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Over 200 tutoring hours

Benjamin H.

Pittsburgh, PA

$40/hour

Accelerated Exam Prep or In-Depth Regularly Scheduled Lessons

4.9 average from 68 ratings
Really knowledgeable and explained things clearly
— Kelsey, Philadelphia, PA on 10/24/16

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Pennsylvania Sate University
Physics
Carnegie Mellon/ Pitt
Graduate Coursework

Education

Pennsylvania Sate University (Physics)

Carnegie Mellon/ Pitt (Graduate Coursework)

About Benjamin

I have eight years of professional tutoring experience, and love watching the - AHA!! - moment unfold as my students reach new levels of understanding.

*** What I believe ***

"A skilled tutor makes few statements and asks many questions, for she knows that questioning, wondering, and discussing promote long-lasting learning."

~ Sanjoy Mahajan in Street-Fighting Mathematics.

*** Who I am (professionally) ***

I develop software for machine learning, with application in directed drug design using cryo-Electron Microscopy. I am finishing up my PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology - jointly appointed at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I earned my B.S. in Physics from Penn State, University Park, as well as minors in Bio-Engineering, Mathematics, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

I will be next moving to Washington D.C. to work as a fellow in the Howard Hughes Medical institute at the Janelia Research campus.

*** What I do ***

One of the most critical skills in being a successful scientist is the ability to communicate your ideas clearly. This not only for sharing your own work, but also to get the most out of collaborative projects - skills I continual develop and apply to my tutoring as well.

Whether I am helping someone to work through graduate level physics or math, prepare for an undergraduate general chemistry exam, or simply to excel in AP courses, these fundamental lessons benefit everyone.

For example, understanding how to re-cast the problem you are solving in the most tractable form, rather than simply trying for a solution to the problem as you first see it, or practicing being wrong, yes it is okay to be wrong and learning how confidence enables intellectual exploration and growth.

*** How lessons and scheduling are handled ***

In a perfect world, lessons start early in the semester; in the real world, it is normal to not reach out for help until you are already way behind. Getting you back up to speed quickly is as much about test taking strategy as it is understanding the material. I scored higher than 95% of graduate school applicants on my GRE, and can help you to know when to study the material versus when to study for the exam, and understanding the difference.

Scheduling can be very flexible if you can meet near Oakland or Shadyside. I prefer to limit my travel radius to 2 mi, but understand that not all students have the option of meeting so close. If this is the case, we can adjust my hourly rate to reflect the extra travel time.

Additionally, WyzAnt has a very effective online tutoring platform that offers many advantages that traditional tutoring doesn't:

1) Organization - many pages of the interactive whiteboard allow the student to quickly upload problems, and also to save or print the work we do together.
2) Tools for drawing and equation editors to keep things neat.
3) Access to Wolfram Alpha knowledge database
4) Scheduling freedom

Hope to hear from you soon!
I have eight years of professional tutoring experience, and love watching the - AHA!! - moment unfold as my students reach new levels of understanding.

*** What I believe ***

"A skilled tutor makes few statements and asks many questions, for she knows that questioning, wondering, and discussing promote long-lasting learning."
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 5 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Background Check: Passed

"Really knowledgeable and explained things clearly"

- Kelsey, Philadelphia, PA on 10/24/16

"Very productive lesson"

- Andrea, West Grove, PA on 12/7/16

"Great Tutor"

- David, Pittsburgh, PA on 8/6/14

"Easy to work with and dedicated to ensuring a positive outcome!"

- Matt, Philadelphia, PA on 7/14/14

"Great tutor - patient and extremely intelligent"

- Mikayla, Pittsburgh, PA on 4/11/14

"Excellent Tutor"

- Ray, Pittsburgh, PA on 8/14/13

"Great tutor."

- Sheri, Pittsburgh, PA on 6/24/13

"Good tutor, emphasis on good, not great."

- Hemanth, Pittsburgh, PA on 6/19/13
Benjamin replied on 6/19/2013

Hemanth was perhaps one of the brightest students I've worked with recently; I can hardly imagine what he might have interpreted as frustration.

As for setting up the initial lessons with Hemanth's Mother, I did express frustration with her poor email etiquette, as it took several exchanges to get the most basic information to set up a tutoring session. Perhaps this is what the review refers to.

Regarding Facebook: I'm not sure what you are referring to. A quick check shows that I didn't access FB at any point during the entire day for two of our lessons. Are you referring to the lesson where I was kept waiting for 10 min in the den while Hemanth finished his shower, because he forgot his schedule?

If you have any constructive, or at least accurate criticism that could help me go from 'good' to 'great' I'd love to hear it!

All the best.

"Patient, communicates."

- Garland, Pittsburgh, PA on 3/4/13

"Excellent Tutor!"

- Joe, Cranberry Twp, PA on 1/18/13

"Great tutor!"

- Frank, Jeannette, PA on 11/19/12
Math:
Algebra 1, Calculus, Differential Equations,
Geometry, Linear Algebra,
Precalculus, Probability, SAT Math, Statistics, Trigonometry
Science:
Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Genetics,
Physical Science, Physics
Test Preparation:
SAT Math

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.

Differential Equations

Differential Equations are foundational for the math that most Engineers and Physical scientists will study/ use in practice.

Aside from their applications in higher level courses, I also took an honors course in differential equations during my time at Penn State.

Genetics

The central dogma of molecular biology (an unfortunate misnomer we can thank Francis Crick for) is that heritable information is coded into DNA, functions by being transferred to RNA, and finally to proteins.

The field of genetics seeks to understand the the mechanisms by which this information is used, for example in development, or misused, for example in cancer.

You may hear the term "post genomic era" which refers to the fact that we have succeeded in obtaining a full set of this genetic information for our species (and many others). It might be better referred to as the "genomic era" as it we are now figuring out how to understand and apply these important findings.

My particular research interests tend toward something called epigenetics - structural and chemical changes outside of the DNA code that are still carriers of heritable information.

Linear Algebra

Whether or not you realize it, linear algebra is the most used branch of mathematics. At least in the sense that it is the language used to describe and solve nearly all "real world" problems that do not have an exact solution.

The fundamental concepts are as important as the computations themselves, and a mastery of the topic requires daily practice much like studying a foreign language.

Aside from taking a course specifically on Linear Algebra at PSU, I continue to put it to use in my current work. An example of which is the improvement of image processing software used in cryo-Electron Tomography.

Pennsylvania Sate University
Physics
Carnegie Mellon/ Pitt
Graduate Coursework

Education

Pennsylvania Sate University (Physics)

Carnegie Mellon/ Pitt (Graduate Coursework)

Really knowledgeable and explained things clearly — He was very patient and took time to make sure I understood the material. I would highly recommend him. Not only did he help with individual problems but he also explained overarching concepts so I could better understand them. ...

— Kelsey, Philadelphia, PA on 10/24/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $40.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Benjamin will travel within 5 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15213.