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Over 1000 tutoring hours

David L.

Bridgewater, NJ

$125/hour

Harvey Mudd grad and Princeton Physics PhD: Math and Physics Tutoring

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 10/5/13
5.0 average from 245 ratings
Great Tutor. Makes math fun!
— Bonny, Hillsborough, NJ on 7/25/16

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Harvey Mudd College
Physics
Princeton University
PhD

Education

Harvey Mudd College (Physics)

Princeton University (PhD)

About David

Students in math and science sometimes struggle on exams even after carefully completing all homework. As students advance through coursework, they are asked not only to mimic homework problems, but also to solve problems they have not seen. Let me help you to do your best to meet this challenge by bringing a mathematical sciences way of thinking to life.

I coach math, science, writing, scientific illustration, and presentation. I want to help you to "learn to learn," to digest concepts, and to practice skills. My primary focus is high school- and college-level physics and math. I also teach graduate students, as well as research scientists from traditionally less quantitative disciplines interested in strengthening their skills in mathematical modeling.

I have unusual experience communicating mathematical and physical sciences concepts to diverse audiences.

I have been part of the National Cancer Institute's Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PSOC) Network, where I contributed to knowledge transfer between physical scientists, biologists, clinicians, and patient advocates. My participation in the PSOCs began while I earned my PhD in physics (2010) at Princeton University (NSF and NDSEG Graduate Research Fellow) and continued during my postdocship in cancer biology with the University of California, San Francisco (2010-2012). I am now an Associate Researcher with UCSF. My interests have included studying the consequences of dynamic heterogeneity for optimizing therapy and developing a video tutorial course to help interdisciplinary scientists model biological systems mathematically. I received my BS in Physics from Harvey Mudd College, where I earned a 990 on the Physics GRE and was employed as a tutor in quantum mechanics.

My illustrations have been published in journals including Science, Phys. Rev. Lett., Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, and Phys. Biol.
Students in math and science sometimes struggle on exams even after carefully completing all homework. As students advance through coursework, they are asked not only to mimic homework problems, but also to solve problems they have not Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

If student fails to call/email at least 24-h before cancelled session, lesson is billed at half rate.

Travel Radius
Travels within 8 miles of Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Great Tutor. Makes math fun!"

- Bonny, Hillsborough, NJ on 7/25/16

"Outstanding teacher"

- Vivek, Bedminster, NJ on 10/27/15

"Great tutor!"

- Poonam, Princeton Junction, NJ on 1/30/14
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Calculus,
Differential Equations,
Geometry, Linear Algebra,
Prealgebra, Precalculus,
SAT Math, Statistics, Trigonometry
Science:
ACT Science, Biology, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,
Physical Science, Physics
Art:
Drawing, Painting
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading, Public Speaking,
Reading,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, SAT Math
Elementary Education:
Reading
Business:
Public Speaking

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

Because I work in the physical sciences, I can help students understand what their numbers and variables "mean" in relation to physical examples. I also understand that students aiming to continue into more advanced coursework in physics and engineering need to master algebra at a level beyond imitating problem solutions. I can help students use detailed, color-coded writing to develop this kind of critical thinking.

Algebra 2

From working with biological scientists in National Cancer Institute research, I can help you understand the real-life applications for understanding logarithms, exponentials, and combinatorics. Exponentials and logarithms are important for analyzing cell populations.

I also know how to teach combinatorics clearly. Traditionally, combinatorics are taught by repeating a long list of examples involving socks, keys on a keyring, etc. I know an alternative presentation that quickly demonstrates why (L+N)!/(L!N!) is the number of combinations of ways to draw L of L+N things.

Calculus

I earned 5s on both AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC in 2000 and 2001. Additionally, calculus has remained an essential part of the "bread and butter" that I have used to understand the dynamic variations in the populations of cells undergoing therapeutic treatment during my work in the National Cancer Institute PSOC Network. I can work with you using your school curriculum, or we can work from Calculus (2nd ed.) by Hughes-Hallett, Gleason, et al. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 1998).

I have experience tutoring the following courses:
* AP Calculus AB
* AP Calculus BC
* Rutgers Calculus I (Math 135)
* Rutgers Multivariable Calculus (Math 251)

Differential Equations

My postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco and my graduate work in physics at Princeton University included using MatLab to solve differential equations to understand the behaviors of cell populations over time. In a minicourse at the University of California, San Francisco, I gave a lecture on how to use the geometric features of nullclines in phase portraits to figure out how to modify parameters in differential equations to produce oscillatory trajectories. I make video tutorials to help scientists in the National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences-Oncology Network understand how to derive governing systems of differential equations to describe dynamical systems.

Linear Algebra

I have used linear algebra extensively while studying quantum mechanics at Harvey Mudd College, while preparing video tutorials to explain quantitative biology, and while tutoring a student in Harvard's introduction to linear algebra (Math 21b).

