Colin Skinner

Colin S.

Albany, CA
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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Middle School, High School, College
I view algebra like a game: there are simple rules that govern what you can do, and if you know and understand the rules, the game is a whole lot easier. The same thing can be said for algebra. If algebra seems to be a struggle for a student, I can help them identify the basic concepts (i.e. rules) on which they need to strengthen their understanding. Algebra is an essential tool I use to solve a myriad of problems every day as an engineer, and so I am intimately familiar with its many different topics, and perhaps because I understand its value, I genuinely enjoy teaching algebra to others.

I remember what it was like to personally struggle with algebra, and I know the most common pitfalls which make it seem more difficult than it actually is. Because of this experience, I am quite adept on picking up on my students' weak points, and helping them clear up fuzzy understandings of the rules of algebra. I started teaching algebra six years ago when I first started teaching it to myself. Since that time, algebra has been the subject I have tutored the most, and I believe I have become quite good at helping students master concepts that were once most challenging for them.

My goal is to help my students not only raise their algebra grades to all As, but more importantly, to help them establish a rock-solid base in algebra on which to build higher math skills. I do this by:

1. Providing each algebra student with a thorough, in-depth review of the basic concepts in which they have not yet mastered

2. Demonstrating central problem-solving techniques that are essential for all levels of math (and science)

3. Providing them with practice problems to do in between our sessions so that they have the opportunity to solidify the information and skills they learn.

There are amazing careers waiting for those who are educated in higher mathematics, and everyone should have the opportunity to pursue them. It all begins with a solid foundation in algebra.
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Colin teaches



Colin passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Colin delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 12+

Teaching since:
January 2014

Hello there! My name is Colin, and I have four years of experience tutoring math and science. I am a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley-UC San Fransisco joint bioengineering program. My strong background in STEM qualifies me to tutor math and science up through lower-division college courses. Aside from my academic qualifications, I believe that it is my genuine passion for math and science that makes me an effective tutor for students of all backgrounds.

As a tutor, my goal is not to impress students with how much I know. Rather, my goal is to show my students how easily math and science concepts can come to them when they are presented the material in a straightforward way. The late physicist, Richard Feynman, posited that the ability to explain complicated ideas in a simple manner is the true mark of understanding. I agree with this assertion, and I make it my goal each tutoring session to explain even the most complex phenomena in a simple way, so that my student will come away from the lesson invariably understanding it. Additionally, I emphasize a strong understanding of the fundamentals, because both math and science are heavily inductive disciplines; many of the theorems and laws are founded on other, more fundamental principles. I have personally experienced the discouragement of trying to learn material that is beyond my preparedness level, and so I can empathize with students who are in that boat. Fortunately, I have learned that the remedy is always a return to, and a strengthening of the basics. That is the approach I take with students who find themselves struggling in a course.

My online teaching platform is a “black board” drawing program that my students can follow along with as I explain concepts and solve problems. I simply share my screen with them during the session, and at the end, I take a screenshot of the notes and email it to my students for their reference. I hope this brief explanation of my qualifications and teaching style has provided a clear image of what you can expect from me as your tutor. I am eager to hear from you and help you succeed in your academic goals!

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Math and Science Tutor
Jan 2014 - Present

I have been tutoring math and science subjects through online platforms since 2014, and have provided over a thousand hours of tutoring to students of all ages and educational levels.

Math Tutor
Jan 2014 - Dec 2015
San Diego Miramar College

I was a tutor in the Math Lab at Miramar College. Here, I tutored pre-algebra through multi-variable calculus.

Essay Writing Tutor
Aug 2014 - Dec 2014
San Diego Miramar College's The PLACe

At the PLACe I helped students in various English and humanities courses with their essay writing. Generally, students would ask me to read their drafts and I would advise them on grammar, syntax and structure.


