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Brad M.

Math, Physics, ME, EE, Econ, Accounting, Finance, and Proofreading

Math, Physics, ME, EE, Econ, Accounting, Finance, and Proofreading

$32/hour

  • 1,056 hours tutoring

  • Blacksburg, VA 24060

About Brad


Bio

What young minds have taught me over the years is that they respond to ideas that are simple, fun, and practical. They prefer handiwork over paperwork. Most of all, students love to personalize -- really understand -- what they are learning rather than slog through online curriculum memorizing formulas.

REMOVING THE WORRIES
Families value time and money. My clients may cancel anytime at no charge! Cost is often negotiable on a case-by-case basis. Students enjoy the lessons or they are...

What young minds have taught me over the years is that they respond to ideas that are simple, fun, and practical. They prefer handiwork over paperwork. Most of all, students love to personalize -- really understand -- what they are learning rather than slog through online curriculum memorizing formulas.

REMOVING THE WORRIES
Families value time and money. My clients may cancel anytime at no charge! Cost is often negotiable on a case-by-case basis. Students enjoy the lessons or they are free.

Students often fear making mistakes. Since we're learning, errors do not scare us. In fact, during preparation is EXACTLY THE BEST setting for messing up -- we learn more! I like it when clients progress in confidence and know-how enough to notice and correct MY occasional goofs! Since I'm comfortable with my mistakes, students can be at ease with theirs.

Learning hinges much more on temperament and attitude than on intelligence. Our sessions will maintain a calm focus -- always relaxed, flexible, humble, and respectful. While success cannot be assured, especially for last-ditch final exam prep, over half of my Wyzant clients have rated our lessons five-star. What I can promise is that sessions will be very different from "school" and ultra-direct.

2013-2019 WYZANT CLIENT ACTIVITY
Since March 2013, 170 clients (52F, 118M) have purchased 919 lessons. Only 26 in-person lessons (3%) have been "one-time" without 5-star (*****) feedback. Clearly, students have enlisted repeat business, with 33% of teaching time spent with ten regular clients. Rather than aiming for perfect scores, most students are seeking simple insights to rise from below-average to above-average performance with way less stress. VT courses ACIS 2115-16, ECON 2005-6, and MATH 1524-26 have been recently popular.

Over half the lessons have historically assisted local high-school students in Trig-Alg II, AP Calculus and SAT Math prep, plus university math requests mostly for calculus and advanced algebra for VT-RU coursework requirements. Physics and engineering work have comprised another quarter of sessions. Accounting-econ cluster needs for VT-RU clients have filled the remaining 20%. Online clients for the last two semesters have approached nearly 40% of billed lessons exploiting the Wyzant online platform.

WHAT I BRING TO CLIENTS
Many university students want to quickly comprehend a required course OUTSIDE the major field of study: business majors needing to pass calculus (VT MATH 1524), life-science coeds trying to get through physics (RU PHYS 111-2), or marketing students needing to succeed in accounting class (RU ACTG 211-2, VT ACIS 2115-6). Our sessions will focus on the 20% of a subject that can be used 80% of the time, positioning clients for a solid "B" in these tough classes with modest effort, greater confidence, and less angst. One Fall 2017 VT business major scored 96 on the calculus final.

My interdisciplinary background in energy, electronics, human physiology, music, investments, and sports provides a treasure trove of "true-to-life" examples that can engage a diverse clientele, young and old. Hands-on engineering work has included 2000 hours of power-plant testing along with 2000 hours of lab teaching in electronics, water-air-heat-energy flow, vibrations, and technical writing.

HIGH-STAKES TEST PREP
Way too much test time is wasted fooling with equations and calculators. Signs can be missed, fractions inverted, and wrong buttons pushed. Students will learn how to "re-frame" test problems and sidestep the unproductive "reflex" of jumping "headlong" into equations. The tools are a few key principles and a couple of back-up "safety nets." Math clients will practice using these tools on each test problem.

Two psychological traps hurt scores: overconfidence on "easy" questions, and ever-changing answers to tougher problems. The remedies? Double-checking easy answers (you have time), and keeping your FIRST choices UNLESS there's REASON to change answers. (Note: "Feelings" are NOT reasons; retain the initial response).

Since exam "retakers" rarely rise less than a few percentiles in rank, we aim for twice that gain: 10-plus percentile-point improvements. One 2016 SAT Math client enjoyed a score boost from 590 to 680. Another recent 2018 SAT client's retest scored nearly 200 points higher to 1300 even.

HOW IT WORKS
While results cannot be assured, our tutoring lessons can serve one of three typical aims. Ideally, tutoring early in a course -- as soon as it gets "murky" -- can clarify things so that the rest of the course makes sense. Or we can have test-prep sessions, much like "warm-ups" with a coach on the driving range or putting green before the golf match. As a last resort with notably less chance of success, an end-of-course "sorting-out of matters" may be attempted to recover the course's final grade. On a case-by-case basis, I am willing to accept the risk of dissatisfied feedback when engaging last-minute "emergency" scenarios since remarkable success has been achievable, though not in every instance. If handy, kindly email a table of contents or course syllabus to show what needs preparing for our very first session and the upcoming exam. Students are always welcome at no cost to Email specific, pressing questions for a next-day response.

PHILOSOPHY
Many school subjects have math as "the sticking point." Math processes are typically cast in the abstract language of symbol manipulation with formal rules to memorize. Although this academic approach works for some students, even those who can recall and use this method have little idea what the equations MEAN. Instead, our session problem-solving will feature step-by-step reasoning rather than formulation, comprehension BEFORE computation.


