I am on sabbatical from work as a power system engineer after undergraduate degrees from Washington State University (Electrical Engineering and Chinese) and a master's degree from MIT in Technology and Policy. I love teaching and learning and I find that I miss it a lot since finishing school. My teaching and tutoring experience includes tutoring many math and engineering subjects through college, long term tutoring arrangements with a few WyzAnt students, and teaching a summer course in Ch... [more]
Algebra is the foundation for all subsequent mathematics. I have succeeded in math classes from Algebra I through differential equations, using these fundamental Algebra I principles along the way. In algebra, it's easy to get caught up in the mechanical procedures of solving the problems. These procedures are important and necessary for acing a test. However, I like to also help students think about WHY the procedures work, so that students will be able to reason out the procedures again on their own later.
Prealgebra is the time to develop intuitive understanding of fundamental concepts that will ensure success through the following years of math. In algebra and beyond, it's common to be tripped up by the mechanical procedures. Prealgebra is the time to lay the groundwork in concepts and familiarity so the later concepts feel intuitive rather than intimidating. I personally received top grades in classes from pre-algebra through advanced college math, and have successfully tutored students (formally and informally) at all levels.
I had perfect grades in all math related high school and university courses for my degree in electrical engineering, which uses trigonometry concepts often. I particularly enjoy trigonometry because it is a well-contained branch of mathematics that contains a lot of beauty, even though it seems difficult at first because of all the confusing new terminology and algebra tricks that must be memorized. In my experience, strategically memorizing key concepts and lots of practice are keys to success in trigonometry.
In addition to help understanding or refreshing any unfamiliar math concepts, I can help with test taking strategy like recognizing the problem categories, time management, when to guess on questions, and when to skip questions. I scored around 750 on the math section of the SAT in high school and now work in an engineering field where I use similar math frequently. I studied math in college through differential equations and linear algebra, as well as many undergraduate and graduate level engineering classes that were heavy in math. More importantly, I am good at listening to students' problem solving process and explaining problems in their own terms.
I was the top of my class in honors micro/macro economics as an undergrad and took a graduate level energy economics class. I love this subject and if I hadn't been an engineer I probably would have studied economics. Much of my pleasure reading is articles in The Economist magazine and I love to bring in discussions of current events to make classroom concepts more relevant.
I studied several years of college level Chinese in the US, and lived for 1.5 years in China while focusing on language study, including one calendar year at the highly regarded CET immersion program in Harbin. I have a bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Culture from Washington State University. I received an 'Advanced High' score on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview in Mandarin. I designed curriculum and taught an entry level summer Chinese course for high school students at MIT. Having a non-native speaker tutor in Chinese may seem at first like a strange idea, but in fact non-native speakers often understand the process of learning the language better than native speakers. I feel more qualified to tutor Chinese than to tutor formal English grammar, for example. I could certainly help any students in their first three years studying with pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and characters. If you have lived in China for more than one year or have studied Chinese for more than four years, your Chinese level may be beyond my comfort level for tutoring.