Ph.D. Bioengineering
Aug 2018 - Present
UC Berkeley-UCSF
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering
Aug 2015 - Dec 2017
University of California, Berkeley
A.A. in Mathematics, A.S. in Chemistry, A.S. in Pre-Engineering Studies
Jan 2013 - May 2015
San Diego Miramar College


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Graduate Scholarship
Jan 2018
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Jack Kent Cooke Summer Internship Stipend
Jun 2017
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
May 2015
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
San Diego Mirmar College/Osher Foundation Scholarship
Apr 2014
Osher Foundation


Phi Theta Kappa
Mar 2014

The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.

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Photos & Videos

In this video we are introduced to fractions, and how to think of them geometrically
Calculus II/Calc BC Introduction by Parts Example 1
Calculus II/Calc BC Introduction to Integration by Parts
Photo by Colin S.

Part 2 of exponent properties.
Being presented with a small gift after winning Jack Kent Cooke scholarship.

I use the same drawing program as Khan Academy for lessons. I share my screen with students so they can see as I demonstrate problems.

At the end of each lesson I send the notes to my students for their reference.

An introduction of some exponent properties.
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43 Reviews

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Lauren A. Jul 10, 2018
Algebra · Online

Carolene L. Jun 2, 2018
Chemistry · Online

Shaima A. May 30, 2018
Chemistry · Online

Mr. Colin is an excellent tutor! He is the first tutor of many from whose teaching my AP Chemistry grades improved drastically. He is very easy going and also easy to talk to. If you don't understand something, he will try to explain it in as many ways possible; just make sure to stop and let him know that you didn't understand the concept. I am very satisfied with his teaching style and therefore plan to have more lessons with Mr. Colin in college chemistry classes. I would 100% recommend him to anyone!

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Prince May 28, 2018
Trigonometry · Online

Cheryl P. May 26, 2018
Algebra · Online

So far, so good, and we plan to continue to use Colin as a tutor. My daughter started tutoring with him for extra practice and gaining insight into concepts that she was having trouble with in middle school math. She went from a low C to finishing out the school year with a B in math!

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Zachary May 25, 2018
Calculus · Online

Colin helped me through the last semester of IB Calculus. He would email me two days before each lesson so he was prepared with a relative lesson plan for our hour long weekly session of review. He even created a video explaining a topic I was stuck on and sent it to me after our weekly session. I wouldn’t have gotten an A in the last semester without him. Thanks Colin.

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Al May 18, 2018
Algebra · Online

Colin is a terrific teacher who has helped my son improve steadily in Algebra. He was a C student and is currently achieving B-B+ and no longer fears Math tests, thanks Colin

Larissa May 17, 2018
AP Calculus · Online

In our limited time together, Colin effectively helped me to prepare and be ready for the AP Calculus exam. He was able to cover any topic that I had questions on, and in great detail; he always explained each step of every problem thoroughly, not leaving anything out of the picture.

Another thing worth mentioning is Colin's passionate approach to teaching. He would always go about each lesson with unmistakable enthusiasm, showing that even calculus could be fun, if you were willing to see it as so. He was also always willing to go all the way with any problem, even if it went over the time limit; he wanted to make sure that I had no questions or concerns about any topic, no matter how complex it might have been. So, all in all, if you are looking for a suitable calculus tutor, Colin is certainly a very worthy option!

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Kamala May 17, 2018
Biology · Online

Colin helps me through many problems I encounter in school.He doesn't go too fast or too slow he goes at the pace that best suits you.He has been a great help for me and I look forward to doing more lessons with him.

Ellen May 17, 2018
Chemistry · Online

Colin has done a great job helping my daughter understand chemistry. Her teacher this semester doesn't provide much instruction, so Colin has been great about explaining and making sure the concept is understood. He's also been easy to work with and flexible when we've needed to change the schedule.

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Zac Apr 14, 2018
Calculus · Online

Nadia Mar 20, 2018
Algebra · Online

I cannot believe that I actually like math! thanks for these awesome classes!

Nadia Mar 3, 2018
Algebra · Online

I keep learning every day! Thank you so much.