Education

Virginia Tech
mechanical engineer
Virginia Tech
Graduate Coursework

Policies

  • Hourly Rate: $32
  • Rate details: Clients may cancel anytime for any reason at no charge! Students enjoy the lessons or they're free. Cost is often negotiable on a local case-by-case basis.
  • Background check passed on 5/1/2013

  • Your first lesson is backed by our Good Fit Guarantee

Schedule

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Subjects

Business

Business,

Business

My Wyzant clients have included VT and RU business students for various courses. Business students will be able to draw from my own self-employment experience since 1990 and from my investment activities since 1996. International clients have also recently enlisted my assistance with business plan material and investment analyses through the world's largest freelance marketplace, Upwork (formerly oDesk). Great businesses exhibit certain traits that, when identified, merit investment interest and can be emulated and adapted to other business situations. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions.
Finance,

Finance

What is "finance?" Finance is using other people's money (OPM or "opium") to make more money. How much do the funds cost? Calculations center around rates of interest and returns on investment, each 'telescoped' through time. The "rule of 72" is my favorite TVM tool for estimating a doubling (i% x years = 72) whether for WACC, NPV, DCF or YTM. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their financial situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite investment writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Financial Accounting,

Financial Accounting

Extensive local tutoring has included both financial and managerial accounting principles for VT ACIS 2115-2116 and RU ACTG 211-212. Amortization of bond premiums and discounts has been a featured topic. The "rule of 72" is my favorite tool for estimating a doubling (i% x years = 72) whether for WACC, NPV, DCF or YTM. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions. CPA exam training is available for the BEC and FAR sections. A deep sense of the accounting cycle that links income to the balance sheet to cash flows is of great advantage! Accounting, simply stated, is the "language" used in recording business transactions. The simplest transaction is an actual lump-sum transfer of cash on a specific date. Most deals, however, take non-cash forms and are spread out over time -- sometimes over very long, even indeterminate timeframes. This is when accounting gets very interesting, requiring a deep understanding of the principles, assumptions, and estimates used in producing a particular accounting exhibit. It's NOT so much what the numbers ARE, but what the numbers MEAN. And the figures can mean VERY different things in different business situations! It's also helpful to notice when the accounting is sober and conservative versus when it's "rosy" and overly-optimistic. I've been requested to perform numerous quarterly audits. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their financial situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite investment writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
GMAT,

GMAT

My recent GMAT activity has included drafting several dozen practice questions for an international client's test-prep website focusing on the Quant portion's data-sufficiency and word-problem types. My January 2017 unofficial GMATPrep score of 760 ranked in the 99th percentile.
GRE,

GRE

Having been favored with an official GRE Quant score in the 97th percentile (770/800 scaling), our GRE math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the numbers and formulas work. My recent unofficial ETS scores using the 170 scale are 169 verbal, 170 quant.
Macroeconomics,

Macroeconomics

VT client courses have included ECON 2005-6. Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and the psychology of behavioral economics. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Managerial Accounting,

Managerial Accounting

Extensive local tutoring has included both financial and managerial accounting principles for VT ACIS 2115-2116 and RU ACTG 211-212. We can debit-credit journal transactions to account ledgers for trial balance and adjusted closing statements. Budget variance analysis and general overhead costing are client topics of concern. CPA exam training is available, particularly for the BEC and FAR sections. A deep sense of how the accounting cycle links income to the balance sheet to cash flows is of great advantage! Accounting, simply stated, is the "language" used in recording business transactions. The simplest transaction is an actual lump-sum transfer of cash on a specific date. Most deals, however, take non-cash forms and are spread out over time -- sometimes over very long, even indeterminate timeframes. This is when accounting gets very interesting, requiring a deep understanding of the principles, assumptions, and estimates used in producing a particular accounting exhibit. It's NOT so much what the numbers ARE, but what the numbers MEAN. And the figures can mean VERY different things in different business situations! It's also helpful to notice when the accounting is sober and conservative versus when it's "rosy" and overly-optimistic. I've been requested to perform numerous quarterly audits. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their financial situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite investment writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Microeconomics

Microeconomics

Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and psychology. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.

Corporate Training

Business,

Business

My Wyzant clients have included VT and RU business students for various courses. Business students will be able to draw from my own self-employment experience since 1990 and from my investment activities since 1996. International clients have also recently enlisted my assistance with business plan material and investment analyses through the world's largest freelance marketplace, Upwork (formerly oDesk). Great businesses exhibit certain traits that, when identified, merit investment interest and can be emulated and adapted to other business situations. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions.
Finance,

Finance

What is "finance?" Finance is using other people's money (OPM or "opium") to make more money. How much do the funds cost? Calculations center around rates of interest and returns on investment, each 'telescoped' through time. The "rule of 72" is my favorite TVM tool for estimating a doubling (i% x years = 72) whether for WACC, NPV, DCF or YTM. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their financial situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite investment writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
GMAT,

GMAT

My recent GMAT activity has included drafting several dozen practice questions for an international client's test-prep website focusing on the Quant portion's data-sufficiency and word-problem types. My January 2017 unofficial GMATPrep score of 760 ranked in the 99th percentile.
Macroeconomics,

Macroeconomics

VT client courses have included ECON 2005-6. Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and the psychology of behavioral economics. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Microeconomics,

Microeconomics

Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and psychology. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Proofreading,

Proofreading

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my editing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. It has also been a privilege to teach dozens of ME lab undergrads the craft of writing technical reports. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too!
Statistics

Statistics

Regression-analysis services are available, especially for laboratory experiments: variable significance testing, multicollinear risk detection, residual imbalance assessment, measurement scatter troubleshooting, and linear transformation development. Sampling of prior lab-data regression work is available on request. Statistics hopes that samples look like whole populations. The sample is described by a typical, central value: an average, mean, or median. The sample also has a "spread" or range about the average: a standard deviation. Normally, about two-thirds of the group will lie within one standard deviation of the average, and about 95% lives within two standard deviations. Is the sample size big enough? I prefer sampling until there's not much change in medians. Then I over-sample to be sure. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.

Elementary Education

Reading

Reading

My best reading, after having read tens of thousands of pages, involves listening and annotating. While "talking to oneself" and "marking up books" is frowned-upon, this is the way to actively read, understand, and remember. Of course, we print out or photocopy the text for our own notation. And it's crucial to read something that we care about and enjoy when trying to improve. Reading is hard work and requires thinking. Youngsters (and grown-ups) make the mistake of reading things in a hurry. So, we will take our time and have fun! Quality trumps quantity.

