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Alan W.

Palo Alto, CA

$95/hour

Experienced Teacher Ready to Help You Achieve Academic Excellence

100+ Hours
Background check passed as of 10/1/14
5.0 average from 78 ratings
Professional and responsible tutor
— Hongyu, Sylacauga, AL on 4/24/16

$95/Hour


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Reed
Philosophy
UC Berkeley
PhD
UC Berkeley
MBA

Education

Reed (Philosophy)

UC Berkeley (PhD)

UC Berkeley (MBA)

About Alan

Hi! I'm enthusiastic about helping young people become outstanding students by assisting with writing skills and tutoring in math and physics. I'm most interested in improving reasoning and communication skills essential for academic success. I prefer to work with families and students who value education; I'm not so interested in assisting someone whose only concern is passing tomorrow's test. A student who insists on simply being told the steps to solve a particular homework problem, who is unwilling to take time to understand underlying principles, should choose another tutor.

I have a lifelong interest in education and a track record of academic success including undergraduate work at Reed College and graduate work at Oxford University and U.C. Berkeley (where I received a Ph.D. in Philosophy and an MBA). I have experience teaching college students and assisting my two daughters with middle school and high school courses. I also have excellent standardized test expertise and experience, including authoring test preparation course materials. I received top scores on the SAT (792 verbal, 800 math), and on the GRE and GMAT. I offer coaching that improves thinking skills needed for superlative test performance, such as ability to use shortcuts to find answers instead of performing much more time-consuming calculations.

I prefer working with a limited number of students who are serious about academic excellence. I'm glad to arrange a reduced rate for those with financial constraints.
Hi! I'm enthusiastic about helping young people become outstanding students by assisting with writing skills and tutoring in math and physics. I'm most interested in improving reasoning and communication skills essential for academic success. I prefer to work with families and students who value education; I'm not so interested in assisting Read more

Policies
Cancellation
4 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Palo Alto, CA 94303
Background Check: Passed

"Professional and responsible tutor"

- Hongyu, Sylacauga, AL on 4/24/16

"Calming presence, patient and knowledgeable"

- Susana, Menlo Park, CA on 3/9/16

"Very sincere and helpful"

- Deepika, Palo Alto, CA on 12/18/14
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Discrete Math,
Finite Math, Geometry, Linear Algebra,
Logic, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Probability, SAT Math, Statistics, Trigonometry
Science:
Philosophy, Physical Science, Physics
English:
English,
Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT Math, GRE, PSAT, SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Computer:
C,
Computer Programming,
Java,
JavaScript, Linux,
UNIX
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary
Business:
GRE

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.

C

I have many years of experience programming in C, primarily in Windows and Unix environments. While a grad student at U.C. Berkeley I used C to develop a computer-based system of exercises for improving English writing skills. I later used C to develop simulations of psychological processes. I wrote a popular Windows screensaver (Seascape) in C (using Microsoft C and later Visual C++). I have extensive experience in software development in C and other languages (including Java, Lisp, and SQL) at Sun, HP, and several startups.

Computer Programming

I have several years of experience in software development and quality assurance (at Sun, HP, and many startups), including programming in C, C++, Java, SQL, Pascal, and Lisp. I have expertise in many scripting languages, including sh, csh, bash, perl, tcl, expect, javascript, and actionscript. I'm experienced with IDE's including Eclipse, Visual C++, and Flex Builder. I'm the author of a tutorial introduction that shows a beginner how to create a useful time-tracking app.

Discrete Math

I have many years of experience with application of discrete math in development of computer programs. I have studied and developed algorithms for encryption and many other purposes. I have studied logic and metamathematics at U.C. Berkeley. I have taught logic and set theory at U.C. Berkeley and Cal State University at Chico.

English

I'm a skilled writer myself and enjoy helping students with their writing skills. I've had good success helping students who are sufficiently motivated to work on improving their writing. I'm less likely to succeed with (and less eager to work with) students who lack motivation.

Java

I have several years of experience in software development and quality assurance (at Sun, HP, and many startups), including programming in C, C++, Java, SQL, Pascal, and Lisp. I have expertise in many scripting languages, including SH, CSH, Bash, Perl, TCL, Expect, JavaScript, and ActionScript. I'm experienced with IDE's including Eclipse, Visual C++, and Flex Builder. I'm the author of a tutorial introduction to Java.

Linear Algebra

As an undergraduate majoring originally in math, I studied standard linear algebra topics such as vector spaces, linear maps, determinants, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Later, doing graduate work in business administration at Berkeley, I applied linear algebra in operations research and finance. In tutoring linear algebra and other math subjects, I focus first on making sure the student has the solid understanding of fundamental concepts and theorems needed for success with more advanced work. Generally, I favor a Socratic approach, asking questions or offering hints to help students gain experience solving problems themselves, rather than telling them in detail what to do. I encourage students to take time to be clear about the details of definitions and concepts, rather than simply memorizing theorems and procedures for solving particular problem types. For linear algebra, I find it especially helpful to use realistic examples that reveal the value of studying what otherwise can appear to be elaborate theoretical construction lacking any clear motivation.

Linux

I have many years of experience with Linux as a user, developer, and system administrator, including 12 years as Test and Tools Architect and then as Director of QA at Dorado/Corelogic. Prior to working with Linux, I had many years of experience with Unix, including 5 years working at Sun doing QA work that involved a lot of scripting and some programming, always working with Sun's version of Unix. I wrote an article on "Varieties of Unix" that was published. (In case any readers don't know it, Linux is an open source operating system so similar to Unix that it is often described as a Unix clone; thus Unix expertise largely translates into Linux expertise. For instance, expertise with bash, a standard Unix shell, carries over directly to Linux, where bash is also standard.)

UNIX

I have many years of experience using, administering, and doing development on Unix systems. I began using and doing development on BSD Unix as a grad student at Berkeley. During my 5 years of employment at Sun Microsystems I worked daily with Unix. I have successfully tutored students who needed help with various Unix topics including Unix utilities and shell scripting.

Writing

I have a lot of experience writing and helping college and high school students improve their writing. I'm the author of a book (Argon Desaki's Report from Earth) and of various articles, especially on topics related to the future of humanity.

Reed
Philosophy
UC Berkeley
PhD
UC Berkeley
MBA

Education

Reed (Philosophy)

UC Berkeley (PhD)

UC Berkeley (MBA)

Professional and responsible tutor

Alan has excellent knowledge in computer science and knows how a student should learn the subject. He is also very responsible as he helped me make a plan in computer science learning.

— Hongyu, Sylacauga, AL on 4/24/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $95.00

Cancellation: 4 hours notice required

Travel policy

Alan will travel within 15 miles of Palo Alto, CA 94303.