideas in a clear and compelling way.
I truly feel that science and math are something anyone can find interesting and fun, and sharing the joy that I've gotten from these subjects is something in which I take a lot of pride. I am comfortable working with students on almost any high school math e.g. geometry, pre-calc, algebra or calculus, with the exception of statistics. I can also work with students on more advanced math, if needed, such as linear algebra or vector calculus, and of course, physics with or without calculus. I welcome any questions people have about any of this -- if I haven't made it clear already, I really like talking about this stuff.
I also understand how important personal compatibility is when choosing a tutor. For this reason, I am happy to meet in person, free of charge, for a consultation or discussion for you to decide if I'm the right person. I'm willing to travel anywhere that is a reasonable distance from Park Slope by mass transit. For locations that are further away, I'm willing to negotiate but my rate will most likely be higher.
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Lucas's subjects
Physics
I completed a B.A. in physics at Reed College, taking courses in Classical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Quantum Mechanics, and Particle Physics among others, in addition to substantial mathematics coursework. The topic of my senior thesis was water waves, specifically generating a numerical (computer) solution to 2-D waves. Working through problem sets with my peers, explaining my thesis, and helping underclassmen with their assignments was something I did every day, and something I prided myself...
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Differential Equations
I took a mathematical methods course in the physics department which included substantial material on ordinary differential equations. Additionally, I was exposed to a lot of partial differential equations material in several other physics classes (such as Electricity and Magnetism and Thermal Physics), and my undergraduate thesis was on a numerical solution to water waves (which are described by PDE's).
Linear Algebra
I took linear algebra in college (as a requirement for completing my physics degree). I was also required to extensively use linear algebra for physics applications in numerous courses, including my undergraduate thesis which involved using a numerical matrix inverse.
Mathematica
In the course of my undergraduate physics education, I was required to use Mathematica for basic numerical computation, data analysis and presentation, and programming for my sophomore level class. Additionally, I took a class (Introduction to Scientific Computation), a numerical methods class for which I implemented various algorithms in Mathematica, and my senior thesis involved the development and implementation of a numerical method in Mathematica.
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