Mechanical Engineering

I tutor introductory mechanical engineering at the level of the "statics" course at Rutgers University. In addition to reviewing concepts from the Hibbeler textbook and the lecture PDF notes with you, I will show you how to organize your analysis of mechanical systems using tables to organize the calculations of force components, displacement vectors, and torques (in this course, called moments). Using this tabular format to organize solutions can reduce the time wasted on hunting for information when debugging algebra errors.

Painting

I focus on representational art. I will guide you through basic shading (charcoal) and blending of colors (soft pastel). I will help you to use watercolors to learn to "let go" of the medium so that you allow the medium "to do the work for you."

My experience with color and shading includes scientific and architectural artwork.

My scientific illustrations have been published in journals including Science, Phys. Rev. Lett., the Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, Phys. Biol., and Interface Focus. I also designed the logo of the Princeton Physical Sciences Oncology Center. I continue to routinely produce three-dimensional shaded illustrations when tutoring physics and mathematics.

I have been paid for commissioned watercolors of architectural landmarks in the New Jersey/New York area. Additionally, while I was a graduate student at Princeton University in 2007, I painted the watercolor for the Christmas card that the Dean of the Graduate School and his wife sent out to 2500 graduate alumni and high-level staff.

Physics

If your school teacher is not providing effective lectures, I will give lectures using visual reference sheets that I have prepared. My lectures in AP Physics 1, 2, and C are very organized and precise. I can teach efficiently and quickly, so I prioritize potential students who reliably exercise the focus, attention and memory needed to keep up.

The much more difficult AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 exams recently replaced the AP Physics B exam. "Pity" partial credit is now practically non-existent. I can help you to practice writing the kinds of responses now expected for these tests. These include the so-called "paragraph-length response."

Exams: I earned 5s on the AP Physics B (2000) and C (2001) exams, as well as a 990 on the Physics GRE (2004).

Tutoring: I have experience tutoring the following topics:
* AP Physics 1, 2, B (old), and C
* 9th grade conceptual physics
* Rutgers Analytical Physics I-A (Phy 123)
* Employed by Harvey Mudd College to tutor Quantum Physics (Phy 52)

Research experience: I earned my PhD in Physics from Princeton (2010) as a young investigator in the National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences Oncology Network. My roles included communicating physical sciences principles.

Philosophy: To succeed in physics, it is important to understand basic principles. To develop this understanding, it is helpful to read critically before lecture and to summarize main points in writing before attempting problem sets. I will work with you to develop these habits.

Drawing diagrams of laws and problems you encounter can help to solve even those problems you have not seen previously demonstrated. My background in visual illustration helps me to help you develop this skill. I am also happy to teach you to prepare animated slides for your presentations in physical sciences courses.

Precalculus

In some curricula, pre-calculus would be more informatively labeled "Algebra 3." It is a last-minute maintenance check-up to ensure that students can perform algebraic operations involving polynomials, radicals, and exponents as will be necessary for calculus.

Public Speaking

As part of my PhD at Princeton and postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, I was trained to give clear scientific presentations to mixed audiences of physical scientists and biologists using written, visual, and oral communication. I gave a talk about scientific communication in front of National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences-Oncology Network managers at the Education, Outreach, and Advocacy session of the network's national meeting in 2013. I will show you how to use PowerPoint to communicate effectively.

Reading

Many students regard course textbooks as optional references. While this perspective suffices in early high-school courses when instructors spoon-feed examples from the chalkboard, the results in advanced high-school and college math and science courses can be catastrophic. Let me show you how to read actively. When done effectively, reading becomes a performance art in which you kinesthetically bring conceptual relationships on dead paper to life.

Trigonometry

Trigonometry is sometimes introduced using a dull collection of problems, like those asking you to determine the height of a lighthouse based on the length of a shadow. However, I am a physicist, so I understand how sines and cosines can be used to calculate the dynamics of flying objects and used to describe the oscillations of abundances of biological molecules inside cells. This background helps me to keep you motivated by understanding how trigonometry will become useful in your future engineering and science courses.

Writing

Proper writing is not simply "opening the word processor and hoping something will happen." I will show you how to organize your thoughts efficiently by brainstorming, by drawing concept maps, and by using "the corkboard method."

Students pursuing a career in advanced physics and engineering fields must learn to write accurately about technical knowledge. I have experience writing fellowship proposals (I was awarded both an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Research Fellowship) and scientific papers (including a pair of manuscripts in the journal Physical Biology describing the importance of fluctuations in the molecular states of cells for cancer therapy, in particular, and biology, in general).

Harvey Mudd College
Physics
Princeton University
PhD

Education

Harvey Mudd College (Physics)

Princeton University (PhD)

Great Tutor. Makes math fun! — I worked on AB Calculus problems with David before returning to school. He really helped me gain an understanding of fundamental concepts and think further about why things work. Thanks to David, I had an average of 100% in the semester following my tutoring with him. ...

— Bonny, Hillsborough, NJ on 7/25/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $125.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

If student fails to call/email at least 24-h before cancelled session, lesson is billed at half rate.

Travel policy

David will travel within 8 miles of Bridgewater, NJ 08807.