Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (Chemical engineering)
Cornell University (PhD)
Tutoring and teaching experience:
In high school, during my junior and senior years, I was a tutor and mentor to younger students on the school math team. I tutored my fellow teammates during after-school problem solving sessions in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, linear equations, word problems, etc. We competed in math ‘meets’ with other schools once a week, where each student solved three math questions in 10 minutes in one of six math disciplines. Thus, I know how to solve math problems correctly and quickly and how to teach those methods to students. Accuracy and speed are both important when taking standardized exams such as the SAT and ASVAB which contain mathematics questions.
As a first year graduate student, I was a teaching assistant for a chemical separations course and a unit operations lab course in the chemical engineering department. I led a weekly two-hour problem solving session for the separations course for about 20 students. For the lab course (15 students), I gave pre-lab quizzes and assisted students with lab procedures and data analysis methods. As a teaching assistant, I also held a twice-weekly office hour for both courses to help students one-on-one with difficulties understanding chemical concepts and with roadblocks to writing lab reports. Thus, I have a lot of experience helping students in a one-on-one setting with scientific and mathematical concepts and the application of those concepts to solving problems in chemistry and other science subjects.
I have also worked as a biotech research scientist. I was a postdoctoral researcher for 4 years at UCSD and the Burnham Institute, both in La Jolla, CA. I worked for 6 years in the biotech industry in San Diego, applying computational chemistry methods. I am currently (Fall 2010) teaching an introductory chemistry course (CHEM100) at Mt. San Jacinto Community College in Menifee. There are 32 students in the class. As a teacher, I work on a regular basis with students one-on-one to answer their questions about chemical theories and concepts and the correct solutions to particular chemical and mathematical problems.
Approach to tutoring:
I believe people generally have an innate sense of curiosity about the natural world around them. I strive to tap and nurture that sense in my teaching and tutoring, through the use of relevant demonstrations, story pictures, and current events. Solving problems in science and mathematics is a key to learning. Students I tutor will gain experience at solving problems in an organized way both during our tutoring sessions and on their own between tutoring sessions. The method I use to solve problems (and which I teach to students I tutor) starts with noting what is known and unknown about a particular system and then deciding what equations, rules, and concepts can be applied to help solve for the unknown. Use of a solution map (a drawing of the key parts of a problem and the solution process) is very helpful in arriving at the correct solution and answer to the problem.
I strive to use a variety of styles (visual, written, verbal, tactile, etc.) to present and explain scientific and mathematical concepts during tutoring. One of my goals in tutoring is to discover the ways in which each student learns most efficiently. Then I apply teaching methods that mesh with the discovered ‘best learning style’. Encouragement and praise for the student are a major part of my tutoring style as I feel this positive feedback builds confidence and makes learning fun.
RHAM High School, Hebron, CT - college prep curriculum including AP Chemistry and Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY - B.S. Chemical Engineering, minor in Economics, GPA: 3.57/4.0
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, minor in Biochemistry
Undergraduate courses completed (related to the subjects I tutor in)
General Chemistry (2 semesters)
Organic Chemistry (2 semesters),
Chemical Engineering Lab (2 semesters)
Physical Chemistry for Engrs. (2 sem.)
Chemistry of the environment
Physics (3 semesters)
Thermodynamics (2 semesters)
Linear equations (1 semester)
Calculus (2 semesters)
Differential equations (1 semester)
Graduate courses completed
Protein Structure and Function
Principles of Biochemistry
Physical Chemistry of Proteins
Biosynthesis of Macromolecules (DNA and RNA)
Intermediate Biochemical Methods (biochemistry lab) Tutoring and teaching experience:
In high school, during my junior and senior years, I was a tutor and mentor to younger students on the school math team. I tutored my fellow teammates during after-school problem solving sessions in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, linear equations, word problems, etc. We competed in math ‘meets’ with
My son indicated Shawn helped him with homework and questions he had at that moment. He told me he had a test today and felt the tutoring helped him. That's great! I think we will periodically have Shawn come for a lesson as things get tougher for my son. I'm on a budget so we can't do this every week although I am sure that really helps kids. I appreciate the time and the help that Shawn gave my son!
