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I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics with a specialization in computing.
Although throughout my K-12 education I greatly enjoyed math classes, I didn’t truly recognize my own passion for the subject until my freshman year of college. During orientation, an academic counselor expressed puzzlement at my request to continue taking math classes despite my AP Calculus BC credit. After one quarter without math classes, I found I desperately missed the subject, and I quickly decided to major in some form of mathematics. Taking an elementary physics class sparked my love of physics, and I choose the applied mathematics major, which emphasized physics as well as math.
I’ve always enjoyed helping others with math, ever since the moment I began to learn my times tables. I had the good fortune to attend a small high school, where teachers were able to help students one-on-one. This individualized instruction both provided invaluable academic help and taught me how much more thoroughly one could grasp concepts in a one-on-one environment compared to a classroom. UCLA’s large lectures further drove this point home, and during my first two years at UCLA, I helped my roommates, who were majoring in humanities, through their required calculus classes.
It was coaching my little sister through the academic speed bumps she encountered in her studies that led me to pursue education as a career. When I was living at home, I regularly helped her with her math and science work. Once I moved to LA for college, she called me with increasing regularity to ask me to walk her through new concepts or to explain a problem she’d struggled with on a particularly challenging test. My junior year, she called me in tears of frustration at two in the morning, convinced that she had no chance of understanding vectors in time for that day’s test. After calming her down, I spent an hour talking her through the test’s material. When she called me a week later bursting with pride over her A, I decided I wanted to go into tutoring after graduating.
I believe a number of truly talented students, like my sister, become convinced that math or physics isn’t their subject because of the inherent shortcomings of large classes. Such students can truly thrive with one-on-one sessions, enabling them to delve deeper into underlying concepts instead of simply copying formulas blindly. Through sessions tailored to the individual student and by looking at familiar concepts from new angles, students not only expand their skills and improve their performance in math classes, but also build new confidence in their own abilities.
Outside of tutoring, I enjoy running and playing with my extraordinarily spoiled cat. I’m also an avid 49ers fan.