Over 1000 tutoring hours

Ryan Y.

Hacienda Heights, CA


Harvey Mudd/Cornell grad; multi-subject, empathetic tutor

In-person lessons
5.0 average from 310 ratings
Knowledgeable and Patient!
— Cori, Fullerton, CA on 11/14/13

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Harvey Mudd College
Cornell University
University of Rome, Tor Vergata
Graduate Coursework


Harvey Mudd College (Physics)

Cornell University (Master's)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata (Graduate Coursework)

About Ryan

Update: I am running geometry, algebra 2, AP Calculus AB, and AP Physics classes locally this summer.

Hi folks! My name is Ryan. I'm a physicist/astronomer/educator with an excellent background in math, science, economics, business, and history. I have considerable teaching and tutoring experience at high school and college undergraduate levels. I've also recently taught at a summer SAT camp in South Korea, where I was able to hone and refine my test prep techniques.

I've recently tutored students at the following schools:

High Schools:

Brea Olinda
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Diamond Bar
El Modena
Fairmont Preparatory Academy
La Canada Flintridge
La Puente
La Serna
Los Altos
San Marino
Sunny Hills
Walworth Barbour American International School (Even Yehuda, Israel)
Whittier Christian
Yorba Linda


Cal State Long Beach
Cerritos Community
Fullerton Community
Mt. San Antonio Community

I've also worked with homeschool students and adults not affiliated with a college seeking professional certification/grad school admission.

I'm a National AP Scholar, National Merit Scholar, and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. I got a 1580 on my SAT and a 1520 on my GRE. I took and passed 10 AP tests. I received 5s in Biology, Physics B, Calculus AB, Statistics, English Literature, English Language, US History, and Macroeconomics, and received a 4 in Microeconomics and Chemistry (AP classes were not offered in Biology, Chemistry, Macroeconomics, or Microeconomics).

I have a LOT of experience taking standardized tests, and am able to prepare others. There is a subtle difference between teaching students a new subject area and teaching experienced students how to take a test - I have experience and a successful record doing both.

Perhaps most importantly, I've been told I am very empathetic. I am a product of public K-12 education and understand where kids are coming from who attend those schools. I also know that, particularly in math and the hard sciences, much of my work will be confidence building and challenging the negative self-talk about "not being a math person."

I'm also keenly aware that many students haven't been taught/sold the idea that it pays to be organized, and to develop effective study skills. I receive many inquiries from parents who are frustrated because their child is bright, but starting to struggle. Usually this is because the student coasted through earlier coursework without cultivating a combination of work ethic, time management, organizational skills, and a self-awareness about how best he or she learns. It's hard to do this on a short-term basis, but I've had success with some of my long-term students. I'm incredibly proud of my students that make the transition from doing coursework "because it's needed" to "because it's my responsibility" to "because I enjoy it and can see how this will connect to things down the line".

I love what I do! Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Hope to hear from you soon!
Update: I am running geometry, algebra 2, AP Calculus AB, and AP Physics classes locally this summer. Read more

36 hours notice required

Rates may vary depending on travel distance. Typically, for tutoring distances outside 10 miles, I require a minimum session length of two hours.

Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Knowledgeable and Patient!"

- Cori, Fullerton, CA on 11/14/13

"The right pick"

- Tamara, Whittier, CA on 7/16/16

"Great teacher"

- Christina, Diamond Bar, CA on 11/15/15

"Knowledgeable with great teaching strategies"

- Elva, Hacienda Heights, CA on 10/30/15

"Great tutor"

- Peter, Cerritos, CA on 4/29/15

"Goes above and beyond!!!"

- ANNA, Yorba Linda, CA on 8/12/14

"Ryan is very thorough and patient!"

- Patricia (Patti), Carlsbad, CA on 3/19/14
Ryan replied on 3/21/2014

Thanks Patti! It's been a pleasure tutoring your daughter in resource economics.

