Over 800 tutoring hours

Paul S.

Schenectady, NY

$40/hr

Accomplished Ph.D. Candidate with Teaching Experience

In-person lessons
Replies in 3 hours
Background check passed as of 7/16/14
4.9 Avg. Rating
 
 
306 Ratings
 
 
3hrs Response Time
Awesome!
— Jaime, Albany, NY on 5/31/14

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State University of New York at Albany
Forensic Chemistry
State University of New York at Albany
Enrolled

Education

State University of New York at Albany (Forensic Chemistry)

State University of New York at Albany (Enrolled)

About Paul

Note: For future prospective students, if you are requiring long-term assistance, I will be in the United States until the end of the 2015 calendar year. Effective Monday, January 11, 2016, I will be working as a researcher in Québec, Canada. As such, I will begin moving on Monday, January 4, 2016. The last day available for tutoring sessions will be Thursday, December 24, 2015.

Academic Overview:
2007-Current: Ph.D., University at Albany, SUNY; Organic Synthesis, Fluorine Chemistry, Theoretical/Computational Chemistry (Completion expected in 2015)
2003-2007: B.Sc., University at Albany, SUNY; Forensic Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics

Academic Awards:
2015: Arthur O. Long Teaching Award, University at Albany, SUNY

Teaching Philosophy:
In my 8 years of teaching, I consider myself both a tutor and a mentor. While tutoring is mostly concerned with effective learning, research, and study strategies, mentoring requires a greater view. Many students tend to focus on the immediate, here-and-now details of the process, but without an idea of the view of the future, it becomes easy to be lost in the process. As such, I encourage my students to relate their current studies to their futures. Time passes quickly, so even a tentative plan can be a helpful starting point, even if it changes several times in the process. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

This philosophy is also the basis of my teaching style. My primary focus for students is to develop the critical thinking skills required to be able to apply to an array of problems that they may (and often enough, will) encounter in the future. To attempt such an endeavor, slow and steady wins the race, and persistence carries a person a very long way. The hope is that my students learn to think more critically and independently, going beyond memorized routines, which are tasks typically relegated to computers. After all, nobody knows what a person is capable of until they are tested.

Additional Information:
Outside of academics, and depending on the time of year, I enjoy billiards and golf at the recreational level. Additionally, I am an avid gardener (primarily vegetables) and manage my own small non-profit garden share program, which produces approximately 700+ pounds of vegetables every season.

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TUTOR POLICIES
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By working with me, you are agreeing to the policies listed below.

I. SCHEDULING
1. Students are advised to schedule a session at least 24 hours in advance.

2. Research times are usually 9 AM to 6 PM Monday to Thursday, and 8 AM to 5 PM Friday, so the tutor will usually be unavailable during those times. Weekday appointments should be requested after these times, allowing for the appropriate amount of travel time.

3. Scheduling will be done in blocks. That is, the student and tutor will work out the desired start time, and the estimated finish time. For planning concerns, the estimated finish time should be a little later than anticipated, in case extra time is needed.

II. DELAYED SESSIONS
1. If a student is late, the session will begin from the agreed upon start time, not from the time the student arrives. The student can then proceed with the session until the agreed upon finish time. If there are no other appointments scheduled, the student may request additional time with the tutor until all topics have been covered.

2. If the tutor is late, the session will begin from the time the student and tutor are able to start. A discount equal to the time the tutor was late will be given to the student. The student can then proceed with the session until the agreed upon finish time. If there are no other appointments scheduled, the student may request additional time with the tutor until all topics have been covered.

III. CANCELLATIONS AND MISSED SESSIONS
1. Students are encouraged to cancel appointments with the tutor as soon as they find out of their inability to attend the scheduled appointment. Fees for cancelled sessions are (15-minute minimum in each case):
a. 0 percent of the total scheduled time for appointments cancelled the day before the appointment, or earlier;
b. 10 percent of the total scheduled time for appointments cancelled the day of the appointment, but more than 3 hours in advance, and;
c. 25 percent of the total scheduled time for appointments cancelled less than 3 hours in advance.

2. A missed session is one where the tutor arrives at the designated meeting place at the scheduled time, and the student does not attend the session without previously canceling the appointment.
a. The tutor will wait for the student up to 30 minutes; after this time, the session is considered missed if the student does not attend or contact the tutor.
b. Students who contact the tutor within the first 30 minutes of waiting to notify the tutor of lateness may still proceed with the session if desired. The student will be charged twice the above-mentioned rules for lateness. See section III.1.
c. Students who contact the tutor within the first 30 minutes of waiting to cancel the appointment will be charged 50 percent of the total scheduled time.
d. Students who miss appointments will be charged for 75 percent of the total scheduled time.

3. Students who have built an honest and positive rapport with the tutor will experience a decrease in or waiver of late or missed session fees at the discretion of the tutor.
Note: For future prospective students, if you are requiring long-term assistance, I will be in the United States until the end of the 2015 calendar year. Effective Monday, January 11, 2016, I will be working as a researcher in Québec, Canada. As such, I will begin moving on Monday, January 4, 2016. The last day available for tutoring sessions will Read more

Policies
Cancellation
3 hours notice required

Group Rate: Half of the default hourly rate per student.

Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Schenectady, NY 12304
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Awesome!"

- Jaime, Albany, NY on 5/31/14

"Thorough and detail oriented"

- Audrey, Troy, NY on 8/3/13

"Great Tutor!"

- Elena, Albany, NY on 5/14/13

"Very good tutor"

- Moriah, Albany, NY on 3/20/13

"Grades in Trig have gone up"

- Brian, Albany, NY on 1/8/13

"Provides in depth explanations of complex material"

- Maria, Albany, NY on 11/13/12

"Paul's Dedication"

- James, Selkirk, NY on 10/10/12

"Very patient!"

