Clara Chilton

Academic Tutor

I grew up in Santa Cruz, attended Kirby for high school, and graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in physics. In my last summer of college, I did an internship with Professor Viðar Guðmundsson at the University of Iceland. I worked on modeling energy level jumps of an electron in an electric field and the probability that it would jump more than one level, all using FORTRAN. After my experiences, I began a master’s program in applied physics at Johns Hopkins University.  

In addition to physics, I studied classics in college, especially enjoying Latin language classes  and Greek and Roman history. I felt a kinship between physics and classics because both are  about fundamentals. That’s what I like—really understanding things from the ground up. In STEM subjects, each new concept is built on the last one, so you need a firm foundation at each step to move forward; you need to “get it.”

I first found my way to tutoring in college as a physics tutor for intro physics students. I found it informative to learn from the differing perspectives of my students, some of whom weren’t STEM majors. I also liked being able to build relationships with my students and guide them through some of the same struggles I’d experienced. As a visual learner, I need to picture the problem I’m working on. As a tutor, that allows me to describe problems in a way that will aid my students.

In addition to helping students develop the foundations they need to tackle physics, I also enjoy helping students develop their comfort and confidence with approaching new and challenging material and with test taking, be it for the AP exam or their academic classes.

Outside of tutoring and graduate school, I am an active horseback rider, with Lilja, my Icelandic  horse. I also write and draw, and, most importantly, I act as an emotional support human to a grumpy old cat.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Physics
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC




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