I earned my Bachelor of Science in Physics and Applied Math from the University of New Mexico in 2011, and my Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Riverside in 2016.
I am passionate about science and math, and I can help anyone who wants to understand more about these topics, although most of my students are from high school or college. My techniques as an educator are focused on building a conceptual framework so that the student is well-grounded, but flexible enough to handle any problem.
My first experience as a tutor was at UNM in 2008. That experience included a walk-in open area for students to get help as needed, and during the 2008-09 academic year I helped countless UNM students understand physics and math.
I have been tutoring or teaching in some capacity continuously since that first experience. My time as a graduate student allowed me to grow tremendously as an educator, since I was tasked with teaching in various settings like labs, discussions, exam reviews, etc. I usually have just a few regular students each semester, and they always get through their classes with flying colors.
Special rates are available for block lessons, study groups, or special circumstances.
Ph.D. in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics - University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Completed with 3.92 GPA.
M.S. in Physics - University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Completed with 3.87 GPA.
B.S. in Physics and Applied Mathematics - University of New Mexico; Albuquerque, NM
Graduated cum laude with 3.64 GPA.
High School Diploma - Del Norte High School; Albuquerque, NM
Graduated with 3.7 GPA.
Sep 2012 - Dec 2016
University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA
Teaching Assistant / Graduate Student Researcher
Served as a teaching assistant involving many different settings and tasks. Experiences range from leading and grading instructional labs with about 20 students, to writing and going over exam reviews with over 100 students, to grading and leading discussions for graduate classes of 10-30 students.
The role of graduate student researcher often overlapped with teaching assignments. Research involved reading and learning about many topics, performing calculations and writing computer code related to the questions at hand, and writing formal manuscripts for submission to journals. Each stage required intensive group and individual effort, including regular meetings so that each group member could teach the others about the specific topic and work so far.
Jun 2009 - May 2011
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
This work-study position consisted of various duties in a particle physics lab. It required flexibility, from building apparatuses involving electronics and detectors to writing computer code and testing sensors. Oftentimes new material would be given from the professors in the group, either theoretical or directly lab-related, which would then have to be taught to new group members or others visiting the lab.
Aug 2008 - May 2009
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Tutor Level I
Tutored peer college students with the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS) at UNM. The subject was physics, although math often had to be addressed as well, and occasionally the math section called in one or more physics tutors. e tutoring took place in two variants: an open setting with large tables labeled by subject, and a one-on-one appointment setting for a student to get help for a solid hour.
After leaving CAPS, this role has persisted to present as an independent tutor; one-on-one settings with college or advanced high school students are most common, spanning many areas of math and physics.
Jun 2016 Outstanding Teaching Assistant; University of California, Riverside.
Jun 2014 Michael Devirian Award for Outstanding Second Year Graduate Student; University of California, Riverside.
May 2010 College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s List; University of New Mexico.
May 2006 Achievement in Mathematics; Del Norte High School.
Oct 2015 Volunteered for the Riverside Long Night of Arts and Innovation; showed community members some interesting demonstrations related to electricity and magnetism. Organized by the University of California, Riverside and the city of Riverside.
Sep 2015 Founding member of the theoretical Condensed Matter Physics Journal Club; an informal group of graduate students at the University of California, Riverside with shared research interests, making presentations to each other regularly.
Mar 2016 American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting: “Spin Transport in Single Layer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides”.
Mar 2015 APS March Meeting: “Kondo Effects in Single Layer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides”.
Nov 2010 APS Division of Nuclear Physics conference: “Readout Electronics for the Forward Vertex Detector at PHENIX”.
Sep 2014 “Tunable Line Node Semimetals”, Physical Review B 90, 115111 .
SAMPLE OF STUDENT COMMENTS
• “Mike was a great teacher and leader of discussions. He had a great grasp of the material and clearly explained it during his lectures. He was a fair grader and very approachable/helpful.”
•“Could not possibly ask for more from a TA. I am constantly impressed by his skill as an instructor and his commitment to the students.”
•“The teaching assistant is very understanding and helpful. He’s probably the best TA I’ve ever had!”
• “Mike handled the labs well. He taught me to raise the quality of my lab reports to a higher level through keeping to a strict and consistent standard. He provided useful feedback that helped me improve. He was very helpful in office hours which lead to in depth discussions of the material. He was helpful in the labs as well and guided us to the right answer through language and concepts that made the physics applicable and understandable.”
•“He is approachable and available for help. He encourages participation and asking questions in class. He’s good overall”
• “Thanks Michael for all your help, I appreciate every bit of it. Thanks for keeping your cool when you were bombarded with so many questions.”
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