- Debbie, Schenectady, NY on 6/23/11

"Great tutor for statistics usining Excel"

- James, Troy, NY on 3/31/11
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Discrete Math,
Geometry, Linear Algebra,
Prealgebra, Precalculus, Probability, SAT Math, Statistics, Trigonometry
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Public Speaking,
Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing
Science:
ACT Science, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry,
Physical Science, Physics
Computer:
Macintosh,
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Language:
French, Latin
Elementary Education:
Reading, Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Business:
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Public Speaking
Homeschool:
Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Chemistry, English, French, Geometry, Physics, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Reading, SAT Math, SAT Reading, Statistics, Study Skills,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, Regents,
SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Corporate Training:
French, Latin, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Public Speaking,
Statistics

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.

Discrete Math

Discrete mathematics is an interesting, useful, and unique area of mathematics. Topics discussed in discrete math cover probability, set theory, logic, graph theory, combinatorics, and more. Applications of discrete math are numerous: for example, graph theory can be used to arrive at possible DNA sequences based on the fragments obtained; combinatorics can be used to find the number of isomers of organic compounds. Further examples undoubtedly exist--those that I have mentioned are from my own experience.

Equally important, however, is the analytical thinking that this area offers. While most may be quick to say that discrete math may appear simple, with a little practice and an open mind, it can introduce a different way of looking at problems. In the grand scheme of analytical thinking, this fact alone makes it an important asset for any analytical discipline.

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is a very interesting discipline in mathematics. It's not uncommon to use matrices to find quick solutions to large systems of equations. In fact, matrices can be very helpful in various modeling problems, such as the amount of deflection experienced by a board of wood. Linear algebra is essentially the algebra of matrices and systems of equations, and with it comes a unique set of mathematics. For large systems of equations, or systems with quite a few variables, linear algebra is a very powerful tool for finding the needed solutions quickly, without having to necessarily isolate each variable individually, and resubstituting into other equations until each variable is solved for.

Macintosh

I have been using Macintosh computers for about 4 years now. While my knowledge of them is not the "be-all, end-all" of Macintosh computing, they are fairly easy to become acclimated to. In fact, many operations that people are used to using in Windows can be done in Macintosh as well--the only difference is that some keys are named differently. Macintosh also does support Windows in various ways: Microsoft Office programs are commonly tweaked to run nicely on a Macintosh, and for Windows-only programs that have no Macintosh equivalent, there's Boot Camp for running Windows. In this day and age, Macintosh computers are becoming so flexible and versatile that in terms of function, the gap between Windows and Macintosh is narrowing quickly. If anything, the only gap that might remain is the fact that Windows has a program for almost every idea under the sun, while Macintosh is still walking the path to get there.

Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry is commonly summed up as the chemistry of compounds containing carbon and hydrogen. While it can be true, it's quite an oversimplification. Organic chemistry, in a roundabout way, is what keeps us alive as living beings, gives us some of the most commonly-used materials, and increasingly important in this age, provides new ideas for technology and energy. From pharmaceuticals to materials, organic chemistry is one of the central disciplines in the general field of chemistry; this much I know from my own experiences as a synthetic chemist. From carbon and hydrogen to nitrogen and oxygen; amines and alcohols to ketones and aldehydes, organic chemistry is a detailed discipline in three dimensions. For most, practice makes perfect for this type of class, whether it's about learning concepts or memorizing reactions.

Public Speaking

As an apprentice educator and scientist, public speaking is one thing I'm accustomed to from years of weekly presentations and seminars (and I'm an otherwise fairly quiet person myself). Whether shy, nervous, or lacking confidence, public speaking is an important aspect to master in today's world, and should not be left unattended. If I can get used to it, so can you; the key is mostly practice, with a watchful eye or two on the lookout for your best interest.

Regents

As a New York State high school student, I have taken and excelled in various Regents exams while simultaneously involved in an Advanced Placement program. While the structure of courses and exams have changed over the years, the material covered remains the same. Exams that I have taken within my listed specialties include: Math I (now Integrated Algebra I), Math II (now Geometry), Math III (now Algebra II and Trigonometry), Chemistry, Physics (2002, the year I took it, was the year of the Physics Exam Controversy, in which grades were curved because of suspected faulty question writing. I received a 91 before the curve.), French and Comprehensive English.

Study Skills

In the realm of teaching and tutoring, assisting students with study skills is more of a diagnostic process. In order to make improvements, students have to describe how they prepare for exams, take notes, attempt solving problems, et cetera. The teacher or tutor, however, has to be able to figure out changes based on the student's approach to academics--there's usually more than one right way to study any given subject. Although it may be more trial-and-error than a straightforward "here's what to do for this problem", this approach can expose students to varying views on studying. These varying perspectives can provide a main plan and even a backup plan for students to follow, which can be very helpful in the long run. In that respect, utile study skills are more like a railway system--a student may have one train of thought, but at a junction, other routes may be equally helpful; it's always good to have options.

State University of New York at Albany
Forensic Chemistry
State University of New York at Albany
Enrolled

Education

State University of New York at Albany (Forensic Chemistry)

State University of New York at Albany (Enrolled)

Awesome! — Paul was very patient with my daughter and he just relates well to teens. He did a great job helping my daughter with Latin. ...

— Jaime, Albany, NY on 5/31/14

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Group Rate: Half of the default hourly rate per student.

Travel policy

Paul will travel within 10 miles of Schenectady, NY 12304.

Background Check Status for Paul S.

Paul S. passed a background check on 7/16/14. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Paul, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.