English

Proofreading,

Proofreading

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my editing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. It has also been a privilege to teach dozens of ME lab undergrads the craft of writing technical reports. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too!
Reading,

Reading

My best reading, after having read tens of thousands of pages, involves listening and annotating. While "talking to oneself" and "marking up books" is frowned-upon, this is the way to actively read, understand, and remember. Of course, we print out or photocopy the text for our own notation. And it's crucial to read something that we care about and enjoy when trying to improve. Reading is hard work and requires thinking. Youngsters (and grown-ups) make the mistake of reading things in a hurry. So, we will take our time and have fun! Quality trumps quantity.
Writing

Writing

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my writing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too! Good writing teaches; it can inform readers. More importantly, writing is useful because it forces the writer to line up his own thinking on a matter. This was my main reason for writing 172 pages of essays explaining my investments from 1996 through 2006. (Samples are available on request.) This writing process clarified my business reasoning -- it reinforced, cancelled, and even reversed my actions!

Homeschool

Algebra 1,

Algebra 1

Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our algebra sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the graphical equations work. The mx + b relation, for example, has two "knobs" -- "m" is the slope or amplifier/gain knob and "b" is the offset dial. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late 1980's, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. That's what I aim to provide.
Algebra 2,

Algebra 2

Over 120 tutoring hours to date have been devoted to assisting local high-school students (as well as adults!) in this vital precalculus subject. RU MATH 138 has also been popular. Online sessions through Wyzant have been expanding rapidly in this subject, too. Picking up where Algebra 1 leaves off, the y=x^2 relation is the starting point for this subject. Learn to "stair-step," "cut in half," and to re-scale systems of equations to "even up" or "cancel." The square, circle, and triangle will form our "template" for all spatial concepts. Students will develop a handy "visual" sense of polynomials, sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) curves. Algebra 2 overlaps with much of the precalculus description below.
Calculus,

Calculus

Practical training is available for AP Calc students, science-eng'r clients (VT MATH 1225-6, RU MATH 151) and for business majors (VT MATH 1524-6, RU MATH 126). Matrix math and differential equation insights are also available. Calculus is the mathematics of change. Slope (a derivative) is all about observing differences at a particular point. Integration is simply a fancy way of adding super-thin slices, whether areas, probabilities, volumes, moments or work.
Chemistry,

Chemistry

Free infographics available on request for AP and college freshman clients that capture periodic-table trends in radius, energies, and quantum orbital fill-in. Chief analogy centers around nuclear attraction versus inner shell repulsion on valence electrons. It's also helpful to recall that 3d orbitals fill in the 4th row's ten transition elements between the 4s and 4p 'bookend' slots. It was enjoyable to make the "final four" of the 21 high-school teams competing at the Corning, NY chapter of the American Chemical Society's May 1981 "Chem Bowl". Virginia Tech favored me with a full 1st-year of advanced-placement (AP) chemistry credits. Chemistry is all about the slots in an atom's electronic "outer-shell." We must also attend to concentrations & proportions. Lewis-diagram rules can "size-up" possible compounds, like using Tinker Toys or Legos. We'll also see bond angles and molecular shapes.
Macroeconomics,

Macroeconomics

VT client courses have included ECON 2005-6. Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and the psychology of behavioral economics. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Microeconomics,

Microeconomics

Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and psychology. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Physics,

Physics

Extensive physics tutoring has included several clients enrolled in RU PHYS 111-112, Roanoke College PHYS 103-4, and VT PHYS 2205-6, 2305-6, plus high-school courses. Can projectile kinematics be handled without memorizing formulas? Yes, our lessons favor the "average-velocity" concept for constant-acceleration settings. Did you know there are TWO right-hand rules for magnetic forces? One acts ON the moving charge and another emanates FROM it. Distinguishing these really clarifies! Ditto for properties of mass: inertia and gravitation are completely separate ideas! Our model for electrostatics? Same as gravitation, but with attraction-repulsion features.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

Final exam client preparation has included RU MATH 138. Our pre-calculus sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how any triangles work. Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without using a calculator or table of values? This can be done mentally under a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within +/- 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple, overlooked approximations. This will serve as a supplement to the laws of sine and cosine for non-right triangles. Polynomials can be "eyeballed" and factored with simpler methods you may like. "Asymptotes" are simply viewed as "fences" on the x-y grid. Students will also benefit from a "hands-on" look at sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) functions.
Reading,

Reading

My best reading, after having read tens of thousands of pages, involves listening and annotating. While "talking to oneself" and "marking up books" is frowned-upon, this is the way to actively read, understand, and remember. Of course, we print out or photocopy the text for our own notation. And it's crucial to read something that we care about and enjoy when trying to improve. Reading is hard work and requires thinking. Youngsters (and grown-ups) make the mistake of reading things in a hurry. So, we will take our time and have fun! Quality trumps quantity.
SAT Math,

SAT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these SAT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our SAT Math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how squares and circles work. Almost all spatial concepts stem from circles and squares. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no fancy formulas to recall! We will also "see" how most of algebra comes from the y=x and y=x^2 templates. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late '80s, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. Students deserve that.
Statistics,

Statistics

Regression-analysis services are available, especially for laboratory experiments: variable significance testing, multicollinear risk detection, residual imbalance assessment, measurement scatter troubleshooting, and linear transformation development. Sampling of prior lab-data regression work is available on request. Statistics hopes that samples look like whole populations. The sample is described by a typical, central value: an average, mean, or median. The sample also has a "spread" or range about the average: a standard deviation. Normally, about two-thirds of the group will lie within one standard deviation of the average, and about 95% lives within two standard deviations. Is the sample size big enough? I prefer sampling until there's not much change in medians. Then I over-sample to be sure. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Writing

Writing

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my writing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too! Good writing teaches; it can inform readers. More importantly, writing is useful because it forces the writer to line up his own thinking on a matter. This was my main reason for writing 172 pages of essays explaining my investments from 1996 through 2006. (Samples are available on request.) This writing process clarified my business reasoning -- it reinforced, cancelled, and even reversed my actions!

