Taylor has always had a passion for math and physics. In high school, he took a college trig course in order to jump straight from geometry as a freshman to AP Calculus in his sophomore year. By the time he was a senior, he had run out of math classes to take at Oceana High School, so instead he TAed for his calculus teacher and acted as the substitute teacher whenever the teacher was absent. Taylor also convinced a few of his classmates to independently study for the calculus-based AP Physics C exam. They spent the year studying college-level mechanics and electricity & magnetism in the back room, developing their own curriculum, homework sets, experiments, and lab reports. Ultimately, Taylor aced the AP test.
After acing his AP classes and exams (for which he received the AP Scholar with Distinction award), Taylor obtained the accolade of valedictorian at Oceana and was admitted into UCLA. His most formative teaching experience was as one of the Lead Instructors of the UCLA Math Circle. Taylor discovered that mathematical ideas traditionally considered to be at a high school or collegiate level—including vectors, graph theory, cryptography, and proofs—could be taught to elementary and middle school students if instructors approached the material with the students’ level of understanding in mind. By the time he graduated UCLA with a major in biophysics and a minor in mathematics, he had taught as a guest math teacher at local private schools in Westwood and tutored long-term private clients.
Taylor believes the most effective teaching can come only from a teacher who is truly inspired by the material. While grades and exam results are important, they should flow from having not only a coherent understanding of the material but also an excitement about how calculus, physics, and everything else we learn in school directly ties us to the wonders of modern technology and scientific discovery. As a result, sharing his intrinsic excitement for math and physics is his goal with each of his students, and he always tries to bring in ideas from different disciplines to bolster his students’ understanding, since the connections between the various fields of mathematics and science are what make a concept really stick in a student’s mind.
Having taught and tutored in some capacity for the last several years, Taylor has had ample time to improve and refine his teaching style so that his time with students is as efficient as possible. Taylor’s students normally find him warm and engaged, and they can regularly rely on him to keep the energy level of their sessions high even when they may be stressed or tired from their school work.
Outside of learning and teaching math and physics, you can find Taylor exploring just about every hiking trail wherever he’s located. Similarly, he loves backpacking and camping, and he is never one to shy away from grabbing the guitar and singing around the bonfire. Next year, Taylor will head to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree in theoretical physics at Utrecht University.