Set Theory

Set Theory

5.0Exceptional(6 reviews)
Offers online services
Offers online services


You don't need anybody to tell you that water is wet. It's not just something you understand, it's something you know without having to think. When math is really understood, it becomes part of what you know forever, just like knowing the texture of an apple or the scent of jasmine. I treasure watching minds blossom when they begin to internalize math as something known, something that just makes sense. My business, Set Theory, is really about getting to that level of knowing.

So often, people nourish mental blocks on mathematics because of a series of bad experiences in school. When someone begins to develop a math sense, they also begin seeing those obstacles fade away. While helping others learn mathematics is something I enjoy with all my heart, this does not take a back seat to freeing someone from the chains of bad experiences. There certainly is a sense of freedom and empowerment that comes from understanding mathematics that seems to trickle into other subject areas, and I cherish the opportunity to guide others to their personal aha moments.


Hired 2 times
1 employee
3 years in business
Serves Knoxville, TN
Offers online services

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  • Reviews

    0 reviews

    Patrick T.

    Sam was an awesome tutor for me throughout multiple math classes I have taken including calculus. He was very helpful, understanding, and readily available. I would highly recommend Sam for any tutoring needs.
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    July 12, 2021

    Miriam D.

    Sam has been the best tutor I had in my college career. He helped me in my Business Statistics and Applied Calculus courses, and if it weren’t for him, I would have failed these classes. After not having to use my math skills for so long, Sam’s approach to teaching complex applied math allowed me to really learn the material I was studying in class. He was very patient and broke down everything I didn’t understand. He made it a point to never move on unless I was confident in my understanding of the concept at hand. He is so adept at math and what makes him even more brilliant is his ability to guide a struggling student through the various levels of math needed for navigating calculus and statistics. I would recommend him to any student needing extra support with math!
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    May 05, 2021


    Amazing! I couldn’t ask for a better tutor Extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
    I would definitely recommend it! It was a wonderful experience!
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    May 05, 2021

    Covy B.

    I went back to school after 10 years for a second degree in civil engineering. My math skills were extremely rusty. My first class back was Calculus I during the first 5 week summer session. With a ton of help from Sam I was able to pass. He continued to work with me through Calculus II, which I was able to pass easily with help. With the base in mathematics that Sam helped me build, I ended up passing Differential Equations with an A. Sam was extremely patient and I wouldn’t have been able to pass without all of the help he gave me. I am currently a Geotechnical Engineer.
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    May 03, 2021

    Kate B.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Sam when I was taking a calculus class at my University in the summer of 2017. I was applying to pharmacy school and calculus was the last prerequisite I needed. I had not taken a formal math class in a few years (I graduated from college in 2012 and then completed my master’s in health administration in 2016) and needed additional help. I ended up leaving the tutoring center and going across the hall to the math office for help, where I met Sam.
    A group of us ended up being tutored by Sam on a regular basis. He was even so kind as to let us gather at his apartment to study for the final exam. We all passed with an A and I attribute it directly to Sam’s dedication to helping when he was not in any way obligated to do so.
    I was accepted into pharmacy school and am now completing my last year at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, set to graduate in May 2022. The tutoring from Sam carried me through my PCAT and into pharmacy school. I’m eternally grateful to him for all he did for us during that class. - Kate B
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    April 02, 2021

    Sanaa A.

    Sam is one of my favorite people on this planet, and he doesn’t know it. I met Sam when I was a student at a local Mathnasium tutor center. Sam was the only instructor who truly dedicated his time and energy into teaching his students. He had a passion for teaching others and from what I can see now, he still has that same drive to change peoples’ lives. Our relationship grew to a deeper level when he began tutoring my brother and me privately. During this time, Sam became a close mentor to me as he would build my self confidence up academically while also providing assistance emotionally outside of tutoring. Math never came easy to me but Sam always dropped everything to help me learn the concept while also teaching me to be less hard on myself and proud of what I accomplish, even if that is learning small things like how to find the circumference of a circle. Sam always made me feel happy when learning math and that is rare to find in a tutor. Even after ending our private tutoring sessions and moving to different states, Sam and I continue to check in with each other to see how life is going. Sam is the most unique and kind soul I have ever met and will continue to be one of my favorite people on this planet. Sam has done more for me than I could ever repay him and I hope he can do the same for you and your child. —Sanaa A.
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    April 01, 2021

    Frequently asked questions

    A building cannot be erected without first knowing the extent of the foundation.  So, the first step is always to find out what the learner knows and understands well.  As each person is different and has different needs, the course of action following the assessment also differs dramatically and must be tailored to fit the learner's background, understanding, and ultimate goals. 

    I hold a bachelor's degree in mathematics.  I have also served as an instructor, lead instructor, and center director at three different Mathnasium locations in two different states.  At the university level, I served as a tutor and substitute instructor, and I was given the Outstanding Tutor award for every year I served.

    Set Theory charges $25 per half hour, or $45 per hour.

    I began teaching at a monastery in 1999 quite by accident.  I found success at teaching there unexpectedly, and I have found myself in teaching roles ever since. 

    I have worked with students as young as five years old all the way up through college students.  I have helped students with disabilities as well as those looking to get ahead.  For two examples, I worked with a third grader who performed at a sixth grade level, and I worked with a seventh grader who performed at a first grade level.  I have tutored nurses, engineers, business majors, and many other professionals.  I am happy to meet learners at their respective starting points and pace, and I enjoy meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations.

    A computer science major who was a student of mine called me recently to thank me.  I had not seen him in over a year.  Despite this, he said, "Thank you, Sam.  You were the one who helped me pass my calculus courses and the only one willing to tell me the truth about what to expect in my major."  What made me the happiest was that he remembered the tips and tricks we had worked on even after more than a year had passed. 

    There are a few red flags to watch out for.  First, avoid hand-holders.  After working through a couple problems with you, if a tutor continues to guide you through every step without letting you ride without the training wheels, so to speak, they are not helping you.  You'll be dead in the water without them on test day.  Second—and this is more important than it seems for ensuring you remember what you learn for years to come—if a tutor focuses only on the method of solution without discussing WHY you are learning what you are or what it all means, you are wasting time and money.  There are real-world reasons for learning specific mathematical subjects and concepts, and these should be kept in mind and discussed as learning commences.

    In learning any subject, the most important factor that requires close attention is anxiety level.  A student who feels no anxiety about a problem can handle questions that are extremely difficult with enthusiasm and a sense of wonder.  By the same token, a student who feels fear or frustration about a problem will crumple at even a relatively easy question.  If a student detects this kind of frustration or anxiety, it's time to approach an instructor.  Deep and lasting learning cannot take hold in the presence of anxiety.  Therefore, the question that elicits no anxiety is the one students should continue to think through before reaching out to an instructor.

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