Over 3250 tutoring hours

Marc S.

Cambridge, MA


Polymath tutoring math, science, and writing

Background check passed as of 4/10/12
4.9 average from 627 ratings
Possibly the best tutor around the Boston area
— Kathleen, Newtonville, MA on 9/8/10


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Pennsylvania State University
Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graduate Coursework


Pennsylvania State University (Chemical Engineering)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Graduate Coursework)

About Marc

I've tutored a wide variety of students from 4th grade to Ph.D. level in many math and science disciplines. I've also co-led several writers' workshops, and I'm a professional writer and editor of math and science textbooks. My educational background is in biochemical engineering. I received a full academic scholarship to Penn State and an NSF fellowship to MIT for graduate school. I'm certified to teach chemistry in Massachusetts, and I've won a national writing award for my work.

My tutoring style is informal and fun but rigorous. When tutoring science, I usually emphasize imagination and visualization. Thinking about and "seeing" what molecules are doing never hurts and often helps. When tutoring math, I usually explore different problem solving techniques with the student until we find the ones that work best for him or her. When tutoring writing, I usually focus on clarity, finding your voice, and suitability for the intended audience. Scientists, mathematicians, and writers often doodle and draw cartoons in their work. Students should do the same to help them through the learning process.

I've helped teacher candidates prepare for the Massachusetts Tests for Education Licensure--the MTEL--in Biology, Chemistry, General Science, and Physics. I've also worked with new teachers to develop their course material and understand the finer points of their science discipline during their first year in the classroom.
I've tutored a wide variety of students from 4th grade to Ph.D. level in many math and science disciplines. I've also co-led several writers' workshops, and I'm a professional Read more

Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Cambridge, MA 02139
Background Check: Passed

"Possibly the best tutor around the Boston area"

- Kathleen, Newtonville, MA on 9/8/10

"Excellent tutor"

- Pattie, Cambridge, MA on 8/12/13


- Joel, West Roxbury, MA on 6/28/13

"Marc is a Gifted and Adaptable Teacher"

- Marla, Brookline, MA on 4/19/13

"Keeps up to date on university curriculum, extremely patient."

- Emily, Boston, MA on 3/21/13

"My daughter is improving rapidly!"

- Shelley, Chestnut Hill, MA on 3/17/13

"Simply the Best"

- Sam, Boston, MA on 3/11/13

"Extraordinary Tutor"

- Andrea, Boston, MA on 2/21/13

"My math shrink!"

- Sol, Medford, MA on 11/14/12

"Excellent tutor!"

- Susanna, Braintree, MA on 5/27/12

"Great Tutor"

- Shaheen, Allston, MA on 5/9/12


- John, Belmont, MA on 4/18/12

"Excellent, engaging, down to earth, knows his stuff"

- Heather, Belmont, MA on 3/29/12

"The best"

- KAREN, Brookline, MA on 3/15/12

"Best Tutor for Science and Mathematics Courses"

- Stuart, Chestnut Hill, MA on 8/15/11

"Excellent all round"

- Noreen, Winchester, MA on 3/25/11

"Great Tutor"

- Thomas, Lynn, MA on 10/18/10

"Math and science for my 8th grade son"

- Sulinha, Arlington, MA on 5/5/10

"great tutor"

- Michael, Cambridge, MA on 12/3/09
Physical Science, Physics
Test Preparation:
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft Word

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.

Algebra 1

Algebra is the common language of all quantitative fields, and a weak foundation in algebra 1 is the most common reason for a student to struggle later with more advanced math coursework in algebra 2, precalculus and beyond.

For over ten years, I've tutored dozens of middle school, high school, and college students for hundreds of hours in algebra 1. I've also written and edited sections of workbooks and digital content for algebra students of all ages. I know which topics are most likely to be difficult for you or your student, and I know how to help.

Algebra 2

Since 2003, I've tutored dozens of students for hundreds of hours in algebra 1 and 2 for coursework and for standardized tests (the Math level 1 and 2 SAT Subject test and the Accuplacer). I've also written and edited sections of workbooks, teacher editions, exams, and software packages for algebra. Because of this experience, I know multiple techniques for students to learn algebra skills, and I'm able to adapt our sessions to your student's strengths and weaknesses until we find the learning methods that work best.

Some high school students who take geometry between algebra 1 and algebra 2 find that their algebra and prealgebra skills have declined due to a lack of use. If that's the case for your student then we may spend time during sessions shoring up his or her math foundations. Even students who excelled at algebra 1 and remember their skills from the previous course can still struggle with the more advanced algebra 2 material.

Algebra is also the shared worldwide language of science and engineering, business, digital arts or any other quantitative field. Students and their parents shouldn't hesitate to spend time on this subject because a weak foundation in algebra is the most common reason for later struggles with more advanced math coursework in calculus and beyond.


At MIT as a graduate student I took grad level biochemistry coursework. I've tutored the subject previously. I was part of the biotechnology process engineering center at MIT.


Since 2003, I've tutored dozens of high school and college students in biology. At the high school level, I've worked with students from 8th grade to 12th grade to help them with all levels of high school biology courses and to prepare them for the SAT subject test in Biology (E and M) and for the AP exam in biology.

I've worked with college students to help them with courses ranging from biological sciences for non-science majors to junior and senior level courses in molecular and cell biology. I've also tutored medical school students and PhD candidates in cell biology and biochemistry.

My tutoring style emphasizes diagramming techniques for problem-solving and mnemonic techniques for memorization. Every student is unique, but there's a good chance that I've helped students in the past with difficulties that are similar to yours.

At MIT, I was a member of the biotechnology center as a graduate student. I also completed all the coursework required for a cell biology minor during my graduate schoolwork at MIT.


