About Me

Hi, I'm Ryan Wenzel. I really love understanding things clearly and helping others do the same! I live for the "aaaahhhhh!" moment when understanding dawns and everything clicks.


Education

Mostly pure math, with a good amount of physics thrown in!

  • BA Mathematics - University of California, Berkeley 2010 (Honors)
  • MAS Mathematics - Cambridge University 2012
  • PhD Coursework - University of Texas, Austin 2013-2014

Experience

Well on the way to becoming a research mathematician, while in the PhD program at UT Austin, I had a change of heart, and became drawn to more practical and human pursuits.

On the path through academia there was rich diversity of learning experiences, and through them I discovered a passion for teaching and tutoring.

In over 12 years of helping others learn, I've been a teaching assistant, a private tutor, and worked for various tutoring organizations and companies, in both paid and volunteer roles. I've helped students of many different ages and skill levels, in a wide variety of settings, both individually and in groups, both for classes and test prep. This diverse experience has helped me become a versatile and adaptable tutor.

In 2014 I began specializing in tutoring upper-division undergraduate math and stats due to the relative lack of supportive resources available to students studying at this level. Since then I've helped students from many different universities: UC Berkeley, UT Austin, Yale, UW Seattle, UW Bothell, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and Colorado State University.

I also have special experience working with students with disabilities. I was a volunteer math tutor for the Disabled Students Club at City College of San Francisco. As a private tutor, I have worked with students with a variety of disabilities, including learning, mood, and developmental disorders.


Teaching Philosophy

Students are individuals, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and way of understanding. As much as possible, it's best to adapt to each student.

In general my tutoring style is patient, flexible, supportive and highly communicative. Principles and concepts are emphasized over rules and memorization. Metaphor, analogy, pictures, and words are as important as symbols and equations. I try to help students steer students away from the dreaded plug-and-chug mentality — the ability to effectively select and use the right tools for a problem follows from a solid understanding of the concepts involved, and not the other way around.

My hope is that students not only learn to do but to really understand, and in doing so, find some appreciation for the beauty and truth of the subjects they study.


Personal

When not helping others learn, I'm learning more myself! Right now I'm learning statistics and machine learning from All of Statistics and An Introduction to Statistical Learning

As a science lover, I naturally love nature. I like to be outdoors in the great PNW, hiking, backpacking, trail running, climbing, and snowboarding.

When indoors I like to read and write, especially philosophy and science fiction. One of my dreams is to publish a sci-fi story someday! I also to listen to music, watch films, and play board games.