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Kevin S.

Math PhD, 7 yrs experience Pre/Calculus: confidence through precision

Math PhD, 7 yrs experience Pre/Calculus: confidence through precision

$52/hour

  • 1,089 hours tutoring

About Kevin


Bio

I focus on tools to make problem solving straightforward: a simple reductionist approach to concepts (e.g. calculus I only has 2.5), insistence on fundamentals, and helping students to be kind to themselves. Students’ main obstacle is not conceptual, but assuming math is complicated, having learned a long list of processes instead of the short list fundamental laws. That causes sloppy “bookkeeping”, then losing track of if you’re right (the student’s job). I’ve been teaching/tutoring for...

I focus on tools to make problem solving straightforward: a simple reductionist approach to concepts (e.g. calculus I only has 2.5), insistence on fundamentals, and helping students to be kind to themselves. Students’ main obstacle is not conceptual, but assuming math is complicated, having learned a long list of processes instead of the short list fundamental laws. That causes sloppy “bookkeeping”, then losing track of if you’re right (the student’s job). I’ve been teaching/tutoring for eight years: seven calculus and precalculus, full-time tutoring for one. Students who stick to my approach consistently report improvements of one or two letter grades. A fundamentals approach also applies to all material, so it adapts well to students of different strength. Do math like the big kids.

My main goal is to make the boring parts of math quick and painless so students have more room for the cool parts. By learning flexible techniques to apply the right rules to any problem, and writing efficient, clear solutions that make mistakes less likely, we can handle problems without the stress and eliminate the urge to do millions of useless practice problems or searching for deeper meaning that isn’t there. Confidence comes through competence. Competence comes knowing the rules of the game. You don’t need a “deep” understanding of things to get started (calculus is broad not deep), all you need is the safety net of fundamentals so you can explore.

I focus on making sure you:
- Graduate from "The Steps": Use fundamentals to handle new problems. No more "we haven't done this problem type before". Only problem type is “follow the directions”. Communicate solutions, not incantations.
- Develop Agency: Knowing if your work is right is your job, not the teacher’s. Experiment, get your own feedback, answer your own curiosity. Math is your sandbox.
- Solve Word Problems Systematically: Strip context, convert to math as you read, solve like any other problem. No more “read the problem multiple times to understand it”.


Education

Whitworth University
Math
University of Tennessee
Masters
University of Tennessee
PhD

Policies


Schedule

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Subjects

Homeschool

Calculus,

Calculus

I taught calculus for four of my years at UTK. There I worked with a team of others to incorporate innovative results-based techniques to improve student understanding and reflection. That is where I developed my systematic rule-based approach that fits so well with the rigid calculations in calculus, freeing your mind up for the more creative parts of problems.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

I taught precal at UT for one year.
Algebra 2

Math

Calculus,

Calculus

I taught calculus for four of my years at UTK. There I worked with a team of others to incorporate innovative results-based techniques to improve student understanding and reflection. That is where I developed my systematic rule-based approach that fits so well with the rigid calculations in calculus, freeing your mind up for the more creative parts of problems.
Differential Equations,

Differential Equations

I spent my last year at UTK group tutoring exclusively in differential equations and working with the instructor. So I know the curriculum and common issues students have. In fact, my research falls under differential equations, and I still use some of the techniques from this class now and then. So I am able to explain the ideas behind the techniques, specially the core principle of linearity/superposition.
Discrete Math,

Discrete Math

As a math PhD, of course I have taken the discrete math course, and I've also graded for it. It's typically an intro to proofs and logic, so every math PhD is an expert in the material. The subject fits well with my rules-based approach to other courses, since that's how you should approach proofs.
Linear Algebra,

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is important to every field of math, so every grad student must be an expert in it. I used it heavily in my research in both geometry, partial differential equations, and dynamical systems. I also taught a unique technology-based multivariate calculus class that place extra emphasis on the applications of linear algebra there. So I have a number of different geometric and algebraic perspectives that can help different students understand the material.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

I taught precal at UT for one year.
Algebra 2

Most Popular

Calculus,

Calculus

I taught calculus for four of my years at UTK. There I worked with a team of others to incorporate innovative results-based techniques to improve student understanding and reflection. That is where I developed my systematic rule-based approach that fits so well with the rigid calculations in calculus, freeing your mind up for the more creative parts of problems.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

I taught precal at UT for one year.
Algebra 2

Summer

Calculus,

Calculus

I taught calculus for four of my years at UTK. There I worked with a team of others to incorporate innovative results-based techniques to improve student understanding and reflection. That is where I developed my systematic rule-based approach that fits so well with the rigid calculations in calculus, freeing your mind up for the more creative parts of problems.
Algebra 2

Examples of Expertise


Kevin has provided examples of their subject expertise by answering 77 questions submitted by students on Wyzant’s Ask an Expert.

Ratings and Reviews


Rating

4.9 (484 ratings)
5 star
(464)
4 star
(15)
3 star
(1)
2 star
(2)
1 star
(2)

Reviews

Show reviews that mention

All reviews

great Tutor

I am working with him twice a week in preparation for taking Diff. Equations class in Fall. He has great patience and is a very good teacher. I would recommend him.

Taj, 14 lessons with Kevin

Quick pre-Calc and Geometry help

Kevin worked with my daughters and was able to quickly understand the help they needed. They both think he is great. He was available on short notice and very responsive.

Lisa, 2 lessons with Kevin

Highly Recommended Tutor

I decided to go back to school after nearly a decade of not doing any rigorous math. In the lead up to taking Calc III, I came to the conclusion that I needed professional help in reviewing the skills that had atrophied. In the space of a few months, Kevin combined the essentials of theory and practice, preparing me for my class. I got a 97% for the semester. I highly recommend Kevin for tutoring in college level mathematics.

Zachary, 60 lessons with Kevin

Outstanding tutor!

Kevin is a fantastic tutor. I have really enjoyed working with him on pre-calculus and calculus. He will make sure you understand each math concept fully, before moving to the next topic. He has a deep knowledge of math and enjoys teaching. I have learned a lot from Kevin, and I highly recommend him!

Richard, 5 lessons with Kevin

F to an A

Kevin was able to work with my son and get him turned around completely. His confidence is much higher and he is now poised to get an A in Diff Eq. Thanks Kevin!

Austin, 7 lessons with Kevin

Discrete Math

Kevin taught me things like dealing with equivalence relations and ways to count different objects. I found Kevin at the last moment, and Kevin was fortunately available at this time. Very helpful and patient tutor!

Tammy, 1 lesson with Kevin

Very knowledgable

Kevin was great to work with. He was very knowledgable and gave me very practical tools and tricks to learn the material and succeed in math in general. Very good tutor that helped me a lot with discrete math.

Sara, 1 lesson with Kevin

Exceptional

Multivariable calculus, he is the guy to go to - smart, quick, helpful, highly recommended. I was able to learn the relevant concepts and additional background knowledge.

Sal , 2 lessons with Kevin

Calculus Tutor

Dove right in and gave great advice about where to focus. Shared some good study tips - like what to learn vs. memorize. We're on schedule for weekly sessions. Thanks, Kevin S.!

Amy, 1 lesson with Kevin
Contact Kevin

Response time: 20 minutes

$52/hour

Kevin S.'s Photo

Kevin S.

$52/hour

  • No subscriptions or upfront payments

  • Only pay for the time you need

  • Find the right fit, or your first hour is free

Contact Kevin

Response time: 20 minutes