Math

ACT Math,

ACT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these ACT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Our ACT sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how any triangles work. Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without fumbling with equations? This can be performed mentally within a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple approximations often overlooked. This will serve as a handy supplement to the laws of sine and cosine for non-right triangles. We'll see how squares and circles work -- the template for almost all spatial concepts. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no formulas to remember! We will also "see" how most algebra stems from the y=x and y=x^2 relations.
Algebra 1,

Algebra 1

Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our algebra sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the graphical equations work. The mx + b relation, for example, has two "knobs" -- "m" is the slope or amplifier/gain knob and "b" is the offset dial. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late 1980's, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. That's what I aim to provide.
Algebra 2,

Algebra 2

Over 120 tutoring hours to date have been devoted to assisting local high-school students (as well as adults!) in this vital precalculus subject. RU MATH 138 has also been popular. Online sessions through Wyzant have been expanding rapidly in this subject, too. Picking up where Algebra 1 leaves off, the y=x^2 relation is the starting point for this subject. Learn to "stair-step," "cut in half," and to re-scale systems of equations to "even up" or "cancel." The square, circle, and triangle will form our "template" for all spatial concepts. Students will develop a handy "visual" sense of polynomials, sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) curves. Algebra 2 overlaps with much of the precalculus description below.
Calculus,

Calculus

Practical training is available for AP Calc students, science-eng'r clients (VT MATH 1225-6, RU MATH 151) and for business majors (VT MATH 1524-6, RU MATH 126). Matrix math and differential equation insights are also available. Calculus is the mathematics of change. Slope (a derivative) is all about observing differences at a particular point. Integration is simply a fancy way of adding super-thin slices, whether areas, probabilities, volumes, moments or work.
Differential Equations,

Differential Equations

Recent local tutoring for VT Math 2214 has included ways to separate terms, use partial fractions, change variables, apply Bernoulli substitutions, and employ the integration factor e^kt. Strategies are designed to re-frame problems into more familiar, workable forms. The ODE systems where I'd be most helpful are the 1st- and 2nd-order linear systems that occur in nature. Examples include natural decay, temperature change, free-fall against air drag, capacitor (dis)charge, or a spring-mass oscillation "playing catch" between its two energy forms. Higher-order systems can often simplify into 1st- or 2nd-order frames when a slower element dominates. Many solutions take the forms of exponential envelopes, sinh-cosh-tanh hyperbolics, and sine wave oscillations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Electrical Engineering,

Electrical Engineering

What makes the ME an "Electro-Mechanical" Engineer? Building your OWN measurement-and-control circuits. I'd be most helpful working with low-voltage DC signals and layouts. Biomedical instruments face the special challenge of sensing microvolt signals in noisy settings. Recent courses have included VT ECE 2004,54. One key circuit analysis concept is this: parallel paths should use the node-current formulations of i = V/R, C dV/dt, 1/L ] V dt. For serial elements, the familiar voltage-loop approach works just fine using V = iR, L di/dt, 1/C ] i dt. Most devices can be viewed simply as "quasi-resistors" where impedances are shaped by frequency, sudden change or base-gate pin input control for transistors. Never forget capacitors act as shorts (Zc=0) to sudden change and as opens (Zc=oo) in the steady state (SS). Inductive coils behave in reverse: infinite impedance toward sudden change and shorts in the SS. Our sessions can include resistor arrays, capacitors, coils, op-amp stages, filters, diodes, BJT transistors, digital gates, flip-flops, latches, one-shots, counters, comparators, 7-seg LED displays. Troubleshooting often reveals a poor connection, ground disparity, noise, voltage drift, heat sensitivity, or a time lag. It was fun teaching a community-college lab course where several students built their own DC power supplies for their final exam, transforming, rectifying, filtering, and regulating voltage to "spec." It would be a pleasure to provide you with a "hands-on", workbench-like approach to your EE studies! Schematics are available on request.
Linear Algebra,

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra tries to handle systems of multi-variable equations in matrix form. ME grads like myself must complete a sophomore-level course on the subject. Modern-control theory favors this matrix concept in senior/grad-level ME courses to treat even differential equations whether or not they are "Laplace transformed" into algebraic form. If you have to complete courses like these, I've taken a few and can guide you. One key coping mechanism is to lay out your system to minimize variables: "triangular"-ize the matrix so it may be "back-solved." By rearranging and by cautiously rounding-off certain factors, a big matrix can be simplified into "4x4" elements. The "4x4's" can then be streamlined to "3x3's" that are solved using the ever-handy "Cramer's rule." Please send me your matrix and I'll make some next-day remarks on it at no cost.
Mechanical Engineering,

Mechanical Engineering

Engineering students are most welcome to forward piping pressure and flow specs, turbine steam cycles, 2D conduction or convection arrays, oscillating rotary systems, and automatic controls, transfer function block diagrams for Bode plot, frequency, stability, and steady-state error analyses. In 1987, Virginia Tech awarded me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergrads in instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Physics,

Physics

Extensive physics tutoring has included several clients enrolled in RU PHYS 111-112, Roanoke College PHYS 103-4, and VT PHYS 2205-6, 2305-6, plus high-school courses. Can projectile kinematics be handled without memorizing formulas? Yes, our lessons favor the "average-velocity" concept for constant-acceleration settings. Did you know there are TWO right-hand rules for magnetic forces? One acts ON the moving charge and another emanates FROM it. Distinguishing these really clarifies! Ditto for properties of mass: inertia and gravitation are completely separate ideas! Our model for electrostatics? Same as gravitation, but with attraction-repulsion features.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

Final exam client preparation has included RU MATH 138. Our pre-calculus sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how any triangles work. Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without using a calculator or table of values? This can be done mentally under a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within +/- 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple, overlooked approximations. This will serve as a supplement to the laws of sine and cosine for non-right triangles. Polynomials can be "eyeballed" and factored with simpler methods you may like. "Asymptotes" are simply viewed as "fences" on the x-y grid. Students will also benefit from a "hands-on" look at sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) functions.
SAT Math,

SAT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these SAT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our SAT Math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how squares and circles work. Almost all spatial concepts stem from circles and squares. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no fancy formulas to recall! We will also "see" how most of algebra comes from the y=x and y=x^2 templates. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late '80s, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. Students deserve that.
Statistics,

