Everyone has a story in life on how they succeeded at something great. In my case as your tutor, I grew up in a prominent family and attended an International school. My dad was a high government official in finance, my mother was a home maker, and I grew up as a joyful and playful kid.

The first 12 years of my life was fun as I played all the time except when I was in class. I was the youngest of four boys and had two sisters, one older than I. My parents entrusted all of my education to the schools I attended and so did not feel the need to follow-up with me. Consequently, I did not study at home nor did I do any homework as I was too young to understand the implications. I neither read books nor do any mathematics. So I had low grades.

When I attended high school at about the age of 13, I was one of 36 students in my class. I took notes in class but did not understand what I was writing. And in mathematics, since my knowledge did not go beyond addition and subtraction, I was a poor student. About half way through the school year, we had an exam covering various subjects like English, Math, Geography, and History. I sat in class one day as the teacher was handing out the results of the exam starting from the top student. I noticed that 22 students had been called out and I was not among them. At 35, my name was called out!

Being at the bottom of my class was of great concern to me. Soon thereafter, I started studying, not having anyone to help tutor me. I opened my math book and realized that it was just too much work trying to work my way through the book, so I decided to work backward from the last set of notes I had taken in class. To my surprise I noticed that the numbers, the mathematical expressions, and concepts all of a sudden started to form patterns in my mind that I could recognize and understand. About three weeks later, we had a test in mathematics and I scored 100%. I was too young to understand what had happened, but my math teacher took note of my sudden ability in mathematics and decided to show me to the other teachers.

About six months later, I attended a boarding school in the town of Bournemouth, England called Ringwood Grammar School. This placed me in a structured environment where we were required to do our homework in the evenings. As a result, I became more disciplined in working regularly on my math problems. After my first year there, I was the top student in mathematics in my class. This experience has taught me that it is not too late to learn mathematics even after skipping many years of essential math studies. It has also informed me that a student that is lagging behind in his or her math class can gain proficiency in a relatively short time even though they may have missed years of proper math education. It is this early experience and my subsequent knowledge in successfully tutoring students that form the foundation the math tutoring series.

So having quickly gained proficiency in mathematics in high school, I attended University majoring in Electrical Engineering. I became president of the engineering honor society, worked as an engineer in development labs at IBM and at INTELSAT, and I am now involved in math education.

So much of my success in mathematics in high school came as a result of seeing that math is a language that describes shapes, patterns, and logical relationship between objects. I discovered that these mathematical objects can be manipulated into different forms. And that the more one practices, the greater one’s skills in mathematics develops. So over time, math became fun to me.

What I have discovered can be taught so that in a few months you can also gain proficiency in math. I have taught math and seen amazing results. Success in math is gained through an understanding of the basic concepts. And by success I do not just mean knowing how to solve a problem for which you have memorized the steps. Students that focus on memorizing steps, often struggle later on in higher mathematics. They turn themselves into calculators not knowing why those steps make sense.

The ability to think mathematically through an understanding of the fundamental concepts enables one to more easily solve complex math problems or complex word problems. When you are able to do mathematics working with an understanding of the concepts and not just mathematical rules, you will be able to more easily become a mathematician, engineer, or researcher. And you will be able to use mathematics in fun ways in real life problem solving, just like a math genius!