"Wonderful Tutor"

- Tori, Hacienda Heights, CA on 2/5/14
Ryan replied on 2/9/2014

Thanks Tori! I'm glad I was able to help. Best wishes this semester!

"Great tutor, very professional."

- Paul, Covina, CA on 2/5/14
Ryan replied on 2/5/2014

Thanks for the kind comments Paul! It's a pleasure working with your son.


- Roula, Orange, CA on 12/16/13


- Dean, La Palma, CA on 12/9/13

"Excellent tutor, very knowledgeable!"

- Joseph, Cerritos, CA on 5/29/13

"Clear and Understanding"

- Scott, Hacienda Heights, CA on 4/13/13
ACT Math, Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Differential Equations,
Elementary Math, Geometry,
Linear Algebra,
Prealgebra, Precalculus,
Probability, SAT Math,
ACT Science, Astronomy,
Physical Science, Physics,
ACT English, ACT Reading,
English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading,
ACT Science, College Counseling,
SAT Reading,
SAT Writing
Microsoft Excel
American History,
European History,
Geography, Government & Politics, Political Science,
World History
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Grammar, Reading, Study Skills,
Business, Economics,
Marketing, Microsoft Excel, Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ACT Reading

I have tutored several students in ACT across all four subjects. My experience has been that students tend to find the English and Reading portions slightly easier than the corresponding sections on the SAT. However, despite its name, the science section tests quick reasoning and data interpretation, not scientific knowledge per se. Most students, even those with a strong science background, experience the most time pressure on that subject.

I've also advised students and parents regarding the different approaches schools take with regard to accepting scores. Many schools superscore the SAT, while most schools do not do that with the ACT.

Algebra 1

Teaching experience: taught course at the high school level in Algebra 2

Tutoring experience: private tutor of five students in algebra 2

Algebra 2

Teaching experience: taught course in Algebra 2 at the high school level

Tutoring experience: private tutor of algebra 2

Textbooks owned:
Algebra and Trigonometry, 7th edition (Sullivan)
Algebra and Trigonometry, 4th edition (Sullivan and Sullivan)

American History

I have a strong, passionate interest in history, and keep my knowledge fresh by reading quality biographies and historical analyses.

I scored a 5 on the AP US History test. I have tutoring experience at the high school level. My college concentration was in history. I've completed an online course in US history (pre-1877).

I have a strong independent interest in US history.

Books I've read on US history recently:
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace
The Eisenhower Diaries
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire
...the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age
No Ordinary Time: Fraknlin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Rex
Colonel Roosevelt
In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

Textbooks owned:
The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, 7th Edition (Kennedy)



Tutoring experience: tutored students at college level in introductory astronomy

B.S. in Physics (high honors) with an emphasis on astronomy.

Relevant coursework:introductory astrophysics, planetary astrophysics, x-ray astronomy, observational astronomy, optics, quantum mechanics

M.S. in Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Relevant coursework: galactic astrophysics; planetary astrophysics; infrared and optical instrumentation; electrodynamics.

Field experience: Optical observations at Table Mountain Observatory; Near-IR observations using adaptive optics and aperture masking interferometry at Palomar Observatory.

Textbooks owned:
Introduction to Astronomy (Carroll and Ostlie)
Planetary Sciences (De Pater and Lissauer)
and many, many more.


5 on AP Biology Exam

College coursework: Evolutionary Biology (passed out of introductory biology with proficiency exam)

Tutoring experience: private tutor of college-level introductory biology.


5 on AP Calculus AB exam

College coursework: Calculus; differential equations; linear algebra; multivariable calculus; Fourier series and boundary value problems (partial differential equations)

Teaching experience: taught course in AP Calculus at the high school level

Textbooks owned:
Vector Calculus
Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems
Applied Complex Analysis with Partial Differential Equations
Linear Algebra and Its Applications


Received a 4 on AP Chemistry test (independent study)

College coursework: two semester courses of college chemistry

Tutoring experience: private tutor of college-level chemistry

Textbooks owned: Principles of Modern Chemistry (Oxtoby and Nachtreib)

College Counseling

I have worked with five separate high school students to help them prepare for the college applications process. Together, we generate a schedule and study plan that will improve performance on the required standardized tests. I also provide guidelines as to the content, tone, and structure of the personal statement. Finally, I also provide guidance about the heavier importance most students should place on financial aid, and guide them through this process. I do not discourage scholarship applications, but I manage expectations, and provide guidance about essay content tailored to the specific scholarship.

