Sam Schmerler

     Too often, poor pedagogy teaches students that math and science are boring and abstruse. And I know from hard experience how abysmal science in secondary school becomes a handicap in college. So I’m passionate about science education. I’ve worked with a broad range of learners, from 4th graders at a failing school to Brown engineering students, to demystify tough concepts and discover how exciting the sciences really are. During undergrad at Brown, I worked as a teaching assistant for biology courses, including running lab sections, and as a peer academic advisor. As student representative to Brown’s Biology Curriculum Committee, I helped expand academic choice and access to quality pedagogy for the ~1200 (20%) undergraduates majoring in the life sciences. A post-grad fellowship at Harvard involved biology research, but also entailed interpreting science to students and the public. Now, as a tutor, I work hard to engage students who struggle with math and science, and help those preparing for medical or research careers develop their future strengths. Beyond the sciences, I help students become capable critical thinkers while developing their reasoning and writing skills. I’m particularly fascinated by human history and geography (my second major was in American Studies), and share this enthusiasm with the students I tutor in these and related subjects. I am based in Philadelphia, but travel frequently to New York and can work with students in NYC if we make arrangements in advance.

EDUCATION


Brown University, Class of 2011
Providence, RI
  • Double major in Biology (with honors) and American Studies
  • Student representative to the Biology Curriculum Committee (2008-2011)
  • Meiklejohn Peer Academic Advisor (2008-2010)
  • Honors thesis now in review for publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • Other work published in Molecular Reproduction and Development
  • Brown Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award
  • Richard J. Goss Prize in Experimental Biology
A.N. McCallum High School, Class of 2006
Austin, TX
  • National Merit Scholarship
  • Paintings awarded top score at the TAEA Visual Arts Scholastic Event (grades 9-11) and exhibited at both the University of Texas Performing Arts Center and the Austin Museum of Modern Art

ACTIVITIES / HOBBIES


    • Since completing a biology fellowship at Harvard, I’ve been writing up my results for publication. I’m also preparing for my own GREs, so I’m truly familiar with the test prep routine! Otherwise, I’m running, cooking (but mostly just eating), finding new music, or reading history (currently Needham’s Science and Civilization in China and Hobsbawm’s Bandits), biology (Hölldobler and Wilson’s The Superorganism), and other nonfiction (the news, Lévi-Strauss’s Triste Tropiques). I’m also co-writing a play, a dark comedy about a python, folie à deux, Vasco de Gama, and the American Dream.
Sam Schmerler

Locations

  • U.S. & Internationally--via Skype
  • Summer: Philadelphia, PA and NY
  • School Year: Philadelphia, PA

Qualifications

  • SAT I:
    • Math: 760
    • Verbal: 800
  • SAT II:
    • Mathematics Level 2: 720
    • U.S. History: 800
  • AP:
    • Calculus A/B: 5
    • English Language: 5
    • English Literature: 5
    • U.S. History: 5
  • Worked as a teaching assistant for intermediate-level biomechanics and evolution courses at Brown.
  • Worked as a peer academic adviser at Brown, helping freshmen navigate the Open Curriculum.

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