Statistics

Regression-analysis services are available, especially for laboratory experiments: variable significance testing, multicollinear risk detection, residual imbalance assessment, measurement scatter troubleshooting, and linear transformation development. Sampling of prior lab-data regression work is available on request. Statistics hopes that samples look like whole populations. The sample is described by a typical, central value: an average, mean, or median. The sample also has a "spread" or range about the average: a standard deviation. Normally, about two-thirds of the group will lie within one standard deviation of the average, and about 95% lives within two standard deviations. Is the sample size big enough? I prefer sampling until there's not much change in medians. Then I over-sample to be sure. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Trigonometry

Trigonometry

Nearly 100 hours of WyzAnt tutoring has been provided to Salem & Blacksburg High School students on "trig" principles. RU MATH 138 has been another popular class. Our trigonometry sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how triangles work. Trig functions are used to "see" vectors and simple harmonic motion. Trigonometry is all about "triangles simplified." Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without using a calculator or table of values? This can be done mentally under a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within +/- 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple, overlooked approximations.

Most Popular

Algebra 1,

Algebra 1

Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our algebra sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the graphical equations work. The mx + b relation, for example, has two "knobs" -- "m" is the slope or amplifier/gain knob and "b" is the offset dial. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late 1980's, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. That's what I aim to provide.
Algebra 2,

Algebra 2

Over 120 tutoring hours to date have been devoted to assisting local high-school students (as well as adults!) in this vital precalculus subject. RU MATH 138 has also been popular. Online sessions through Wyzant have been expanding rapidly in this subject, too. Picking up where Algebra 1 leaves off, the y=x^2 relation is the starting point for this subject. Learn to "stair-step," "cut in half," and to re-scale systems of equations to "even up" or "cancel." The square, circle, and triangle will form our "template" for all spatial concepts. Students will develop a handy "visual" sense of polynomials, sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) curves. Algebra 2 overlaps with much of the precalculus description below.
Calculus,

Calculus

Practical training is available for AP Calc students, science-eng'r clients (VT MATH 1225-6, RU MATH 151) and for business majors (VT MATH 1524-6, RU MATH 126). Matrix math and differential equation insights are also available. Calculus is the mathematics of change. Slope (a derivative) is all about observing differences at a particular point. Integration is simply a fancy way of adding super-thin slices, whether areas, probabilities, volumes, moments or work.
Chemistry,

Chemistry

Free infographics available on request for AP and college freshman clients that capture periodic-table trends in radius, energies, and quantum orbital fill-in. Chief analogy centers around nuclear attraction versus inner shell repulsion on valence electrons. It's also helpful to recall that 3d orbitals fill in the 4th row's ten transition elements between the 4s and 4p 'bookend' slots. It was enjoyable to make the "final four" of the 21 high-school teams competing at the Corning, NY chapter of the American Chemical Society's May 1981 "Chem Bowl". Virginia Tech favored me with a full 1st-year of advanced-placement (AP) chemistry credits. Chemistry is all about the slots in an atom's electronic "outer-shell." We must also attend to concentrations & proportions. Lewis-diagram rules can "size-up" possible compounds, like using Tinker Toys or Legos. We'll also see bond angles and molecular shapes.
Physics,

Physics

Extensive physics tutoring has included several clients enrolled in RU PHYS 111-112, Roanoke College PHYS 103-4, and VT PHYS 2205-6, 2305-6, plus high-school courses. Can projectile kinematics be handled without memorizing formulas? Yes, our lessons favor the "average-velocity" concept for constant-acceleration settings. Did you know there are TWO right-hand rules for magnetic forces? One acts ON the moving charge and another emanates FROM it. Distinguishing these really clarifies! Ditto for properties of mass: inertia and gravitation are completely separate ideas! Our model for electrostatics? Same as gravitation, but with attraction-repulsion features.
Precalculus,

Precalculus

Final exam client preparation has included RU MATH 138. Our pre-calculus sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how any triangles work. Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without using a calculator or table of values? This can be done mentally under a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within +/- 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple, overlooked approximations. This will serve as a supplement to the laws of sine and cosine for non-right triangles. Polynomials can be "eyeballed" and factored with simpler methods you may like. "Asymptotes" are simply viewed as "fences" on the x-y grid. Students will also benefit from a "hands-on" look at sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) functions.
Reading,

Reading

My best reading, after having read tens of thousands of pages, involves listening and annotating. While "talking to oneself" and "marking up books" is frowned-upon, this is the way to actively read, understand, and remember. Of course, we print out or photocopy the text for our own notation. And it's crucial to read something that we care about and enjoy when trying to improve. Reading is hard work and requires thinking. Youngsters (and grown-ups) make the mistake of reading things in a hurry. So, we will take our time and have fun! Quality trumps quantity.
Statistics,

Statistics

Regression-analysis services are available, especially for laboratory experiments: variable significance testing, multicollinear risk detection, residual imbalance assessment, measurement scatter troubleshooting, and linear transformation development. Sampling of prior lab-data regression work is available on request. Statistics hopes that samples look like whole populations. The sample is described by a typical, central value: an average, mean, or median. The sample also has a "spread" or range about the average: a standard deviation. Normally, about two-thirds of the group will lie within one standard deviation of the average, and about 95% lives within two standard deviations. Is the sample size big enough? I prefer sampling until there's not much change in medians. Then I over-sample to be sure. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Writing

Writing

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my writing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too! Good writing teaches; it can inform readers. More importantly, writing is useful because it forces the writer to line up his own thinking on a matter. This was my main reason for writing 172 pages of essays explaining my investments from 1996 through 2006. (Samples are available on request.) This writing process clarified my business reasoning -- it reinforced, cancelled, and even reversed my actions!

Other

Finance,

Finance

What is "finance?" Finance is using other people's money (OPM or "opium") to make more money. How much do the funds cost? Calculations center around rates of interest and returns on investment, each 'telescoped' through time. The "rule of 72" is my favorite TVM tool for estimating a doubling (i% x years = 72) whether for WACC, NPV, DCF or YTM. Business strategy simulation help is available (BSG, Capsim) for price-quality positioning, plant investment, production, distribution, marketing and capital management decisions. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their financial situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite investment writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Macroeconomics,

Macroeconomics

VT client courses have included ECON 2005-6. Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and the psychology of behavioral economics. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Microeconomics

Microeconomics

Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and psychology. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.

