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Ed L.

San Mateo, CA

$85/hour

Effective Math Tutor (Northwestern U Engineering PhD)

In-person lessons
200+ Hours
5.0 average from 46 ratings
Excellent Math Tutor
— Jennifer, Sunnyvale, CA on 5/28/17

$85/Hour


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Northwestern University
Civil Engineering
Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering
Master's
Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering
PhD

Education

Northwestern University (Civil Engineering)

Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering (Master's)

Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering (PhD)

About Ed

Hello, my name is Ed and I am a math tutor. I received my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and I previously worked in the automotive industry as a senior engineering specialist for 28 years. In my spare time, I worked with elementary through high school students coaching FIRST Robotics in my kids’ school district for 8 years. After taking an early retirement and moving to the Bay Area, I decided to continue doing what I love: working with students.

I tutored my two kids since they were in elementary school. I worked with them on math all the way through high school. As a result, they were able to fully understand the mathematical concepts and excelled in the classroom. They both earned a 4.0 GPA and top percentile standardized test scores. After receiving offers from many top schools, both of them chose to attend Stanford University.

In addition to math tutoring, I also work with students and parents on all the challenges associated with applying to colleges, including ACT/SAT Test Prep. Having recently gone through the same process with both of my kids, I know how much stress there is regarding college admissions. I found that just a little guidance can go a long way for students and their parents.

Because I am retired and not planning to be a full time tutor, my availability is extremely flexible. No matter what it is, from last minute quiz reviews to long test-preparation sessions, feel free to shoot me a message and I will find the availability to accommodate you. If interested, I recommend a free “get-to-know-you” session with both student and parents to assess the student’s exact needs, set goals and expectations, and create a plan to ensure success. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hello, my name is Ed and I am a math tutor. I received my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and I previously worked in the automotive industry as a senior engineering specialist for 28 years. In my spare time, I worked with elementary through high school students coaching FIRST Robotics in my kids’ school district for 8 Read more

Policies
Cancellation
4 hours notice required

Minimum lesson time is one hour per session.

Travel Radius
Travels within 11 miles of San Mateo, CA 94404
In-person lessons

"Excellent Math Tutor"

- Jennifer, Sunnyvale, CA on 5/28/17

"Great tutor"

- Gabrielle, Burlingame, CA on 2/22/17

"Committed, prepared, knowledgable and patient"

- Teru, Palo Alto, CA on 9/17/16

"Great First Lesson"

- Kevin, Burlingame, CA on 8/29/16
Science:
ACT Science, Mechanical Engineering,
PSAT
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math,
ACT Reading, ACT Science, College Counseling,
PSAT, SAT Math
Computer:
Microsoft Excel
Special Needs:
Elementary Math
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math
Business:
Microsoft Excel

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 Math

The standard approach of tutoring ACT Math seems to be reviewing math topics and working on as many problems as possible from an ACT practice book. This type of preparation is time consuming and has limited success. My proven method is very different. It is similar to the methodology used in training for sports or other activities: learning good techniques and putting in a lot of practice. In math, learning good techniques means learning the most efficient way to solve each type of problem. Once you master the techniques, then it is practice, practice, practice. Students should take as many previously-administered ACT tests as they can.

I have coached both of my kids to get a 36 on their ACT Math using this approach. It can work for you too. One student improved their ACT math score from 24 to 30 after 7 one-hour lessons, and another student improved their score from 25 to 32.

Algebra 1

Students who studied pre-algebra with me will recognize that I have already covered many of the Algebra 1 concepts. For new students, I need to first make sure they are solid with fractions arithmetic and prime factorization. Algebra 1 can be easy to learn once students understand the general rules and methods that I teach them.

Algebra 2

Algebra is the most important math subject because roughly 40% of ACT math and 35% of SAT math is algebra. It is important to make sure skills from Algebra 1 are mastered before moving on to Algebra 2.

Calculus

Calculus is a very abstract topic that students often find intimidating. Many of my students have told me that the way I explained the concepts was easier to understand than the way they learned it in school. I am able to break down complicated calculus concepts into easy-to-understand lessons. This helps to demystify a scary subject and allows students to be more confident in the classroom.

