Timothy Samson

Academic Tutor

I grew up in Napa before attending the University of California, Berkeley, and graduating as a mathematician. Aside from higher-level mathematics and physics, I learned a lot about philosophy, biology, psychology, and life in general during college. I am insatiably curious about the world, and it is always a pleasure to share my passion for learning with my students.

Mathematics, in its essence, is a beautiful subject. During my days as an undergrad, I’d spend days working through one math problem, and I loved every second of it. Math in its whole is a great achievement of humanity and the greatest portrait of reasoning and thought we’ve ever painted, and I do my best to share the beauty of mathematics with my students. I also always hope for them to walk away with stronger problem solving skills and confidence for tackling questions they cannot immediately see a solution to.

I started tutoring calculus when I was sixteen and a freshman at Napa Valley College, where I tutored for two years. I discovered that I love helping people and finding the best ways to present math so that it is clear, understandable, and ultimately beautiful. I am also passionate about tutoring because of the unique challenge it poses to our way of thinking: how could I look at this piece of math differently so I can explain it in a clearer and more engaging way?

Richard Feynman once said that the best philosophy to have when teaching is to have no philosophy. I believe it is best to try different things and to adjust styles depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the student. A good tutor is a flexible tutor, one that can engage the student in creative ways and can deviate from the script and lesson plan to offer explanations that resonate with the student. Some students prefer visualizations and geometric reasoning, while others prefer symbolic manipulation and algebra, and it’s always important that we identify the methods that work best for each student. I also believe that aside from possessing solid understanding of the subject, a good tutor actively gauges and listens to the student. 

Aside from mathematics, I love doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, playing chess, programming, reading philosophy and Greek and Norse mythology, and studying French. 

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Algebra 1
Academic Algebra 2
Academic Calculus
Academic Geometry
Academic IAC
Academic Pre-Calculus
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC


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