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Over 300 tutoring hours

Joseph F.

Lincoln, NE

$40/hour

Joe's Math, Science and Chess

Background check passed as of 9/22/11
4.7 average from 107 ratings
Very knowledgeable
— David, Lincoln, NE on 10/24/16

$40/Hour


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University of Houston
Mechanical Engineering
UCBerkeley
PhD

Education

University of Houston (Mechanical Engineering)

UCBerkeley (PhD)

About Joseph

I am an ex-national laboratory Ph.D. physicist who is between careers and looking to stay busy during my long job search. Tutoring gives students benefit from my extensive math and science education, and my proficiency in many subjects. It also helps me to continue to use this education, and so I consider it a win-win situation for the students and me.

I have tutored University of Nebraska students in physics, and a high school student in calculus, all within the last year. I was sought out by fellow university students for help with understanding engineering subjects in my undergraduate tenure, and I also tutored fellow US Navy officers during a time we spent learning specialized math and science topics for the Navy. I thus have a lot of experience with one-on-one tutoring.

I have also taught chess to many middle school students, both by playing chess with them (as Russian chess trainers do) and by giving them quizzes about positional factors or tactics that might win a game for them. Teams I have coached have typically been in the top fourth of their statewide division in New Mexico, and even won their division outright one year. Players I have coached have done very well in a national tournament.

My tutoring philosophy is to first help the student understand how to solve problems in a subject, and then have them solve problems in it. A physics problem, for example, requires identifying the forces involved and what moves, and what equations can describe the motion. I try to think of how I was before I learned this approach, ask myself what would have best taught me this, and then try to teach a student this approach. My tutoring starts from a way of thinking, and then progresses to how a student can use this way to solve problems.

My tutoring objective is to teach students how to think and then solve problems, with some (typically decreasing over time) help from me. The forces in the physics problem, for example, have to be identified by the student. The student must then use this information, say in conservation equations, and understand why they are using it this way to solve the problem. Such understanding will then build the student's self-confidence and mastery of the subject.

I understand that different people learn different subjects at different speeds. I have been patient with students I have tutored, and would be so in future tutoring opportunities.
I am an ex-national laboratory Ph.D. physicist who is between careers and looking to stay busy during my long job search. Tutoring gives students benefit from my extensive math and science education, and my proficiency in many subjects. It also helps me to continue to use this education, and so I consider it a win-win situation for the students Read more

Policies
Cancellation
3 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Lincoln, NE 68507
Background Check: Passed

"Very knowledgeable"

- David, Lincoln, NE on 10/24/16

"Excellent tutor!!"

- Lauren, Lincoln, NE on 5/5/16

"So informative and patient."

- Claudia, Gloucester, VA on 10/3/15

"Very knowledgeable, can go a little off-track"

- Dennis, Lincoln, NE on 11/16/13

"Terrific"

- Catherine, Lincoln, NE on 10/11/12

"Great first session"

- Penny, Lincoln, NE on 8/28/12

"Very patient and thorough."

- Deb, Lincoln, NE on 3/6/12

"Very reliable, knowledgeable and encouraging tutor."

- Maggie, Lincoln, NE on 10/31/11
Math:
ACT Math,
Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Calculus,
Differential Equations, Elementary Math,
Geometry,
Linear Algebra, Prealgebra,
Precalculus,
Trigonometry
Science:
ACT Science,
Chemistry,
Mechanical Engineering, Physics
English:
English, Grammar, Reading,
TOEFL, Vocabulary
Test Preparation:
ACT Math,
ACT Science,
ASVAB,
GRE, TEAS, TOEFL
Computer:
Computer Programming, Fortran, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word
Language:
TOEFL
History:
American History, European History, Geography, World History
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math,
Grammar, Reading,
Vocabulary
Business:
GRE, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word
Sports/Recreation:
Chess,
Poker

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

I have tutored a graduate student in the GRE by discussing methods (i.e., recognizing a problem, setting it up and solving it) and guiding her to practice with those methods. Since the ACT uses similar skills, ACT scores will also improve from my tutoring.

ACT Science

The ACT science test evaluates students upon their ability to not only read quickly and accurately, but also understand scientific data. It does not test specific areas as much as it tests skills. A tutor should therefore be able to teach skills and how a student can develop them.

I have looked at scientific data over a thirteen-year career for the US government, both spent in the US Navy and at a national lab. I have coached science students about how to form conclusions from this review, and many have come to understand this process.

Algebra 1

I took and received A's in both Basic and Advanced Algebra in high school. Over the past five years, I have worked as a Mentor to the Highly Gifted in Lincoln Public Schools. Algebra 1 was a common subject which gifted students would master at a rapid pace.

