Philip W.


Philip W.

Tutor

Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Will travel 30 miles

$75 per hour.

4.87 39 ratings

Math and Science Geek, Caltech Grad, Great Tutor

Let me bring 25 years of tutoring experience to support your learning math, science and English. You will learn your subject, and you will have fun doing it. I tutored English (ESL) in Dawson College. I have been tutoring all forms of math and science ever since taking the classes! I love calculus most of all, but I can bring the same clarity to subjects from algebra to quantum mechanics to chemistry. I have participated in math and physics competitions, winning prizes and scholarships. ... [more]


Algebra 1

Algebra is one of the first math subjects where things get abstract. That's probably not why most people struggle with algebra though. The thing about algebra that is difficult to understand is that there are often several ways to approach a problem. It is therefore the first math subject to present contexts and choices. The key to tutoring algebra, in my opinion, is to look into and understand these choices, so the confusion and worry goes away.


Algebra 2

Algebra is one of the first math subjects where things get abstract. That's probably not why most people struggle with algebra though. The thing about algebra that is difficult to understand is that there are often several ways to approach a problem. It is therefore the first math subject to present contexts and choices. The key to tutoring algebra, in my opinion, is to look into and understand these choices, so the confusion and worry goes away.


Calculus

Calculus is a whole new language of math, and the first math subject that connects fully to the physical world we live in. That makes calculus very intuitive and easy to explain. The foundation of calculus is triangles, or tiny steps where what comes out is some multiple of what goes in. This fact comes back time and again, using the same ideas and formulas. Calculus is my favorite math subject. I have been using it professionally for years. Calculus is a tool that let's me describe things going on in the world. When I start using calculus, there is no telling where the math analysis will end up. But the end result is always exciting and interesting and useful. That's what describes calculus best: useful.


Chemistry

Chemistry is a wonderful subject to tutor. There are relatively few basic principles: stoichiometry, reaction rates, concentration units, titration, etc. While the subject is often poorly presented and somewhat abstract, chemistry is surprisingly simple and intuitive to understand. All it takes is a bit of middle school algebra and some great explanations!


Geometry


Physics


Prealgebra

Algebra is one of the first math subjects where things get abstract. That's probably not why most people struggle with algebra though. The thing about algebra that is difficult to understand is that there are often several ways to approach a problem. It is therefore the first math subject to present contexts and choices. The key to tutoring algebra, in my opinion, is to look into and understand these choices, so the confusion and worry goes away.


Precalculus


Trigonometry


SAT Math


Physical Science


Geology


GMAT


Probability


ACT English


ACT Math


ACT Science


Elementary Math


Differential Equations

Differential equations are the mathematical language of scientific processes. Learn the many classifications of differential equations: linear versus nonlinear, first or higher order, homogeneous or inhomogeneous, ordinary or partial. The techniques used to solve differential equations, and the functions used to express these solutions are fully dependent on the classification. A full spectrum of solution techniques and special functions can be taught. I have been doing advanced applied math for 25 years, starting as an undergraduate honors student, all the way through my PhD at Caltech. I use differential equations as a scientist, engineer, and researcher all of the time. They are a natural language for me, and I love sharing that language with others.


Fortran

FORTRAN is the programming language of math and engineering. Efficient and fast, it has simple declaration and parameter passing rules. Learn how to set up multiple subroutines, optimize performance, and read code like English. Learn techniques to edit code without introducing bugs. I am an expert in numerical techniques, and have been writing FORTRAN code for 25 years. My longest program is 200 pages long, and is the most advanced tsunami simulation software in the world. It is distributed internationally as an open source code under the name Geowave.


Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is the study and solution of simultaneous linear equations. Many systems give rise to simultaneous linear equations, and different geometrical conditions give rise to different solution techniques. Operations on linear equations will be covered, inversions studied, eigenvalues described, and the role of Wronskians clarified. I am completely comfortable in linear algebra and systems of linear equations. These arise naturally in many scientific disciplines, and so form a natural tool in applied math. What's usually missing in linear algebra is a grounded connection to the geometry that we all know and love. Linear algebra in just a natural extension of what we already know, but it is also an abstraction too!


Logic

Logic appears to be the study of Boolean algebra and matters that are either true or false. In pure math, logicians are considered one of the most difficult pursuits. What makes logic so interesting is that it is often counter-intuitive, demanding a careful and formal development to get the right answer. Most of my experience with logic comes from computer programming, where physical and mathematical scenarios have to be fully and properly described in code. Many times, I have tried something that didn't work, only to find that the formal logic is much more subtle and complicated than I thought. That lesson will serve students very well.


Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering includes such diverse topics as mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, turbomachinery, structural analyses, material properties, and many other subjects. Each one of these subjects has its own language, its own laws, its own quantities of interest, and its own analyses. I have been a mechanical engineer practically since birth, making functional rockets and airplanes as a kid, and making vehicles out of all sorts of scraps. My specialty is aeronautics, but I love and know all subjects very well. As an adult, I an an internationally acclaimed tsunami scientist, and design wind turbines for a living.