My approach to tutoring is to first determine where weaknesses in understanding exist, then to find ways to strengthen the student in those areas. Learning styles vary among students, so whenever possible, I try to match my tutoring methods to each student's strongest learning style. For example, one student may learn best by rote memorization and repetition drills. Another may thrive with analogies and mnemonics. A third student may need derivations from first principles or real life applica... [more]
The ACT math test covers a broad range of topics from arithmetic, discrete math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The supplied choices usually include erroneous answers that could be generated by simple errors. This can give the test taker false confidence in an incorrect answer if they are not very careful. However, since the test is 60 minutes long and there are 60 questions, pacing is necessary. To maximize student scores, both attention to detail and pace must be balanced. My strategy in helping students improve their ACT math performance has three phases. First, I use an interview and an untimed full-length practice exam as a diagnostic to determine with which topics the student struggles most. Second, I use selections of questions from various sources (including other practice exams, textbooks and my own devising) in a series of shorter timed "sprints" with a focus on topics of difficulty for that specific student. Third and finally, I return to a timed full-length practice exam to measure progress. If there is need and time allows, the process can be iterated.
I have been playing guitar since 1992, and have some performance experience. These days, I mostly play sacred music, classic rock and Americana, but I occasionally branch out to play folk, blues, classical, rock and jazz. I am very patient and attentive, and I am willing to work with students of any age and level of experience. Besides just learning, practicing and performing music, other areas where I can help guitar students include selection and purchase of an acoustic or electric guitar and accessories, basic maintenance and set-up, posture and hand positions, rhythm, recording, basic music theory, and things to consider when accompanying vocalists or playing as part of an ensemble. Tutoring sessions typically begin with a dialog about practice since the last session and end with updating any goals.
I hold both BS (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1992) and MS (Clemson University, 1996) degrees in chemical engineering. During my undergraduate program, I enhanced my learning with additional chemistry courses (descriptive inorganic chemistry, two extra analytical chemistry courses, chemistry seminar and a whole year of research involving maleic anhydride and the ene reaction as a precursor to a motor oil additive), mechanical engineering courses (metallurgy, corrosion) and took graduate level chemical engineering courses as free electives (advanced thermodynamics and two courses in transport phenomena). The summer before my senior year, I did research at the University of Notre Dame regarding gas-liquid concurrent stream mass transfer. During my senior year as an undergraduate, I did further research involving gas phase diffusion and transport phenomena. During graduate school at Clemson, my focus included numerical methods of analysis, statistics of confounded models, and research in the material properties and analysis of viscoelastic materials and polymer composites, especially with respect to physical and chemical aging. My thesis research analyzed the creep compliance and aging kinetics of a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic polyimide under high temperature aging conditions and thermal cycling, and was sponsored by an aerospace company considering using that composite as a structural material for future passenger aircraft applications.
I began helping other people learn to read in 1986, when the guidance counselor at my high school asked me to do so. Since then, I have worked with a variety of reading and reading comprehension students. I have helped typical elementary students improve their reading after moving to a new school, special needs students with below grade level reading, and cognitively impaired reading students. More recently, I have worked with my own children at home to improve their reading. Two key areas where I focus my reading and reading comprehension tutoring are interesting content and reading level. Both need to be considered to maximize each individual student's learning. Interesting content prompts desire within the student to read and understand the material. But if the material is either too advanced or too simple, the student may become either frustrated or bored. And even material at an appropriate reading level (just hard enough to require the student to figure out about 2% of the words from context clues) may be met with resistance if the subject doesn't interest the student.