Thus far, I have created customized learning methodologies for G&T students in the following subjects:
College level Mathematical Logic
College Level Set Theory
College Level Real Analysis
Testimonials from parents of G&T students:
I recognize how ineffably valuable your expert instruction has been during this school year, and we want to once again express our gratitude for all your efforts and the energy you invested into this endeavor.
Matthew is one of the few teachers who keeps my son's attention through the entire lesson. He creates a learning dynamic that has fueled my son's interests in so many different ways! I love that he is full of obscure knowledge that ties into what he is teaching about, also. It really keeps my son engaged in learning!
My son loves having Matt teach him because he knows he will always learn something new. There's no pretending to know what you're doing, either - Matt is thorough in his expectations for student comprehension and carefully monitors student skills for demonstrated mastery. I couldn't be happier!
Matthew has been an amazing tutor and mentor to my son over the years. His enthusiasm for teaching has fueled my son's desire to learn!
See more testimonials here.
Online Competitive Math Instructor (2020-Present)
Designed HS Competitive Math Club (AMC 8-AIME level)
Competitive mathematics at the AMC 8, 10, 12, and AIME level
Wrote problems/content for the redesign of CTY's Competitive Math Courses
Paradoxes and Infinities Instructor (Summer 2022)
Chemistry in Society Instructor (Summer 2022)
Mathematical Logic TA (Summer 2017)
"Out of the 8 different TAs I've had at CTY, Matt has been hands-down the most enthusiastic and hardworking."
-Jake Pichelmeyer, CTY Instructor
Select Student Feedback:
Helped make the class as great as it was. If anyone had trouble, he would do anything to make sure that student succeeded. He was also extremely kind and accepting and an overall nice person
Mr. Matt was a very good TA and was great at explaining things one-on-one. He really wanted everyone to understand the material
Always available, friendly, and able to answer the questions we had
Strengths: Fun, available, knowledgeable, respectful. Weaknesses: Nothing much
Cryptology TA (Summer 2017)
Select Student Feedback:
Great at trying to always help someone, and his care was evident
Human calculator skills and very easy to approach
Very good at explaining concepts and supports people when they don't get it
Very effective. Interested in many student-centered things. Knowledge of subject is thorough. Nice to be around
Found ways to give us new perspective to see a problem that we could not understand
Sarah D. Barter Fellowship Essay: In 500 words or less, tell us specifically how you recognize and challenge your bright students and motivate them to do their best work.
500? I’ll try
I believe it is crucial to recognize that with bright students, unlike with many others, I should avoid walking through a detailed explanation from point A to point B; bright minds can process the logic of the material faster than many think possible, often faster than it could be explained. Often, these students are missing only a small piece of the puzzle, and can solve the problem immediately once they have it. Thus, learning how to recognize the student’s thought process is key, so I can help them find the missing piece as quickly as possible.
To that end, during meetings with talented students, I try to learn as much as I can about how the students think: I make jokes with varying layers, use chains of logic with varying length, etc.. All the while, I discreetly but carefully observe their faces as they process information – how quickly do they understand? How does this vary by concept? At the same time, I try to build a connection with the student - a bond that helps the student feel at ease and behave naturally, more open to learning from me. I act naturally myself and try to have fun with the student: I make jokes (often at my own expense); I laugh; I ask questions to get to know my student, finding common ground to bond over and information I use to customize silly problems for them
Then, when teaching the student, I try to never assume they think about problems the same way I do. Instead, I let the student describe their natural approach to the problem, help them complete it their way, and show connections to other approaches. Often, a student’s approach is different from mine, and sometimes even more efficient and elegant. In these cases, I make a point to tell them so. I rarely see a student more excited or proud than when I let them know that they thought of a more clever way to solve a problem than I had.
Ensuring the student is always challenged is trivial in theory (though not necessarily easy). There is such an enormous amount to learn, and countless ways concepts connect with each other. Thus, to keep a student engaged, I could teach faster, relate the current concept to other ideas, or show real-world applications until the student is appropriately challenged. For example, a bright chemistry student learning heat can be shown that liquids exist on Earth’s surface only because of the weight of the atmosphere (there’s no water on Mars’s surface), a video of water boiling, melting and freezing at the same time (at its triple point), etc.
These students are often excited and proud to be taught material beyond what is covered in their class, especially when it helps them understand real world phenomena. Making these connections for the student also builds trust and respect for my instruction, sometimes creating a wonderful feedback loop of - curious question, tangential application, instruction, another curious question, etc.