Amanda Fournier

Academic Tutor

I am a California native with a B.S. in physics from USC and a Ph.D. in physics from UC Santa Barbara, specializing in astrophysics. My thesis work at LCOGT was on simulating and predicting rates of microlensing events, a type of rare stellar event where gravity focuses light, enabling us to find planets and dim stars. Afterwards, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s SLAC national laboratory.

I spent two years as a teaching assistant in physics classes while getting my degree, and over the years I have tutored students ranging from grade school through upper division college undergraduates. My earliest tutoring experiences were assisting my younger brother and sisters through their most troublesome math homework, and I’m proud that I helped them form a positive relationship with math and that two of them went on to careers in science and technology.

I got into physics because I wanted to explore and understand the natural world, and I want others to see the same beauty in the world as I do. Math and science describe the world around us, and their insights change pieces of the world from inexplicable mysteries to clear and usable systems. They offer a way forward for humanity, towards plentiful water and clean energy, but their knowledge also benefits each person who sees a world that is understandable instead of arbitrary. In turn, the world teaches us: math and physics are often visible in everyday things we intuitively understand. Even the strangest reaches of physics, outside ordinary human experience, are still comprehensible through analogy and example.

I bring a strong ability for teaching and technical communication to my work as a tutor. I take great pride in my ability to explain concepts in ways that others can understand, even when the material is generally considered challenging. I listen carefully to students’ understanding and build on it, offering explanations, demonstrations, or analogies as needed.

Outside of work, I enjoy science fiction, video games, playing D&D with friends, and petting all the dogs I can find. My favorite subgenre of scifi is first contact stories, which let us see ourselves through alien eyes.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Algebra 1
Academic Algebra 2
Academic Calculus
Academic IAC
Academic Physics
Academic Pre-Calculus
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Physics C


Happy Parents and Students

 Excellent, friendly tutor who did a great job coaching my daughter and kept me informed of every step.   Read what others are saying

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