Algebra 2

I took and received A's in both Basic and Advanced Algebra in high school. Over the past five years, I have worked as a Mentor to the Highly Gifted in Lincoln Public Schools. Algebra 2 was a somewhat common subject which gifted students would master at a rapid pace. I can teach students how to approach algebra, and I find walking them through a problem is very effective in helping them understand how to solve it quickly and well.

ASVAB

In my senior year of high school, I took a barrage of tests, and the ASVAB was one of them. I scored well, and could have enlisted, but I got a scholarship to my undergraduate institution, and went there instead. I joined the Navy after obtaining my doctorate, and enjoyed working with officers and enlisted personnel.

The big thing that helped me on this test was my comfort level with the tested subjects. I can get your comfort level up, so you can ace this test.

Calculus

I took and received A's in Calculus in both one semester in high school and three semesters in college. I have since obtained my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and my doctorate in nuclear engineering. I now work as a Mentor to the Highly Gifted in Lincoln Public Schools. I have taught AP Calculus to two very bright high school students. One got a B+, and the other got a B. I successfully tutored a high school senior in calculus. I may even be asked to mentor a third student in the college-level third semester of calculus, for he cannot drive to the University for this class. With patience and kindness, I can improve someone's understanding of this subject.

Chemistry

I was an honors student in chemistry in high school, and got A's in chemistry in my undergraduate work. I hold a science Ph.D. and currently mentor math and science for Lincoln Public Schools. Several of the students I have tutored, repeatedly, have noted that I am patient and kind with them. I can explain chemistry to you, and help you feel confident in the subject.

Chess

I am a Life Member of the United States Chess Federation, and I have worked seven years (part-time) as a middle school chess coach in New Mexico. My proteges were once state champions of New Mexico in the Northern Schools Chess League there.

Elementary Math

I am a mentor for a highly gifted fourth grader who is currently doing well in sixth grade math. I was also his mentor when he completed fifth grade math, and have worked with him since September 2011. I have taken this boy through all concepts discussed in fifth grade math and will likely take him through all of sixth grade math, too.

Geometry

I currently mentor seven LPS students in various topics in math and science; geometry figures among these topics. I remember doing proofs in my high school geometry class, and I know I got an A in that class. I continued to make A's in my math classes, and my proficiency in geometry has never left me. I continued my education through an engineering doctorate, and I read blueprints and interpreted engineering project geometries as a significant part of thirteen years of working for the US government. I not only can teach the figures and angles and transformations of geometry, but I also can impart the way of thinking that is required to do it well.

Physics

I made A's in both regular and an extra (honors) class in physics in high school. I made A's in college physics, and I went on to obtain my doctorate in nuclear engineering, an add-on to physics. In thirteen years working for the government, I lived cheek-by-jowl with physics concepts, and not a day passed that I did not work with some concept out of this subject. Since I left this work, I have tutored several students in physics, and even applied to work as a post-doctoral student for UNL. Working with me has buoyed the confidence of physics students, and they went on to make good grades in their classes. I am a patient and kind tutor; working with me can help you too.

Prealgebra

I have mentored six different middle school students in prealgebra to grades of B's, B+'s and two A's. In my approach, a student uses various concepts of prealgebra (Greatest Common Factor, clearing fractions, solving two step problems) to gain proficiency and confidence in the subject. I am patient with my students, in order to eliminate any confusion. Students do well in tests and further subjects because they have built a solid foundation with me in this subject.

Precalculus

As an ex-national lab physics Ph.D., I have retained all of what I learned of precalculus and other higher maths in high school. I taught precalculus to two gifted East High School students last year, and learned much myself about the best ways to explain both parts, college algebra and trigonometry. Since I have also mentored calculus, I can even explain to a student just why they need to learn each math topic in precalculus. All of this can bring the subject alive for them and help them understand it well.

Reading

I have read all my life, and I now have a huge book collection. If I wait anywhere, I cast about to find reading material, for I read voraciously. I know the parts of English (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, et. al.), parts of a sentence (subject and predicate, including clauses) and can walk a student through a passage to find its meaning. I am patient and thorough, to allow any student to gain proficiency and confidence in reading.

Trigonometry

I have experience in teaching students to solve identities and use trig to solve geometry problems. I have worked out of Sullivan's precalculus text.

University of Houston
Mechanical Engineering
UCBerkeley
PhD

Education

University of Houston (Mechanical Engineering)

UCBerkeley (PhD)

Very knowledgeable

Joe is very knowledgeable and patient. My son after just a couple sessions is very comfortable to ask Joe questions

— David, Lincoln, NE on 10/24/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $40.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Travel policy

Joseph will travel within 40 miles of Lincoln, NE 68507.