Shawn is a very patient and helpful tutor! Something that is especially helpful is that he writes down notes for each problem you have to work through. He keeps a copy for himself and also prepares a copy for you to take home and use when you need to refresh for a test, or just need it written out step by step. He's also very helpful in the way that he teaches by using examples that students can relate to real life. This makes learning difficult subjects easier. I was assigned lengthy packets that we worked through, and he explained each problem. He has a lot of knowledge in various subjects as well. Overall very patient tutor who will help tremendously in completing assignments and better understanding material for tests.
Shawn helped my son with AP Chemistry. He went through a whole packet of tough questions and really helped him grasp the big picture. Thanks Shawn.
Shawn has been awesome at helping my son with his chemistry class. Shawn has made every effort to accommodate us, even when he unexpectedly had a test that was moved up. We've been very happy with Shawn's services. He does a fantastic job. We highly recommend him!
Shawn is really helping my daughter master biology and geometry. He is very easy to understand. She is doing so much better since we have used his services! We plan to keep him all of next year, too. We will be using him for chemistry and algebra 2. Shawn is great!
Shawn is a great tutor. He is so smart and is well versed in all subjects of math and science. My only comment would be that he went over things a little too quickly. I think this was to maximize our time together, however, I am the type that needs to take notes and work out the problems myself and I felt just a little rushed. Other than that Shawn is really good at what he does.
Shawn has been an excellent tutor to my son in Calculus. My criteria in selecting a tutor other than his knowledge & experience teaching the subject, is Patience. He has proven to have lots of patience in explaining the various topics/concepts of the subject. The most important part to me, is he quizzes my son to make sure he understands the subject. Shawn seems very passionate about the subject. He is also very prompt in responding to messages or emails. He is really worth the time and investment. I would HIGHLY recommend Shawn!
Shawn is very helpful, extremely knowledgeable in math and his demeanor is gentle, fun & patient! My daughter really enjoys having him as her math tutor and she is learning a lot from him!
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.
I understand well and can teach the methods of taking derivatives of functions and evaluating the derivative expressions, as well as integration of functions, with applications to determining volumes and areas under curves.
I have and can teach with detail and needed equations, the subtopics of compound nomenclature, modern atomic theory, the mole concept, balancing chemical reaction equations, stoichiometry, chemical bonding, reaction thermodynamics, oxidation-reduction processes,acid-base behavior, chemical equilibrium, and the kinetic gas theory and gas laws.
I took an introduction to differential equations course in college and earned a B in the course. The course involved studies of topics such as: first-order differential equations, second-order linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors of matrices, systems of first-order equations, stability and qualitative properties of nonlinear autonomous systems in the plane, Fourier series, and separation of variables for partial differential equations. In the summer of 2014 I tutored a student though an 8-week long differential equations on-line course. The studies involved first and 2nd order differential equations features and solution methods (including initial conditions), along with use of Matlab to solve equations and graph the 'solution functions'. We also studied nonhomogeneous ODE's in this course along with Laplace transforms, Legendre and Bessel functions, and approximation methods (Euler and Runge-Kutta). As a senior in college I took a chemical process control course and we used many of the solution methods of differential equations to study the stability and control points for chemical reactors.
Geometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with 1, 2, and 3-dimensional objects. The key properties that are quantified include perimeter, area, surface area, and volume. I have tutored students to understand the terminology and calculations of these properties, as well as how to do proofs of congruency. Geometrical figures I have taught include line systems, circles, triangles, polygons, cones, spheres, and cylinders.
The subtopics of physics that I have tutored include the kinetics of one and two dimensional motion (classical mechanics including forces, work, energy, acceleration, velocity, etc.), rotation motion, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and thermodynamics including changes of state.