Tom M.


Tom M.

Tutor

Portland, OR 97230

Will travel 8 miles

$85 per hour.

4.95 452 ratings

Expert Exam Prep - 19 years experience with all kinds of students.

I've been training, teaching and tutoring on and off since 1987, and tutoring exclusively since 2005. I tutor simply because I enjoy helping others succeed by mastering the essential principles that will apply in all contexts. I specialize in preparing students for exams like the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and MCAT, but can also help with advanced math, chemistry and physics at both the high school and college level. I can provide study material and several practice exams. I can usually help a ... [more]


Algebra 1

Algebra is a language for writing recipes that do calculations. It's also the wacky rules for turning one recipe into another, which are called arithmetic when you apply them to numbers. Once you get familiar with translating between them, you'll sail.


Algebra 2

One of the best parts about Algebra II is that you finish numbers! The geometry and algebra keep going on into the stratosphere of calculus and variations and multiple dimensions &tc, but at least one big chunk of math wraps up; the imaginary number i "completes" algebra. (And actually, it does exist, it isn't merely a symbol or concept.) I first tutored a friend with her algebra in 1987. Since then I've taken a degree in physics and if you google 'sangaku' you'll see one of my favorite types of algebra puzzle. If the roots and quadratics and polynomials and exponents and rational expressions and systems and analytic geometry have got you down, let me help you do it the easy way.


Biology


Calculus

Warning! Some people experience a loss of eyebrows, from being continually astonished at all the amazing things Calculus can do! I've been tutoring students in Calculus since 2007. I've seen it happen. "The Queen Of The Sciences" doesn't have to be difficult. Bishop Berkeley said Newton was cheating on his algebra. Newton said Leibniz was plagiarizing. So now textbooks use Newton's methods...with Leibniz' notation. If you use Leibniz methods, it makes a lot more sense...which has to make you wonder why Newton got all the credit.


Chemistry


Geometry

Geometry is a two-part subject; 1) shapes and their sizes 2) argument (AKA, proofs) We don't just want to know things, we must also know WHY we know things. We start with shapes anyone can draw in the sand, but the habit of backing up your notions extends across every field of scholarship and created the scientific revolution. The Greeks tried to model the universe with numbers and arithmetic, thinking numbers only had meaning when attached to areas or lengths. The square root of two defeated that ambition. Ironically, the modern world largely succeeded crafting a geometrical model of the world, and String Theory presents a geometrical basis for the QM world our "geometrical physics" (so-called for decades) science discovered. Most of engineering and science still depends on basic geometry, not only for the physical triangles and other shapes necessary for any structure, but also as metaphors for interactions that aren't actually geometrical at all.


Physics

I took a degree in astrophysics from Michigan State University in 2000. I also worked at the school observatory and did some programming for the SOHO observatory (which popularized coronal mass ejections but is now largely obsolete). I began tutoring full time in 2005, mostly in physics and chemistry, but with a few students taking standardized tests. I've never worked with a net (ie, answer sheets) because I've always been working from whatever book my student brings. Sometimes I'll ask you to look up an answer when I'm not sure. Physics problems are mostly just math with units, though it's been said that physics is for people who never stopped asking kid's questions; "Why is the sky blue, why does it fall so fast, why does it do that?" Units make measurements quite different from mere numbers; they describe the sizes of particular kinds of things. Miles are not just different sizes, but entirely different kinds of things than minutes. Equations using units are abstract recipes for calculating one measurement from another... yet our muscles and brains do those calculations all the time! "Physics" as a subject, is really a language for talking about those interactions which we live and are and cope with daily. Those complex formulas describe the relationships between measurements, and done right, there are far fewer than it seems. Using them, we can convert one measurement into another, or predict another... or another, including the sort we don't experience directly. Everyone can judge the speed of a car while deciding to cross the street, or when to duck to avoid a tire swing, or the expected impact when we don't. With the math and units, we can and have discovered and identified truly amazing things quite far outside our experience... yet we can and must always relate it all back to the Big Five. (Time, force, rotation, length and charge, the dimensions we experience directly.)


Precalculus


Trigonometry

Master your triangles, and you will have the essential tools for analyzing all structures, for the universe is built largely of triangular relations. If you're memorizing your way through trigonometry, please stop killing yourself. Let me help you (re)discover a better way. Done right, trig is absolutely the easiest 'higher' math class on the list. If you can draw a triangle and set up a proportion, you already have 80% of the essential skills. And if you can't, that's exactly where we'll start!


Astronomy


SAT Math


GRE


SAT Reading


SAT Writing


Physical Science


GMAT


ASVAB


Probability


ACT Reading


ACT English


ACT Math


ACT Science