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I’ll go over my experience and then my approach.
I’ve taught undergraduate and graduate students about physics and atmospheric science. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I taught electronics laboratory and optics laboratory in physics (1987-88). At the University of Arizona, Tucson, I taught the introduction to atmospheric science class, the cloud physics class, and the physical meteorology class (1996-1998). At Ritsumeikan University in Japan, I taught electricity and magnetism (2006-2009).
Other experience with teaching includes co-writing a science book about snow (“The Story of Snow, The Science of Winter’s Wonder”) and writing two chapters for a solution manual for a 12-grade physics textbook (special relativity and quantum theory).
Belief and approach
If a person thinks they can learn something without struggling through the ideas then they’re probably mistaken. Without wrestling with the ideas, the ideas and knowledge will vanish like steam when put to the test. And if a person thinks they understand something, yet does not do well on tests because they are bad at tests, then they’re probably mistaken. My experience leads me to believe that to really understand something, a person really needs to struggle through the ideas, to think about them hard and crank through examples without looking at the answers. Why struggle? Well, why jog? Why do sit-ups? Why pump iron?
But I believe in Epstein’s law: there is an easy way to explain anything (it’s just hard to find). My job as a tutor is to find the easy way, and then to coach the student.
When I’m not tutoring, I like to write, do experimental and theoretical research, and rock climb.
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