# Blogs

## Linear Algebra Blogs

Humans have a tremendous capacity to learn and adapt. However, we consistently build barriers that hinder our natural ability to change and grow. Many people, regardless of age, perceive themselves as not being talented enough to excel at math and science. They view math and science as the realms in which only scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and geniuses truly soar. Nothing could be further than the truth. Sure, possessing a natural affinity towards these subjects helps. Yet, a supposed lack of talent does not prevent you from learning. The path may be more arduous. The journey may be longer. Nevertheless, you possess within you the fire to endure. Willpower, dedication, self belief, and an open mind can compensate for any lack of ability. Bruce Lee was a legendary martial artist, actor, and philosopher who continues to inspire millions with the sheer intensity which he pursued his endeavors. Frail, sickly, and small as a child, Bruce Lee overcame many physical limitations... read more

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES Now that students, teachers, parents and tutors have had a chance to catch their breath from final exams, it's time to make use of the weeks we have before school starts back. Consider all that could be accomplished in the next few weeks: Areas of math that students NEVER REALLY GRASPED could be fully explained. This could be elementary skills like adding fractions, middle school topics like systems of equations, or high school areas like sequences and series. Students could have a TREMENDOUS HEAD STARTon topics that will be covered in the first few weeks of school. Imagine your son or daughter being able to raise their hand to answer a question in the first week of school because they had worked several problems just like the ones that the teacher is demonstrating. ENORMOUS PROGRESS could be made in the area of preparation for the standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, ACT and more) that are so important to getting into a great college. STUDY SKILLS... read more

I used to be a great math student. It would come naturally me, I never really had to "study" for the tests to get my A's. This all took a turn when I took PreCalculus in Highschool. I remember getting my first test back and seeing a 67/100. I was horrified! I was in shock! When my mother found out, she repeated her famous line "Practice makes Perfect!" She made me sit down with my textbook. She made me start from page 1 of the textbook. She told me to read every single word on the page including the captions under the pictures. She also made sure I did every single example problem and all the practice problems, yes all 97 of them (that was just for one section of the chapter). After doing this for 2 days. I took my next math test. When my teacher was handing back the test I prayed I at least would get a B! But I was in for a surprise...I received 93/100. My teacher was so happy with my improvement she had put smiley faces all over the page! I couldn't believe... read more

If you get stuck doing homework problems often, have a hard time doing your classwork, or sometimes you just can't follow your lecture notes try going to Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that is designed to handle mathematical problems and computation, and scientific problems. It has its limitations but it is a really awesome tool that gives a lot of detail when you need it. Try it out for yourself. http://www.wolframalpha.com

The new school year beckons - be it middle or high school, college or post graduate study. Fall college visits, applications and essays are also just around the corner. Get a jump on what you or your child may need in terms of support for specific academic subjects, computer skills, standardized tests (SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, GRE, etc.). I look forward to continuing my track record of success with students to assist them in maximizing their potential and achievements. David

It is no surprise that students lose some of their edge for education over the summer. After all the saying goes, "if you don't use it, you lose it." Summer is a great time to prepare students for the next school year. Tutoring can provide a means to not only stop the loss but also allow students to gain valuable skills for the next year. Imagine the edge your student could have in next years' math or science class if he or she had summer sessions with a certified teacher familiar with the state board curriculum and requirements? Summer is also a great time to prepare for standardized tests. SAT, PSAT, ACT or ASVAB. All of these tests provide information about a student's future potential. Students who are better prepared will score better and be given greater opportunities. That is why the test-prep industry is such a huge market. If you don't believe me, just stroll down that aisle of your local bookstore. However, as helpful as these self-help books can be, how... read more

SOH CAH TOA When working with Right Triangles in any Math and Science subject, especially Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Physics, many problems can be solved by remembering this Memory Jogger: Indian Chief SOH CAH TOA (sounds like soow caah towaah) Angle = A Sine A = Opposite/Hypotenuse Cosine A = Adjacent/Hypotenuse Tangent A = Opposite/Adjacent You can use these formulas to calculate and find missing angles or sides to solve various problems. Please contact me to help your student achieve the best grades possible in Math and Science. As a Chemical Engineer, I work on Math and Science problems all day, and tutor students in Math and Science in the evenings and weekends, including students from Elementary School to College Graduate School. I help students learn to see how Math and Science can be fun and useful in daily life, school, and career choices. All the best, John M.

Whenever you complete a math problem, it is paramount to go back and double check your work. Remember, no one is perfect and mistakes will be made from time to time. The first step is to always ask yourself "Does this answer make sense"? For example, if you're working on a geometry problem and you're trying to calculate an angle of a polygon, and you determine the answer is 110°, look at the angle and ask "Does this answer makes sense, does this angle look like it's greater than a right angle or a 90° angle"? If not, you know you've made an error and can go back to find the mistake. You can do it!!

Finals have started in the middle and high schools and so the break will soon be here. I'm anxious for my students and my daughter (in 9th grade) who are waiting to see what their final grade will be. While a few weeks off is treasured by teachers and students, the Christmas break is actually an excellent time for students to learn in math what they weren't able to master during the year. Neither the tutor nor the student relishes the idea of giving up vacation time but it's those students who go above and beyond who will ultimately succeed. In just a few sessions over the break, so very much can be accomplished because there isn't other work to compete with the student's time. To my students in middle school, good luck and remember to simplify those radicals and fractions. To my high school students, please practice the formulas and mnemonics I've taught you. Good luck to you as well! I have every confidence in you! Sincerely, Tracey M.

Work is force times distance: handling your calculator is just as much work as is figuring out what to write down. You will have more time to figure out what to write down if you wait until you've worked out solutions to all the problem you know how to work, before you use the calculator to compute numerical values. Picking up the calculator, putting it down, making the context shift in your mind,.., all take time away from the work that's earning you points on that test. So just do it once. I will say it again: deal with the numbers only once!

It's simple. I can help you more, and more quickly, if I can identify your problem areas in advance. So scan in a couple of graded tests and homework assignments and attach those to your email. I can get an ideal of how your teacher grades and how you may be missing the mark. Make sure your writing is legible on the scanned document. Sooner is better than later.

My philosophy is to treat each student as an individual, with their own style of learning, level of knowledge and motivation. Associated with that, I focus on creating relevance in subjects to the aspirations of that person. My bottom line objective is to build their self-confidence. Learning is an ongoing process. It provides ways to look at any problem. I have discovered that while earning my MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business (Dean's List) and a BA in Economics and Studio Art from Lafayette College (summa cum laude, Economics and Business Prize). I currently serve as an Alumni Admissions Representative for Lafayette. I have studied education as a graduate student at Pace Graduate School of Education as well in adolescent mathematics. Mathematically Yours, Barry

When teachers allow you cheat sheets for math tests, in addition to writing down formulas, I recommend writing out examples of problems you don't easily remember the steps to. Whatever you think you'll have trouble recalling during the test, write it down. Sometimes the examples you write down are very similar to questions on the test, which will significantly help you recreate the answers. Also, study your cheat sheet. Do not fill it out and then not review it. If you don't know where to find the information you wrote (quickly during the test), then it's useless to you. Know your sheet!