Science

ACT Science,

ACT Science

What is "Science?" Simply put, science is the study of how things work: cause and effect. Therefore, science -- at its core -- is a laboratory business: test, measure, and deduce. Repeat to be sure. The 40-question ACT Science exam is designed to gauge the candidate's sense of this experimental process. Several passages will describe the set-up, procedure, and results of experiments. In each of these scenarios, something is moving, growing, reacting, or changing. What's causing it and how much? Can the experiment be improved? Are we measuring the correct variable, in the best location, and in a suitable way? How do we know that the numbers are right? What could be corrupting our measurement process? What am I overlooking? What could I be doing wrong? This is the humble, disciplined, scientific "mind-set" I am privileged to teach students. Three elements will lead to superior ACT Science scores: (1) Careful, active reading -- what's happening and how? This may be the toughest aspect for ACT test-takers. (2) Graph and table perception -- seeing flat lines, constant slopes, sudden changes, recurring trends, and "outliers." (3) A solid, unified awareness of physical phenomena and their underlying causes -- why is this occuring? Graphs and tables are where the shortcuts lie -- we'll look at those first. Reading involves asking the productive questions that stem from those very same graphs and tables. Physics acumen comes from experience -- I'll distill it all for you into a common framework. It will be a pleasure to mentor clients using my thousands of hours of power plant and laboratory test background. Real-world science is a dirty, sobering, and surprising business -- and that makes this field fascinating!
Chemistry,

Chemistry

Free infographics available on request for AP and college freshman clients that capture periodic-table trends in radius, energies, and quantum orbital fill-in. Chief analogy centers around nuclear attraction versus inner shell repulsion on valence electrons. It's also helpful to recall that 3d orbitals fill in the 4th row's ten transition elements between the 4s and 4p 'bookend' slots. It was enjoyable to make the "final four" of the 21 high-school teams competing at the Corning, NY chapter of the American Chemical Society's May 1981 "Chem Bowl". Virginia Tech favored me with a full 1st-year of advanced-placement (AP) chemistry credits. Chemistry is all about the slots in an atom's electronic "outer-shell." We must also attend to concentrations & proportions. Lewis-diagram rules can "size-up" possible compounds, like using Tinker Toys or Legos. We'll also see bond angles and molecular shapes.
Electrical Engineering,

Electrical Engineering

What makes the ME an "Electro-Mechanical" Engineer? Building your OWN measurement-and-control circuits. I'd be most helpful working with low-voltage DC signals and layouts. Biomedical instruments face the special challenge of sensing microvolt signals in noisy settings. Recent courses have included VT ECE 2004,54. One key circuit analysis concept is this: parallel paths should use the node-current formulations of i = V/R, C dV/dt, 1/L ] V dt. For serial elements, the familiar voltage-loop approach works just fine using V = iR, L di/dt, 1/C ] i dt. Most devices can be viewed simply as "quasi-resistors" where impedances are shaped by frequency, sudden change or base-gate pin input control for transistors. Never forget capacitors act as shorts (Zc=0) to sudden change and as opens (Zc=oo) in the steady state (SS). Inductive coils behave in reverse: infinite impedance toward sudden change and shorts in the SS. Our sessions can include resistor arrays, capacitors, coils, op-amp stages, filters, diodes, BJT transistors, digital gates, flip-flops, latches, one-shots, counters, comparators, 7-seg LED displays. Troubleshooting often reveals a poor connection, ground disparity, noise, voltage drift, heat sensitivity, or a time lag. It was fun teaching a community-college lab course where several students built their own DC power supplies for their final exam, transforming, rectifying, filtering, and regulating voltage to "spec." It would be a pleasure to provide you with a "hands-on", workbench-like approach to your EE studies! Schematics are available on request.
Mechanical Engineering,

Mechanical Engineering

Engineering students are most welcome to forward piping pressure and flow specs, turbine steam cycles, 2D conduction or convection arrays, oscillating rotary systems, and automatic controls, transfer function block diagrams for Bode plot, frequency, stability, and steady-state error analyses. In 1987, Virginia Tech awarded me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergrads in instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Physical Science,

Physical Science

What is "Science?" Simply put, science is the study of how things work: cause and effect. Therefore, science -- at its core -- is a laboratory business: test, measure, and deduce. Repeat to be sure. In most experiments, something is moving, growing, reacting, or changing. What's causing it and how much? Can the experiment be improved? Are we measuring the correct variable, in the best location, and in a suitable way? How do we know that the numbers are right? What could be corrupting our measurement process? What am I overlooking? What could I be doing wrong? This is the humble, disciplined, scientific "mind-set" I am privileged to teach students. Scientific acumen comes from experience -- I'll distill it all for you into a common framework. It will be a pleasure to mentor clients using my thousands of hours of power plant and laboratory test background. Real-world science is a dirty, sobering, and surprising business -- and that makes this field quite fascinating!
Physics

Physics

Extensive physics tutoring has included several clients enrolled in RU PHYS 111-112, Roanoke College PHYS 103-4, and VT PHYS 2205-6, 2305-6, plus high-school courses. Can projectile kinematics be handled without memorizing formulas? Yes, our lessons favor the "average-velocity" concept for constant-acceleration settings. Did you know there are TWO right-hand rules for magnetic forces? One acts ON the moving charge and another emanates FROM it. Distinguishing these really clarifies! Ditto for properties of mass: inertia and gravitation are completely separate ideas! Our model for electrostatics? Same as gravitation, but with attraction-repulsion features.

