Helping people of all ages understand and enjoy mathematics has been a life‐long passion of mine. My tutoring career began in 1985. Back then, I tutored fellow high school students in mathematics. I have always had a passion for helping people in need. Math tutoring offered me the opportunity to help people in an area I considered my hobby. I loved tutoring so much back then, that I had as many as 4 students at a time. After school I would ride my bike from one appointment to another. Math tutoring was the only job I had in high school.
After high school, I completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, respectively. I have been working as an electrical engineer for 21 years. Most of that time has been spent specializing in RF/microwave circuit design. Throughout my engineering career, I have continued to offer my tutoring services after work. I have helped students from junior high to the graduate level. One year after the birth of my older son, I extended my mission to help others into the classroom. From 2002 to 2008, I taught one course per semester in the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) department at SDSU two evenings per week. One course I taught concerned passive RF circuit design (ECE 450 High‐Speed Electronics for Circuits and Systems). The other course was on probability theory (ECE 300 Computational Methods for Electrical Engineers).
I am married with two boys of elementary school age. These little guys have given me renewed opportunities to teach and re‐consider what our number system really means. The best teaching methods always consider the student’s point‐of‐view, and so my sons have reminded me to view the world through the eyes of a child…and re‐consider what mathematics really is. By refining my teaching method for children, I adapted many of those techniques to teaching high school and college students.
There are many activities that support success in mathematics. These activities include exercise and reading. Physical activity sharpens the mind in preparation for study. Most of my successes in school and as an engineer had their root in a regular exercise regimen. Everyone should read on a regular basis. For kids, reading improves fluency and reading comprehension. In a nutshell, a child’s success with word problems is directly proportional to their mathematical reasoning and reading comprehension skills. Regular reading also trains the mind to recognize and analyze subtle points in a passage. This skill is critical in the primary grades and even more so throughout adult life.
My partner in reaching‐out to those who need help is my wife. She completed her undergraduate degree at UCSB 4 months before we first met. Thereafter, she completed her teaching credential. My wife has been teaching for the past 16 years. My wife can help elementary school kids in math, reading comprehension, and writing.