My name is Dr. Heather Finotti. I have a PhD in Mathematics and have taught at the university level for 15 years, and tutored university and high school students for 18 years. I recently resigned from the University of Tennessee to be at home with my three year old son, and after two years hiatus began lecturing there again in Spring 2012. I have a deep love and respect for mathematics and the power it has to help you build a better life. I know from personal experience that studying mathematics well can teach us patience, critical thinking, perserverence, strengthens our logic - in short it builds many skills that are exceedingly important for everyday life and has effects beyond knowledge of the material itself.
I also know well that many do not share my perspective, and feel anxious, resentful, confused, or just apathetic toward the subject. Maybe you had a difficult early experience in mathematics, or have felt a kind of snowball effect after years of small misunderstandings roll into a general sense of being lost, or maybe your experience tells you that math is simply a set of rules to memorize in order to get a magical right answer to fall out, or just maybe you too appreciate math and are simply looking for support in getting the most out of your education. Unfortunately, math studied poorly can feel like a tedious, pointless exercise in memorization and jumping through hoops.
Imagine now that you began to experience math as an interesting subject full of meaning and depth, requiring intuition and creativity, a powerful language to help us understand the world around us. Imagine that you could enjoy working through problems or carefully reading a math text, feeling confident in your ability to work toward understanding on your own. Imagine what it would be like to know you can rely on your intuition when working through a mathematics problem, that you know the difference between being mathematically creative and mathematically incorrect. Imagine that you could face a math problem you haven't seen before without overwhelming anxiety, or comfortably work your way through an exam. My goal as your teacher and mentor is to help you turn your feet and start walking toward these goals.
Over the years, I have learned to meet my students where they are at and help them grow from there. Years of experience teaching, special training to guide students to become better learners and more effective at studying, special training to help you resolve emotional and psychological barriers to understanding, and compassion and patience are what I have to offer as your teacher or mentor. Of course, I cannot promise that you'll love math in the end, but I hope to at the very least plant the seed and show you how to nurture it!
I am currently offering private tutoring, either one-on-one or for small groups (up to 3 students). math coaching over the course of a semester, courses for homeschool, high school, or college students, courses for parents/adults, one time refresher courses, and study/learning skills courses. I can support learning in any mathematics course up through any undergraduate math course, and offer graduate level support in analysis, differential equations, and numerical analysis. Explore my site to see what I can offer and the corresponding pricing.
You can peruse my old UT site at www.math.utk.edu/~heather. As I have taught at the university level for some time, I have several student reviews at the popular professor review sites (like www.ratemyprofessor.com). Peruse my testimonials page for more thoughts from past students!