Calculus is the most important mathematical tool for describing the real world. I've tutored dozens of students for hundreds of hours in calculus, so I'm familiar with the subtopics where students are most likely to struggle. I've also written on-line content and parts of solution manuals for calculus courses, so I'm uniquely familiar with calculus as it's taught in the classroom and online.

I also know how calculus is used in practice to create new hypotheses in science and new design considerations in engineering. Using calculus as a graduate student at MIT, I created a theoretical description of a complex biological process and published that description in a technical journal.


For over ten years I've tutored:

*High school chemistry at all levels including chemistry for the MCAS, SAT chemistry, and AP high school chemistry. I've also helped write and edit chemistry workbooks, teacher editions, and solution manuals for high school chemistry textbooks. I'm licensed to teach high school chemistry in Massachusetts.

*College general chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry.

*Post-baccalaureate and professional chemistry including: pre-med students preparing for the MCAT, nurses completing their chemistry requirements, current graduate student reviewing their chemistry skills. I've written a workbooks to help high school teachers with their chemistry licensure by passing the MTEL.

I received the Omega Chi Epsilon award for the outstanding chemical engineering senior at Penn State, and I won an NSF fellowship to attend MIT as a chemical engineering graduate student.

Discrete Math

I've tutored number theory since 2001. I also learned and used combinatorics and discrete probability theory in graduate school for research. However, I am not familiar with some topics in discrete mathematics such as information theory and graph theory.


Many students struggle with geometric proofs because the skills involved are unique to geometry and require a different level of conceptual thinking than other high school math courses. I've been tutoring high school geometry since 2006, and I've helped write and edit several workbooks and the teacher editions of geometry textbooks. With this experience, I'm able to tailor our geometry sessions to your student's strengths and weaknesses. We'll find the methods of understanding geometry that work for your student.


I was a GRE test-prep tutor at Kaplan.

Linear Algebra

I've tutored several students in linear algebra since 2001. I first learned the subject as an undergraduate engineer at Penn State. During graduate school as a teaching assistant at MIT, I taught seniors to apply linear algebra to biotechnology using a stoichiometric matrix to estimate metabolite concentrations during bacterial fermentation.

As an editor, I helped proofread the solution manual to Poole's linear algebra textbook.

Microsoft Excel

I began using Microsoft Excel in the early 1990s as a graduate student at MIT, and since then I've used the software for a wide variety of personal, professional, and academic projects in science, engineering, publishing, administration, finance, and management. I began tutoring Excel in 2004. I'm proficient with and tutor all of Excel's functionality including charts, pivot tables, complex formulas, array functions, and lookup functions. I don't tutor VBA programming or Macros.


Since 2005, I've tutored over thirty students in 8th and 9th grade physics, physics for the MCAS and for the SAT subject test, advanced placement physics B and C, physics for teachers to help them pass the MTEL and for pre-med students to help them with the MCAT, college physics for non-science majors, and college physics for scientists and engineers. I've also written sections of physics workbooks and digital content for major publishers. The best way to understand most concepts in physics that are new to a student is to represent it on paper. More than any other discipline, academic physics emphasizes the use of diagrams, cartoons, and "before and after" drawings, but eventually when the drawing is done, you still have to answer the question! I'll be able to use my experience in multiple tutoring disciplines to tailor our physics session to your needs, strengths, and weaknesses depending on the particular subtopic we're discussing at any given moment.


I've been tutoring prealgebra since 2004 to dozens of students for a total of hundreds of hours, so I'm sure I've seen a situation similar to what's happening with your student. I've also helped write and edit textbook teacher's editions and workbooks in prealgebra, so I'm familiar with prealgebra pedagogy and how it can differ from one school district to the next.

The topics learned in middle school prealgebra form a foundation of math skills that are used in every math course that comes later in high school and college curricula. This means that if you let your student continue to struggle with fraction arithmetic, arithmetic using negative numbers, factorization, introductory variable concepts, and other prealgebra topics then future difficulties in math are inevitable. It also means that improving your student's proficiency with prealgebra skills today is the best way to help his or her math grades years from now.


I've tutored precalculus to well over a dozen students since 2006, and I've tutored algebra and calculus to several dozen more. I've also written and edited workbooks, textbook teacher editions, and on-line content in algebra, precalculus, and calculus. A typical advanced precalculus course might include modules dealing with set theory, number systems, functions, logarithms, trigonometry, conics, series, vectors, matrices, permutations/combinations, parametric equations, polar coordinates, induction, and limits, but there can be huge differences among different precalculus courses, so I'll need a few moments during our first session to examine your course material in order to determine the level of depth required for the skills you're interested in learning that day. Then I'll be prepared to tailor our sessions to your particular needs, strengths, and weaknesses for that particular course.


I have tutored statistics content at the middle school level and high school level as subsections of other math coursework. I have also learned and tutored college level statistics applied to science (biostatistics) that covers applications such as analysis of variance and experimental design. I am not familiar with other advanced statistical applications (psychometrics, survey design, business statistics).

I have also used statistics in my graduate research and written statistics content for textbooks aimed at middle school students and high school students.

Pennsylvania State University
Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graduate Coursework


Pennsylvania State University (Chemical Engineering)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Graduate Coursework)

Possibly the best tutor around the Boston area — Marc has been, unfailingly, the most wonderful, generous, intelligent, and patient tutor we ever could have hoped for. My granddaughter had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and, although she has very high intelligence, was doing badly in math and other courses. Marc took her on, and she was happy, HAPPY, to spend 2 full hours twice a week drilling over Algebra 1 and 2 in preparation for her goi ...

— Kathleen, Newtonville, MA on 9/8/10

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $95.00

Travel policy

Marc will travel within 10 miles of Cambridge, MA 02139.