In a hurry? Good. Click Contact and tell me about it.

We can do our first hour online tonight. The first hour is free.

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Hablo matemáticas, aprendiendo español.

About You

 

 

Let's start with you.
Where do you and calculus fit on this list?

  1. It might as well be Elvish for all you know, but you can't graduate without it, not for the major you want.

Elvish

  1. You're fine with it until you forget to copy over a minus sign somewhere. All that arithmetic ruins it.

  2. It's like doing your tax returns every week, all the paperwork, the handwriting and copying, the memorizing and looking-up.

  3. You don't see the point. It's a lot of work for something you'll forget three months from now. It's like chess or crossword puzzles. Right now you don't have time for things that won't pay off.

  4. You know you could do better if you just had more time.

  5. You can't get enough. You see it everywhere now. Nothing ever made so much sense of the world. Where do you go for more?

  6. In a hurry? Good. Click Contact and tell me about it.
     

Meanwhile, some things you could try.

  • Hang out with someone who gets it. Who likes it. Find out what works for them. Find a good study partner.

  • Go online for help. Work through a YouTube video series such as 1Brown3Blue, and an interactive math series at Intmath. Use the free help at any hour.

  • Don't just watch. You don't learn to drive by watching, do you?

  • Schedule time with your teacher or your tutor last, for the places you still get stuck.

  • Maybe you just need to beat one more test and want to memorize some quick tricks. I understand. But memorize each trick by playing with the reasons behind it. Otherwise the shortcut just gets you lost faster.

Even Leibniz Cries

  • Learn to type equations in asciiMath so you can ask math questions online or by email. Like this:

sum_(i=1)^n  i^3 = ( (n(n+1) )/2 )^2

` sum_(i=1)^n i^3=((n(n+1))/2)^2 `

  • Keep a math notebook. Keep two: Not Sure and Sure. When you can do something for sure, copy it to Sure.

  • Look back at Sure before you move ahead in Not Sure.

  • Do your notebooks at a computer. Use markdown, a kind of plain text that can mix notes and equations. This is the markdown I typed for this page ("pre" keeps the middle line from turning into math, so you can see the asciiMath behind it):

Markdown

  • Don't use Microsoft Word for this. Use a free markdown editor like Microsoft Visual Studio Code.

  • Do all your work in your math notebook, typing markdown.

    1. Don't lose a minus sign in a jumble of handwriting.

    2. Copy an equation over and over as you rework it.

    3. Search back through your work fast and accurately.

    4. Link back to websites you used. You might want to review.

  • Keep your notebooks online. At Dropbox or Box, for example (free account). Choose who can see them or add to them: your study partner, your teacher, your tutor. Get their help from anywhere, at any time, even while you sleep. Can you do that with notes saved in your TI calculator?

  • These are just hints. Step-by-step details to follow.

  • Ready? Click Contact and let's talk.

Ambitious?

  • Write equations in scripts you can run on your computer. In Python, to start. With symPy for working in symbols, not just numbers. Better yet, with SageMath. Both are free.

  • Use an editor that can mix your notes and your scripts together and run your scripts right there. Jupyter Notebooks, for example.

  • Make a blog like this (free to build and run). Show it to your favorite admissions committee. Once you make a math notebook using markdown you're halfway there. Let me show you how.

  • Ready? Click Contact and let's talk.


About Me

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We'll Work Out a Rate

I tutor math up through college-level Calculus II. That includes AP Calculus AB and BC.

Or Pre-Calculus. The hardest thing about calculus is pre-calculus. Calculus expects your trig and algebra to be second nature.

I'll take the student who's hungry to learn but can't afford a tutor.

I was that student once.

We can meet online, probably through audio or video or chat at Scratchwork. Your choice.

The first hour is free. See if this works for you.

Then we'll work out a rate and a schedule. Tell me what you can pay.

Ready? Click Contact. Let's talk.

Can Anything Beat Face-to-Face Tutoring?

Can anything beat face-to-face tutoring?

Yes, for math it can, thanks to all the online tools.

Some of the best software on the Internet is for mathematicians and people learning math. After a lifetime in software I can point you there.

Examples:

  • Use a no-charge alternative to the M4: Mathematica, Magma, Maple, and MATLAB.

  • Check your work on a website with step-by-step solutions: Mathway, Intmath, Symbolab.

