Hi, I'm Yianni

I teach maths through questions,
focusing on understanding.

Too often, mathematics is treated as an exercise in pattern recognition. Students are taught to emulate the patterns made by the teacher on the whiteboard, and then tested on problems that differ slightly from the ones covered in class. The end result is quite predictable, and usually involves frustrated teachers and unhappy students.

"The best teachers show you where to look, not what to see."

Let’s face it: understanding is king. An effective teacher must first and foremost have a deep appreciation for the subject matter. He or she must have good intuitions, and a natural penchant for logical thinking. Above all, he or she must have complete and comprehensive techniques for solving the relevant problems, or else there’s not much to teach.

Yet at the same time, an effective teacher must refrain from conveying these techniques as mere patterns to be memorized. After all, memorization is too hard! It’s all about having practical strategies for helping students develop their own intuitions and understanding. And one of the best strategies involves asking questions.

My teaching philosophy is simple:

Check Mark Button on Apple  Develop clear and comprehensive techniques for solving the relevant mathematical problems.
Check Mark Button on Apple Use Socratic dialogue to help students reinvent and rediscover these techniques for themselves.
Check Mark Button on Apple Use pictures to support the development of intuition and real understanding.
Check Mark Button on Apple Test students repeatedly to find and address ‘gaps’ in their knowledge.

HOW IT WORKS:

Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 Before each session begins, I share a Zoom link and a Whiteboard Fox ID.
Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 The student and I interact via a shared online whiteboard.
Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 I quiz them on what they’ve learned, and occasionally assign homework.

Pricing

Years 1 - 10

Emphasis on Math Foundations
$ 60 Hourly
  • Gaps Filled
  • Curriculum Covered
  • Extension Topics if Appropriate

Years 11 - 12

Emphasis on Exam Preparation
$ 70 Hourly
  • Gaps Filled
  • Curriculum Covered
  • Emphasis on Exam Preparation

University Level

Emphasis on Abstract Thinking
~ Please enquire for rates.
  • Gaps Filled
  • Curriculum Covered
  • Emphasis on Abstract Thinking

Socratic Math Tutor does not charge any cancellation fees. For university students, considerable discounts apply if it’s my first time teaching the content. If you’re enquiring about rates for university subjects, please include a link to the subject page in your initial email.

How it Started

My tutoring had humble beginnings. Fresh out of school, I was able to use my newly-gained experience of the Victorian education system to help Year 11 and 12 students. The deal was simple: I’d assist them in achieving those hard-to-get scores that scholarships are made of, and in exchange, they’d pay me. Needless to say, it felt like something was missing.

Then it happened. In a stroke of luck, I came across the writings of philosopher and educator Richard Garlikov and his work on the Socratic method. But whereas Garlikov focused on using question-asking to teach math to very young children, I started applying it everywhere. The results were near-instantaneous. My students became more motivated, essentially overnight, and as enthusiasm grew, so too did their grades.

Since then, I’ve taught maths to… well, just about everyone! My students have included four year-olds, PhD students, and many, many Year 12 students. Some have been neurotypical, while others have had ADHD, dyslexia or autism. And while some have been gifted, most came to me either because they were struggling with gaps in their knowledge, or due to an absence of motivation. In all cases, students have responded positively to the Socratic method.

Here’s what People say about Me

Student Outcomes

MARKS IMPROVE

When I first met her, Elli (Year 7) was having trouble passing her math tests. It quickly became clear that Elli had natural ability in mathematics, but also that algebra was a sticking point for her. We focused in on algebra, and after just one week of tuition she scored 83/100 on her upcoming test, and then 87/100 on the next one after that.

MOTIVATION IMPROVES

When I first met him, Xen (Year 9) felt that math was a chore. It took several years of tuition, but in the end Xen developed a strong interest in recreational mathematics. To my amazement, he actually ended up rediscovering Euclid’s formula for Pythagorean triples before turning 18! Xen has since gone on to study physics at Melbourne University.

UNDERSTANDING IMPROVES

When I first met him, Abdullatif (Master of Science) was lacking the foundations he needed to complete his degree. His previous qualification turned out to be insufficient preparation for the rigours of graduate study, and consequently Abdullatif was experiencing high levels of stress trying to get his assignments completed. At one point, I think his hair even started falling out.

Luckily, he found me! Abdullatif’s understanding of the content grew remarkably quickly, and after 12-14 months of intensive tuition, his stress levels had returned to normal. He ultimately submitted a well-received thesis, and even presented his findings at a professional conference for mathematicians. I think the hair has grown back, too!

If education is a priority for you, contact:

yianni@socraticmathtutor.com

About Me

I was born in Melbourne in 1989, and raised in Caulfield, Victoria. Growing up, I recall that Dad always took it upon himself to teach his kids about science and the natural world. One of my earliest memories involves my Year 2 teacher asking us each to share an interesting fact about water. My ‘fact’ was the chemical formula $\mathrm{H}_2 \mathrm{O},$ together with detailed explanation of valence electrons and covalent bonding.

I learned to program in Year 5, using an educational programming language called LogoWriter. My first game was called ‘Turtle Racer’: the goal was to guide a turtle around a racetrack without crashing more than twice. The teacher was definitely impressed. Upon realizing that I had intentionally obfuscated the code to make it difficult to read, I think he was also quite upset!

My interest in mathematics began in Year 9, when I accidentally stumbled across the formula $\sin(\cos^{-1}(x))=\cos(\sin^{-1}(x))=\sqrt{1-x^2}.$ I recall using this formula to essentially ‘cheat’ my way through every trigonometry test the school decided to throw at us for the next couple of years.

After graduating from Melbourne High School in 2007, I went to the Australian National University to participate in the prestigious Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) program. However, it soon became clear that my real passion lay elsewhere, and I eventually returned to Melbourne to pursue a career in mathematics. I’ve since attained two degrees in the field.

Though I’m now a professional maths tutor, I nevertheless remain interested in pure mathematics in general, and the foundations of mathematics specifically. In my spare time I work on ‘Immaculate’, an ambitious program to unify disparate ideas from mathematics and computing into a single cohesive framework.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 University of Melbourne,  Postgraduate Diploma in Science  (Pure Mathematics).
Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science  (Pure Mathematics).
Check Mark Button on HTC Sense 7 Melbourne High School,  Victorian Certificate of Education, ENTER Score 99.15

Videos

Be sure to check out my brand-new YouTube channel! Tips and tricks uploaded weekly.

How to teach Times Tables without Memorization (Part 1)

An incredibly strange conjecture about Prime Gaps and Factorials

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Get in Touch

I would love to hear from you! Please fill out the this form with your questions, comments and enquiries. I promise to get in touch as quickly as possible.

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