Summer

Algebra 1,

Algebra 1

Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our algebra sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the graphical equations work. The mx + b relation, for example, has two "knobs" -- "m" is the slope or amplifier/gain knob and "b" is the offset dial. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late 1980's, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. That's what I aim to provide.
Algebra 2,

Algebra 2

Over 120 tutoring hours to date have been devoted to assisting local high-school students (as well as adults!) in this vital precalculus subject. RU MATH 138 has also been popular. Online sessions through Wyzant have been expanding rapidly in this subject, too. Picking up where Algebra 1 leaves off, the y=x^2 relation is the starting point for this subject. Learn to "stair-step," "cut in half," and to re-scale systems of equations to "even up" or "cancel." The square, circle, and triangle will form our "template" for all spatial concepts. Students will develop a handy "visual" sense of polynomials, sine waves, and the e^x and ln(x) curves. Algebra 2 overlaps with much of the precalculus description below.
Calculus,

Calculus

Practical training is available for AP Calc students, science-eng'r clients (VT MATH 1225-6, RU MATH 151) and for business majors (VT MATH 1524-6, RU MATH 126). Matrix math and differential equation insights are also available. Calculus is the mathematics of change. Slope (a derivative) is all about observing differences at a particular point. Integration is simply a fancy way of adding super-thin slices, whether areas, probabilities, volumes, moments or work.
Chemistry,

Chemistry

Free infographics available on request for AP and college freshman clients that capture periodic-table trends in radius, energies, and quantum orbital fill-in. Chief analogy centers around nuclear attraction versus inner shell repulsion on valence electrons. It's also helpful to recall that 3d orbitals fill in the 4th row's ten transition elements between the 4s and 4p 'bookend' slots. It was enjoyable to make the "final four" of the 21 high-school teams competing at the Corning, NY chapter of the American Chemical Society's May 1981 "Chem Bowl". Virginia Tech favored me with a full 1st-year of advanced-placement (AP) chemistry credits. Chemistry is all about the slots in an atom's electronic "outer-shell." We must also attend to concentrations & proportions. Lewis-diagram rules can "size-up" possible compounds, like using Tinker Toys or Legos. We'll also see bond angles and molecular shapes.
Macroeconomics,

Macroeconomics

VT client courses have included ECON 2005-6. Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and the psychology of behavioral economics. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Microeconomics,

Microeconomics

Economics boils down to scarcity and how people react to it. Good economic analysis considers both the numbers and psychology. Mediocre analysis uses only equations. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a Minor in Economics. As a practicing private investor from 1996 through 2006, I examined thousands of accounting exhibits for hundreds of companies and their annual reports describing their economic situations. During that same 10-year period, I wrote 172 pages of essays explaining each of my investments. My favorite economic writers are J.M. Keynes, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, and Warren Buffett. It was fun to own Berkshire Hathaway shares from February 2000 through 2006.
Physics,

Physics

Extensive physics tutoring has included several clients enrolled in RU PHYS 111-112, Roanoke College PHYS 103-4, and VT PHYS 2205-6, 2305-6, plus high-school courses. Can projectile kinematics be handled without memorizing formulas? Yes, our lessons favor the "average-velocity" concept for constant-acceleration settings. Did you know there are TWO right-hand rules for magnetic forces? One acts ON the moving charge and another emanates FROM it. Distinguishing these really clarifies! Ditto for properties of mass: inertia and gravitation are completely separate ideas! Our model for electrostatics? Same as gravitation, but with attraction-repulsion features.
Reading,

Reading

My best reading, after having read tens of thousands of pages, involves listening and annotating. While "talking to oneself" and "marking up books" is frowned-upon, this is the way to actively read, understand, and remember. Of course, we print out or photocopy the text for our own notation. And it's crucial to read something that we care about and enjoy when trying to improve. Reading is hard work and requires thinking. Youngsters (and grown-ups) make the mistake of reading things in a hurry. So, we will take our time and have fun! Quality trumps quantity.
SAT Math,

SAT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these SAT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our SAT Math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how squares and circles work. Almost all spatial concepts stem from circles and squares. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no fancy formulas to recall! We will also "see" how most of algebra comes from the y=x and y=x^2 templates. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late '80s, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. Students deserve that.
Statistics,

Statistics

Regression-analysis services are available, especially for laboratory experiments: variable significance testing, multicollinear risk detection, residual imbalance assessment, measurement scatter troubleshooting, and linear transformation development. Sampling of prior lab-data regression work is available on request. Statistics hopes that samples look like whole populations. The sample is described by a typical, central value: an average, mean, or median. The sample also has a "spread" or range about the average: a standard deviation. Normally, about two-thirds of the group will lie within one standard deviation of the average, and about 95% lives within two standard deviations. Is the sample size big enough? I prefer sampling until there's not much change in medians. Then I over-sample to be sure. In 1987, Virginia Tech saw fit to award me a BSME, magna cum laude. Completing the Cooperative Education program favored me with 2000 hours of power plant performance-testing experience. Graduate school activities included passing the ME PhD Qualifying Exam (1987), as well as finishing 70 semester hours of MS and PhD coursework emphasizing real-world measurement and control systems. It was fun designing a low-hemolysis (0.04 mg Hb/dl pumped) pulsatile blood pump for cardiopulmonary-bypass use. I also enjoyed the lab teaching and grading of at least 50 ME undergraduates in the crafts of instrumentation, signal conditioning, microprocessor-PC interfacing, and technical report writing.
Writing

Writing

Several recent thesis and journal article authors have benefited from my writing and proofreading services -- both local university and international clients through one of the largest freelance platforms in the world. My broad engineering and business background can go to work for you, too! Good writing teaches; it can inform readers. More importantly, writing is useful because it forces the writer to line up his own thinking on a matter. This was my main reason for writing 172 pages of essays explaining my investments from 1996 through 2006. (Samples are available on request.) This writing process clarified my business reasoning -- it reinforced, cancelled, and even reversed my actions!