  • Watch a series with animations on YouTube: 1Brown3Blue, Mathologer, Numberphile.

The College Board requires AP Calculus students to learn online skills: to put a shared notebook online, and work in teams, and present their work to others.

They're right. That's how industry works now. Online, across the Internet in remote teams.

Learn to work that way. With me you will.

Who says math is hard? Has anything ever been so well and thoroughly taught? I didn't have that when I was starting. Who knows what's possible now?

Don't miss this. Let me show you.

Ready? Click Contact. Let's talk.

Why You Might Prefer an Offline Tutor

We can work three ways:

  • in person
  • online
  • offline

What's offline? How does that work?

Well, you put your math notebook online where I can see your work and your questions. Next day we meet online and discuss it.

I'll show you how. I have accounts at Scratchwork, Box, Dropbox, and CoCalc.

Put your notebook there and pick who can see or add to it: your teacher, your tutor, your study group, a parent.

If your schedule gets crazy, tell me and I'll leave my replies there. Look at them when you can.

Save time and money and fit in more sessions. Good, hunh?

In any case we'll set a goal and stick to a schedule.

Ready? Click Contact and tell me about it.

Learn How to Learn

As an honors undergrad I carried a peculiar double major: math and lit. I graduated summa cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa and a fellowship to Princeton (among others).

I also have a Masters in Writing from Columbia University and I'm writing a book. It's a long book with a long timeline. Building software or learning calculus or writing a book, organizing your work can make or break you. I teach that too.

Ready? Click Contact. Let's talk.

Why Me?

I'm retired now from forty years of building and selling software. I can afford the hungry student who can't afford a tutor.

Many students don't get enough to eat. I hope you didn't know that. I hope you only saw it in the Times.

Maybe you're hungry to learn or maybe you're just hungry to make some money: to get calculus behind you and get the degree and the job. Fine. You might come for one thing and stay for another. You could leave with more than you knew to ask or expect.

Things may never look the same after calculus. That's how it was for me. I didn't know it at the time, but I see it looking back.

Inequality is accelerating, opening a toxic divide between the Haves and the Have-Nots. This time the gap is education, not money. The Haves have the right education, and want the same for their children, whatever it takes. Not that I blame them.

The only remedy is more education. More education for more people. Education cannot divide people forever. In time it must bring people together again, that's the nature of education. It did for me.

Long ago a fellowship to Princeton took me from Arizona to the opposite corner of the country and a new kind of life. They had never seen anyone from Arizona. Well, almost.

It's a long story. tl;dr

The short version: Your odds are better than you know. My family couldn't hire a tutor for math or a coach for the SAT and the college application process, but I caught and passed those kids anyway. So can you. Let me be there to see it.

Ready? Click Contact. Let's talk.

I Have a Daughter in College

Recently I wrote and sold three apps for iPad and Android tablets. Maybe you've seen them? Maybe you've walked everywhere holding them, mesmerized, and collided with people and poles? Ok, no, probably not.

For years I built databases at IBM and on Wall Street. I bought a 19th floor apartment over Central Park West.

Then came a year of chemotherapy. It was the perfect year to get cancer. The commercial Internet was new. I needed a way to make money from home and started an Internet business. I was one of the first.

At my window over Central Park I put the McGraw-Hill Chemical Engineering Buyer's Guide online for the first time ever. I wrote a portal for the international team of doctors who were racing against HIV.

I made good money, got well, grew back my hair, dated, married, started a family, left the city.

I bought two small mom-and-pop gyms for my wife to run and wrote membership software for ours and two hundred others across the US and Canada.

They counted on me. All their money came through my desktop software. I collected EFT and credit card payments and moved the money to various banks over the Internet. One year my software moved nine million dollars.

Then the Great Recession hit and swept away most of the franchise. A lot of little banks failed and took clients of mine with them. When the survivors were counting every dollar every day they could count on me.

Meanwhile my small daughter slept across the basement from me while I worked with gym owners after midnight, after their closing time on the West Coast. In her dreams she heard Calgary, Vancouver, Echo Park, Silverlake.... In those years the Internet kept me close to her at all hours, day and night, every day of the week. The Internet changes everything.

Well, not everything. That small daughter is gone now. She's away at college, studying calculus. I can't let her forget me.

It's about money too. Once you have a child there can never be enough money, not in all the world. I will always want more for her.

Sound familiar?

Click Contact. Let's talk.