Over the past five years I've worked with hundreds of students in math and statistics courses. Subject matter ranges from Pre-Algebra through Calculus, Introduction/Elementary Statistics, AP and Honors HS math and statistics courses, and college math, Calculus, and Statistics courses (including applied statistics courses often included in on-line B.A. programs). I've found that most students have two basic issues to some degree: 1. They are struggling with or are looking to improve their un... [more]
The word Algebra is Arabic in origin and refers to a system of rules used in mathematics. I tutor all levels of Elementary Algebra (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus). Elementary Algebra is the "rules of the road" for all of our work in Calculus and calculations related to the sciences. It's fundamental and vital to understanding in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. Algebra I is about learning **basic** skills beyond Arithmetic. It's math boot camp and we do a lot of exercises here. We learn how to be academic **and** we learn Algebra. Algebra I or Algebra II are where otherwise successful and capable students run astray. This is where I see a lot of students, for the first time, faced with a subject that requires discipline and investment of time.
First read my Qualifications for Algebra I. Algebra II starts with an extensive review and more rigorous treatment of Algebra I. Then we continue with skill development. There is lots of exercise, but Algebra II gets more 'colorful' and interesting than the basics in Algebra I. Algebra I or Algebra II are where otherwise successful and capable students run astray. Here is where I see a lot of students, for the first time, faced with a subject that requires discipline and investment of time.
Unlike most tutors, I am competent and current in all three semesters of College Calculus. In addition to expertise in high school Calculus - AB and BC, I work with College students in all topics over the standard three semester (four quarter) Calculus series. Calculus is the Mathematical study of change. Though we are introduced to simple change in Algebra, most of science's problems are beyond the scope of Algebra. Calculus gives us the tools to study diverse processes that change over time and/or location. Most students I encounter are enrolled in High School AP Calculus courses or lower-division Calculus at a college or university as part of a math requirement for a science major. I am well-versed in the structure and content of the HS AP Calculus Exams as well as the HS and college Calculus curricula. As a Mathematics undergraduate at UC Davis, I earned A grades throughout the lower and upper division Calculus courses (6 courses total).
Geometry here refers to High School Geometry. The study of shapes and their properties. In this course, students are expected to gain logic and reasoning skills in a mathematical arena. Geometry is in one sense a 'side-trip' in the mathematics progression; but it is a valuable and necessary experience that develops critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in a more spatial and less analytical way. Often students that struggle in Algebra will find Geometry refreshingly accessible... and vice-versa. However, contemporary math curricula blend elements of Algebra throughout Geometry (in part to keep Algebra skills sharp between Algebra I and II).
Pre-Calculus is the 'final wrap-up' of Algebra necessary for success with Calculus. It includes all of the material covered in prior Elementary Algebra courses (Algebras I and II) as well as extensive treatments of Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Functions, with introductions to Continuity and Limits. The rigor of Pre-Calculus courses is greater than previous mathematics courses and is often near the level of many Calculus courses. It requires a greater level of discipline and work than do the Elementary Algebras and Trigonometry courses.
Trigonometry... literally the study of Triangles. But it's so much more. We quickly use the relationships found within triangles to define new functions and we have a discrete branch of Mathematics. Trigonometric principles and features abound in and are vital to the study of Calculus. It is a major part of Pre-Calculus courses and it is also still offered as a stand-alone course in High Schools. A fun subject for many students as it combines Algebra with periodic functions and novel problem-solving techniques.
No sub-discipline of mathematics seems to strike more fear into students than Statistics - NORMALCY, HYPOTHESIS TESTING, AND DISPERSION! oh my. Fear not! Fundamental Statistics, Introduction to Statistics, Elementary Statistics are all names for a first course in Probability and Statistics. This course is often taken as a lower division or, perhaps, a widely offered upper division college course. It may even be offered as an Advanced Placement course in high school. Whatever the course name, a comprehensive intro to Stat class will cover the same basic principles - in basically the same order! It's a tough class for sure; but not because the concepts are unwieldy. It's tough because it's new, and with some perseverance and an open mind you can be stat proficient! Students also work with me on any number of other Statistics courses: Business Statistics, Statistics for Nursing, Applied Statistics, BioStatistics, Research Design projects, etc.
I tutor students preparing for diverse exams: ASVAB, ACT, SAT, SSAT, GRE, CAHSEE, GED, etc. My strategy is to work from the best sample test materials available. All of the major standardized exams have materials available which clearly define the subject matter covered. Using these materials students can focus their time and energy efficiently. In most cases, working with these materials quickly highlights strengths and weaknesses. The work then becomes about building skill and confidence over the **entire** subject matter covered on the exam. Often exam preparation/study is done independently (out of a classroom setting) and a tutoring is about providing structure and support to ensure the students make progress and don't falter.
I've worked extensively with students on the Quantitative portion of the GRE. I'm very familiar with the types of questions that make up the Quantitative portions of the exam, and I can help you evaluate your strengths and areas on which to focus your energy. I will work with you to obtain the best materials to support your studies and help you gain the skills and confidence required to score well on these parts of the exam.
I tutor only the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematical Knowledge portions of the exam. I am intimately familiar with the content of these sections of the exam and focus students on developing and sharpening the skills required for that content. Most of the work is within the Pre-Algebra subject matter heading, though mastery of Algebra I concepts and techniques is also required to earn high level scores in these two sections of the exam.
Typically students studying Probability do so as part of general Introductory Statistics course. Unlike most sections of Statistics, Probability is very much like other Mathematics subjects students are familiar with (namely Elementary Algebra, Finite Math, etc.). It relies heavily on Algebraic rules and is largely computational. Success here is largely dependent on working problems applying the rules of counting. There are some novel mathematical concepts here that one must master to succeed in this mostly accessible subject area.
For my discussion on tutoring PSAT, please see my qualifications for SAT Math.
For my discussion of tutoring SSAT, please see my qualifications for SAT Math.
I am well versed in the fundamentals of Statistics and research methods involving, Study Design, ANOVA, and Linear Regression. I learned these skills through upper division study in my career at UC Davis, and by tutoring several students in upper-division and master's level Stat courses.
I took the CBEST in 1997 as part of my Secondary Education Teaching Credential program. I passed the test and went on to enroll in a master's program in Secondary Education at SFSU. I then taught HS math with a California CTC Emergency Credential. I have recently reinstated my credential for substitute teaching in CA. The exam is fairly straightforward; it is (+/-) comparable to the SAT. By DM (6/29/13)