Differential Equations

I have a Bachelor of Science in Physics from a top-ranked engineering college and a Master of Science from a highly-ranked astrophysics program at an Ivy League institution. Furthermore, in my previous work as a research astronomer, I had to use differential equations all the time to solve, analytically, approximations for coursework and basic models, later to be complicated by the transcendental messiness of real life.

My coursework includes two half-semester courses in ordinary differential equations and a semester course using partial differential equations.



Tutoring experience at college level for macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Undergraduate level coursework in introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Undergraduate and graduate level coursework in game theory and behavioral economics.

Related skills:

Fluent in Excel, calculus, statistics, and partial differential equations.

Strong personal interest in economics

Recent relevant reading:
In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic
A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

Textbooks owned:
Economics: 12th edition (McConnell and Brue)
Strategies and Games: 2nd Edition (Dutta)

European History

College coursework: The Transatlantic Alliance; Philosophical Roots of European Fascism; History of the Roman Empire and Early Christianity; Philosophy of Liberty and Equality; History of the Soviet Empire; European History: Rome to 1648

Conference attendance: Jean Monnet Chair Summer Seminar on the European Union: University of Rome, Tor Vergata (2005). Presented paper on European Space Policy.

Relevant books recently read:

Diplomacy (Kissinger)

Empire by Integration: The United States and
European Integration, 1945-1997

"Constitution of Europe"


Experience: high school teacher of geometry

Tutoring experience in geometry

Textbooks owned:
Discovering Geometry: An Investigative Approach
Glencoe Geometry


I received a 1520 on the GRE (Verbal: 720; Math: 800) and a 890 on the GRE Physics subject test. My preparation was minimal, thanks to my familiarity with standardized testing and my fluency in both math and English. I have a great deal of experience tutoring in both subjects, and can work with students on diagnostics, targeted subject review, comprehensive review, and designing an independent program of study.

Linear Algebra

I have a Bachelor of Science in Physics from a top-ranked engineering college and a Master of Science from a highly-ranked astrophysics program at an Ivy League institution. Furthermore, in my previous work as a research astronomer, I had to use linear algebra, both in pen-and-paper work and in computer programs (Matlab and IDL) for coursework and basic models.

My coursework includes two half-semester courses in advanced linear algebra and a semester of signals engineering, with the latter heavily focused on using matrices and the rules of matrix algebra to find unique solutions and solution regions, given constraining equations.


Bachelors of Science in Physics (high honors)
Teaching experience in high school physics
Tutoring experience in high school and college physics

Undergraduate coursework: Introductory mechanics; special relativity; electricity and magnetism; quantum mechanics (two courses); field theory; theoretical mechanics; statistical mechanics and thermodynamics; lab coursework in mechanics; quantum mechanics; electricity and magnetism; optics; electronics; observational astronomy; general relativity; fluid mechanics

Graduate coursework: electrodynamics; quantum mechanics; various astrophysics courses

Related coursework: calculus; differential equations; partial differential equations; linear algebra

Textbooks owned:
Physics. Vol. 1 and 2 (Halliday, Resnick and Krane)
College Physics (Serway and Faughn)
various others...

Political Science

I have taken multiple political science classes at the undergraduate and graduate level, and did a concentration (what Harvey Mudd calls a minor) in the History and Philosophy of Empires.

I also earned a spot at the Jean Monnet Chair EU Seminar at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, at which I was the only scientist. (The rest were public policy and economics students.) I have also published a large paper analyzing the history and structure of EU Space Policy.

