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I was born and raised in a suburb of San Diego where desert chaparral felt foresty and the beach was a beacon of relaxation. I spent my childhood exploring the trails between yucca trees and towering boulders in our two-acre backyard, playing soccer, and doing math. I loved math. I appreciated that every question had an exact solution that I could discover, and my fascination with the subject grew when I discovered that I could arrive at this magical solution via different routes. But despite my talent, passion, and comfort with the subject, I felt an inner drive to discover some profound truth about the nature of life.
This desire, and my own indecisiveness, led me to obtain a B.A. in psychology in an attempt to discover the precise cognitive mechanisms that cultivate certainty. I continued in my studies by pursuing a master’s degree in the Social, Affective, and Personality Psychology program at SFSU, where I completed my thesis project on the causal mechanisms of decision paralysis. While I have not definitively discovered what creates certainty (and how to combat uncertainty), I have developed a deep resolution within myself to continue my research path by pursuing a PhD in affective and decision making sciences.
My interest in education and tutoring also solidified during my master’s education. It was during this program that I discovered that most of my peers experienced as much or more uncertainty about their research projects as I had felt during my high school and college years. I began to mentor my friends to help them resolve their own future uncertainties by exploring the story behind their research projects and fleshing out homework assignments. I enjoyed this position so much that I volunteered as a camp counselor for two leadership camps in San Mateo, spent my second master’s semester as a statistics graduate TA, and I even got the unique opportunity to teach a psychology course at San Quentin Prison. Throughout these experiences I learned that given the right environment, most students can learn anything.
It is my goal to provide a relaxed environment to help students improve their knowledge, academic strategies, and confidence. At AJ Tutoring, I impart my passion for both psychology and mathematics to my students. I enjoy helping math students develop confidence in their problem-solving abilities and find the methods of learning that work best for them and allow them to achieve their goals.
Outside of the AJ offices, you can find me practicing jiu-jitsu, climbing, and reading pop psychology books.