Test Preparation

ACT Math,

ACT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these ACT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Our ACT sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how any triangles work. Would you like to be able to "see" the three sides and three angles of any triangle without fumbling with equations? This can be performed mentally within a minute. Given two sides and an angle, or two angles and a side, we can specify the three remaining unknowns within 5%. No calculator or tables are needed! We will use two simple approximations often overlooked. This will serve as a handy supplement to the laws of sine and cosine for non-right triangles. We'll see how squares and circles work -- the template for almost all spatial concepts. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no formulas to remember! We will also "see" how most algebra stems from the y=x and y=x^2 relations.
ACT Science,

ACT Science

What is "Science?" Simply put, science is the study of how things work: cause and effect. Therefore, science -- at its core -- is a laboratory business: test, measure, and deduce. Repeat to be sure. The 40-question ACT Science exam is designed to gauge the candidate's sense of this experimental process. Several passages will describe the set-up, procedure, and results of experiments. In each of these scenarios, something is moving, growing, reacting, or changing. What's causing it and how much? Can the experiment be improved? Are we measuring the correct variable, in the best location, and in a suitable way? How do we know that the numbers are right? What could be corrupting our measurement process? What am I overlooking? What could I be doing wrong? This is the humble, disciplined, scientific "mind-set" I am privileged to teach students. Three elements will lead to superior ACT Science scores: (1) Careful, active reading -- what's happening and how? This may be the toughest aspect for ACT test-takers. (2) Graph and table perception -- seeing flat lines, constant slopes, sudden changes, recurring trends, and "outliers." (3) A solid, unified awareness of physical phenomena and their underlying causes -- why is this occuring? Graphs and tables are where the shortcuts lie -- we'll look at those first. Reading involves asking the productive questions that stem from those very same graphs and tables. Physics acumen comes from experience -- I'll distill it all for you into a common framework. It will be a pleasure to mentor clients using my thousands of hours of power plant and laboratory test background. Real-world science is a dirty, sobering, and surprising business -- and that makes this field fascinating!
GMAT,

GMAT

My recent GMAT activity has included drafting several dozen practice questions for an international client's test-prep website focusing on the Quant portion's data-sufficiency and word-problem types. My January 2017 unofficial GMATPrep score of 760 ranked in the 99th percentile.
GRE,

GRE

Having been favored with an official GRE Quant score in the 97th percentile (770/800 scaling), our GRE math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how the numbers and formulas work. My recent unofficial ETS scores using the 170 scale are 169 verbal, 170 quant.
SAT Math

SAT Math

Students can enjoy simple techniques to "re-frame" many of these SAT Math puzzles using a very different, non-academic approach. Our "toolkit" includes: cutting in half, rescaling, "seeing the offset," "stair-stepping," noting counter-examples, using the "middle-value," "spelling it out" for powers & probability patterns, numer/denom tracking, and system "levelling and cancelling." Our cost-free material contains hundreds of multiple-choice and "grid-in" problems. Typical sessions begin with a tutorial puzzle, followed by a review of test questions, and ending with a timed-test simulation (Goal: 1 answer per minute). Having been favored with a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as power plant and laboratory experience, our SAT Math sessions will impart a "down-to-earth", visual sense of how squares and circles work. Almost all spatial concepts stem from circles and squares. Geometry areas and volumes can be estimated with no fancy formulas to recall! We will also "see" how most of algebra comes from the y=x and y=x^2 templates. I've enjoyed teaching thousands of sessions since the late '80s, both in large classes and in the home on a wide variety of topics. Good teachers care about people, are good examples, know their subject, and are terribly interesting. Students deserve that.

Ratings and Reviews


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Reviews


Mr. Brad M. was very helpful. He makes this course understandable with how he breaks it down. He is a great tutor.

Mr. Brad M. was very helpful. He makes this course understandable with how he breaks it down. He is a great tutor. After a tutoring session with him I can honestly say that I understand this specific term now. Therefore I am less confused when I try to just figure it out. I am grateful the time taken to tutor me.

Nicole, 2 lessons with Brad

Great Tutor!

Brad helped me work through some difficult problems in preparation for an exam! He was very knowledgeable and helped me gain a better understanding of how to work through certain problems!

Doug, 3 lessons with Brad

Wonderful Tutor!

Brad is awesome. He has been helping me with my Macroeconomics class and it continues to be a wonderful experience. Brad is knowledgeable, quick to respond, and easy to work with on this platform. We have been doing online sessions.

Ashley, 4 lessons with Brad

Great BSG Tutor

The Business Strategy Simulation Fame may be more of a marketing/advertising focused strategy game. Suggested increasing advertising. Strive to match or surpass previous year's operating profit.

Brenda, 2 lessons with Brad

HE IS THE BEST AROUND!!!!!! YOU WILL PASS!!!!!!!!

OMG!!!!/HE MADE IT SO EASY TO UNDERSTAND. HE IS GREAT ON THE WHITEBOARD. WHAT HE WRITES YOU CAN REVIEW LATER AS WELL. HE IS CLEAR HE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS. I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THIS KIND OF MATH; I AM A NURSE I ONLY KNOW NURSING STUFF YOU KNOW WHAT HE DID; HE USED MY EXPERIENCE AS A NURSE TO EXPLAIN WHAT HE WANTED ME TO UNDERSTAND!! IT BEGAN TO CLICK; I WAS ABLE TO FOLLOW AND VISUALIZE AS WELL. I AM TRYING TO KEEP HIM AS MY REGULAR TUTOR.

Susan, 2 lessons with Brad

Knowledgeable and patient.

Brad was responsive, showed up on time and was patient and kind. I would definitely work with him again. Cannot thank him enough for helping me to understand work in my management course.

Colleen, 3 lessons with Brad

Thanks for the help!

Brad was patient and helped me review for my Managerial accounting test. He taught me different ways to approach problems and had good examples. Thanks for explaining cost behavior clearly for me!

Sara, 1 lesson with Brad

Knowledgeable patient tutor

Brad needs a new computer, can we all support him so he can afford to get one. If we recommend him, it will be a great help because he's an excellent teacher. Great guy, and he's always on time.

Vee, 3 lessons with Brad

Very Knowledgeable, patient, and involved tutor.

Brad was able to teach me the fundamental principles behind complicated looking equations. He has a great grasp of control systems and how to teach it. Overall great tutor.

Roberto, 3 lessons with Brad
Contact Brad

Response time: 3 hours

$32/hour

Brad M.

$32/hour

  • No subscriptions or upfront payments

  • Only pay for the time you need

  • Find the right fit, or your first hour is free

Contact Brad

Response time: 3 hours