I keep up with developments in political science/international relations through regular reading of publications from the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, and the Economist.


Teaching experience in high school precalculus

Tutoring experience in precalculus

Textbooks owned:
Precalculus (Foerstter)
Precalculus: 2nd edition (Blitzer)

Public Speaking

I was first introduced to public speaking in 4th grade, when my teacher, sensing an opportunity to break someone of the stereotype of the shy, nerdy kid, required me to deliver multi-page assembly speeches from memory.

I have delivered multiple public outreach talks, technical presentations, and lay sermons at churches.

I am also a proud member of Toastmasters International, an organization dedicated to promoting public speaking. I hope to receive my Competent Toastmaster (CTM) certification later this year.

SAT Math

I scored an 800 on SAT math. I was a tutor for both SAT I math and SAT II Math IIC. I was an SAT instructor at camp in South Korea - Summer 2013. I am a former high school math teacher.

SAT Reading

Total SAT score (2000) of 1580 (780 Verbal, 800 Math)

SAT instructor at a Korean test prep camp during summer 2013


5 on AP Statistics test

Tutoring experience in college statistics

College coursework: Probability and statistics

Textbooks owned:
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Gravetter and Wallnau)

Study Skills

I have experience generating calendars, schedules, and programs of study for high school and college students. I instruct students on how to read a text, how to take notes, how to create formula sheets for their personal use, how to store information for later use and citation in a paper, and how to organize their answers on a page. As a student, teacher, and tutor, I have learned the art of focusing on the urgent and important (Stephen Covey's method) and prioritizing academic work.


Trigonometry is typically not taught as a standalone subject. It is usually folded into a precalculus/math analysis class taken the year after Algebra 2.

By far, student regularly cite this as the most challenging portion of a precalculus class. It requires a great deal of memorization and an ability to juggle multiple equations/identities.

I usually spend a great deal of time drilling students in the unit circle. We then transition to the basic and intermediate identities. Proving an identity is typically the hardest task. Once students develop their basic knowledge sufficiently, I give them a set of guidelines that provide possible strategies against trig identity problems. Note that the nature of the problems means that there is not a strict hierarchy of superordinate/subordinate rules. Rather, there are a few things that students can try on each problem. I make certain to teach *how* a student can recognize which tools are more likely to work in a given situation.

World History

College concentration in history

Undergraduate coursework: History of the Roman Empire; European History: Rome to 1648; Philosophical Roots of European Fascism; Philosophy of Liberty and Equality; History of the Soviet Empire; Europe and the Transatlantic Alliance

Graduate coursework: History of Military Revolutions

Strong personal interest in world history

Recently read books:
Diplomacy (Kissinger)
Empire by Integration: The United States and European Integration, 1945-1997
"Constitution of Europe"
A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
...the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age
The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations


I have extensive experience tutoring high school and college students in writing essays. I also have experience teaching and tutoring high school ESL students in English writing. I received a 5 on the AP English Literature and Composition Exam, and a 5 on the AP English Language and Composition Exam. I have experience and a successful track record writing grant and funding applications.

Harvey Mudd College
Cornell University
University of Rome, Tor Vergata
Graduate Coursework


Harvey Mudd College (Physics)

Cornell University (Master's)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata (Graduate Coursework)

Knowledgeable and Patient! — Ryan has been an excellent tutor for my daughter. He has helped her in physics, AP Calculus, and SAT prep. She looks forward to his tutoring sessions and he is knowledgeable in many subjects. He is able to explain difficult concepts on her level. Ryan is helpful, patient, and punctual. He has been flexible with my daughter's busy schedule. I would highly recommend him. ...

— Cori, Fullerton, CA on 11/14/13

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $75.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

Rates may vary depending on travel distance. Typically, for tutoring distances outside 10 miles, I require a minimum session length of two hours.

Travel policy

Ryan will travel within 15 miles of Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.