College Counseling

Having recently gone through the college application process with my kids, I know how stressful it can be. You only have one chance to make a good impression on each college you apply to. My wife and I have spent hundreds of hours researching on the internet, attended seminars from admission officers from different colleges and visited the campuses of many of these top colleges. I am very familiar with the subtle difference between what these top colleges look for. I can consult on how to make the student stand out with the appropriate extracurricular activities and the unique personal statements and supplemental essays. Both my kids chose to attend Stanford after receiving offers to other top schools.

Elementary Math

The most effective way to teach math to young kids is through a hybrid of the mastery approach used in many Asian countries and the mindset approach used in many Western countries. I used this hybrid approach with both of my own kids who studied math 3 years ahead of their class. I also like to make math fun by using games to reinforce the mathematical concepts rather than using an approach like Kumon. I am using this approach with my elementary math students with great success. Mastering the basic arithmetic and concepts is very important for later math subjects.

Geometry

Geometry is a very important subject because roughly 40% of ACT math and 30% of SAT math involves geometry. Geometry proofs, which are required study under the CA Common Core curriculum, are not tested on the ACT or SAT. However, students need to know the theorems and postulates well in order to excel in ACT and SAT math.

Mechanical Engineering

I have a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

I can tutor college level Fatigue class such as ME345 at Stanford. I have industrial experience in fatigue area for many years and have tutored students in the past.

I can also tutor elementary and middle school robotics which is a combination of math, physics, engineering and programming. I have worked with elementary, middle and high school students in robotics for 8 years.

Microsoft Excel

I have used Microsoft Excel for over 25 years. I have extensive knowledge of Excel including writing macros with VBA. I have used Excel at my previous jobs for financial modeling, business reporting, engineering calculations, statistics, and project management. I have always been the tutor and go-to guy for my colleagues for any Excel related questions at work. I also used Excel personally for financial planning, sports ranking and team logistics management.

Prealgebra

I believe middle school is a good stage to stretch students’ minds and encourage them to think outside the box. It is the perfect time to teach students to recognize patterns and show them that math can be fun. As we encounter topics the student is not familiar with, I will stop and explain the topics thoroughly. It is very important that students have a firm command of fractions arithmetic before starting pre-algebra.

Precalculus

Pre-calculus is a subject that students often find they have trouble with. This is very common because pre-calculus is the first time math becomes more abstract (especially with limits), and there are no clear steps to follow to solve math problems like in previous classes. Many of my students have told me that the way I explained the concepts was easier to understand than the way they learned it in school.

SAT Math

The standard approach of tutoring SAT Math seems to be reviewing math topics and working on as many problems as possible from an SAT practice book. This type of preparation is time consuming and has limited success. My proven method is very different. I believe students benefit more from an individualized approach targeting their weaknesses. After a last-minute two-hour lesson, one student took the SAT a second time and improved their SAT math score from 590 to 650. Another two of my students improved their scores from the mid-600s to mid-700s after just 10 lessons.

Trigonometry

Trigonometry is not taught as a standalone math subject in the US. It may be taught as part of geometry, Algebra 2, pre-calculus, or some combination of these classes depending on the school. The trigonometry that is tested on ACT and SAT math only involves fundamental concepts. I teach students techniques to quickly derive all the trigonometric functions of special angles without memorizing the unit circle.

Northwestern University
Civil Engineering
Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering
Master's
Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering
PhD

Education

Northwestern University (Civil Engineering)

Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering (Master's)

Northwestern University - Mechanical Engineering (PhD)

Excellent Math Tutor

Ed is very knowledgeable in Geometry and provides great help for my kid. He is also very accommodating and flexible to meet the needs of the student. I would highly recommend him!

— Jennifer, Sunnyvale, CA on 5/28/17

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $85.00

Cancellation: 4 hours notice required

Minimum lesson time is one hour per session.

Travel policy

Ed will travel within 11 miles of San Mateo, CA 94404.