I am a Mechanical Engineer that graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Mechanical Engineering. As such, I have a thorough understanding of science, math, physics, and engineering. Through my educational background, I believe that understanding previous material fully and the derivation of this material are crucial for understanding and remembering new concepts. As a tutor, I reinforce this understanding of the fundamentals to help a student l...
In school I took Ordinary Differential Equations during my undergraduate program, and in my Master's program we covered the multiple approaches to solving Partial Differential Equations, which included solving the equations discretely by writing computer programs. Many engineering problems require solving differential equations to describe physical systems, so I have gotten a lot of practice at solving these problems to describe physical problems. To tutor differential equations, I would gauge where the student is at skill level wise, and then bring the student up to speed to where they need to be. Once the fundamentals have been covered, I would assist the student in choosing which method to use for solving an equation.
The Physics program at the Colorado School of Mines requires the use of Mathematica in higher level undergraduate courses. Starting at the end of the Sophomore year, they give us a tutorial on the basics, and then begin giving us problems to solve using Mathematica. I have used Mathematica to solve many problems, such as the trajectory of a satellite descending to the Martian surface in 2-Dimensions, applying Lagrangian techniques to model the complete path of a stone launched from a trebuchet, and the modeling 3 bodies in space and their attraction forces due to gravity. I also voluntarily used it as my program of choice in grad school, so I used Mathematica to write code to discretely solve partial differential equations, use a genetic optimization algorithm to solve for an optimal solution, and so forth. To tutor how to use Mathematica, I would make sure the student understood proper coding techniques to write better code, which really makes a difference with Mathematica, and then cover the functions and basics a student would need to use for their specific application.
During my education, Matlab was the program for choice for signal processing, feedback problems, and filtering problems. Since graduating, I have used Matlab extensively for data analysis. This has allowed me to build on the fundamentals of Matlab, such as working with variables, defining arrays, etc., and given me a lot of practice inputting/outputting files, writing scripts, working with cells, and dealing with high-level functions. To tutor Matlab, I try to gather information on where the student's skill level is currently and build upon the basics to get the student up to speed. This includes demonstration of proper coding techniques, higher level functions to simplify a task, and use of the debugging tool in coding.
I graduated with my Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2012, and have been working as a Mechanical Engineer since June of 2012. To me, Mechanical Engineering courses are Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Fluid Dynamics, Thermodynamics, and Heat Transfers, and the discipline of Mechanical Engineering itself is being able to apply those core subjects to solve real world problems. To teach these subjects, I would reinforce the previously stated subject and use real world problems to keep students engaged in the material while teaching the fundamentals of the subject.