Nadia Feb 14, 2018
Math · Online

Colin is absolutely amazing teacher!
Last time I studied math was 20+ years. I am 40 years old and about to finish my second degree CRJ, and like many others I left math class at the end. Taking the math prep test (which I failed) placed me almost in kindergarten..Lol! and I knew I needed help to re-learn math. I am so happy Colin answered my request (I sent 15 requests, and only 2 teachers answered). I wanted to start eating the study guide provided by CSN and just focus on the topics, but Colin wanted to show me the "why we have numbers, type of numbers, etc" definitely I wanted to fly before I could walk, and I am so grateful he had a different plan............because IT MAKE SENSE!
I mentioned I prefered to have a lobotomy (siks!) instead of facing math in my 40's because I never had a chance to understand math, I just digested the fact I was going to fail and obtain an "s" for grade. I am looking forward to like, learn, and comprehend math with Colin's help so I can graduate in December 2018.
Thanks Colin :)

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Jackson Z. Feb 13, 2018
Algebra 2 · Online

My son stated that he went from a level 6 out of 10 to a 9 out of 10 readiness for his test based on just this one lesson.

Luca R. Feb 7, 2018
AP Calculus · Online

Colin was extremely helpful. My students commented that it was nice to work with someone who can explain the material. They felt very comfortable working with Colin and are grateful for the help! Thank you!

Szintia S. Feb 4, 2018
Biology · Online

Super work. I was really happy with his work and teaching.

Gaby Jan 8, 2018
Biology · In home

Colin's vast knowledge in so many subjects allows him to find unique approaches to teach and tutor. He knows the material so well that he is always able to find ways in which to break down the process of understanding the material. Colin will also breakaway from the point at hand if he feels that there might be some basic knowledge that I might not be aware of, but will contribute to my understanding. He also provided me with techniques that have helped me restructure the way I learn. Overall, a great instructor that has helped me come a long way in my ability to learn.

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Lauren A. Jan 7, 2018
Pre Algebra · Online

Rain Dec 27, 2017
Pre Calculus · Online

Hank Titus Dec 20, 2017
Math · Online

Colin is amazing. I was preparing to take the AFOQTS and my first score was 70... I scheduled lessons with Colin and 2 weeks later I scored a 98 on the actual test! Colin was extremely good at communicating with me, being flexible in our lessons and adopting what he was teaching to exactly what I needed. Like me he had to "relearn" math as an adult and because of that he is able to explain things so that they make sense logically rather than give formulas to memorize like my horrible public school teachers.

I really cannot recommend him enough, thank you for all your help Colin!

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Leah Nov 22, 2017
Calculus · Online

Colin is great! He helped my daughter with Calculus and she said she appreciated that he always took the time to make sure she thoroughly understood a problem she was working on, before they moved on to the next one. Great teacher!

Joe Baeza Nov 18, 2017
Algebra · Online

We are very fortunate to have found Colin to tutor our son, who is 14, in algebra. He was struggling in his class and with his confidence in math, but after his first few sessions with Colin his quiz and test scores in algebra came up. Not only that, but he even teaches his classmates the techniques he has learned with Colin. Very impressed with our son’s progress. Thank you Colin!

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Greg Nov 11, 2017
Calculus · Online

He was very helpful.

Shyam Oct 18, 2017
Calculus · Online

Colin is a methodical and excellent teacher for my son who needed help with multi variable calculus. He’ll be our go to teacher for now and the future. Thank you Colin.

Marie Oct 7, 2017
Pre Algebra · Online

Colin is amazing! I'm so happy we have been fortunate enough to find him. He is incredibly patient, easy going and very knowledgeable. He has a way of teaching that explains in detail the 'why and how to' that enables my daughter to better understand and move forward with the next stage. She loves math and looks forward to her lessons with Colin. An absolute 5 star teacher. Thank you Colin.

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Jiyah Oct 2, 2017
Algebra 1 · Online

Good teaching style

Lauren Oct 1, 2017
Pre Algebra · Online

My son (12) genuinely enjoys his lessons with Colin, and he's greatly benefitted from his patient and comprehensive teaching style. He's becoming more confident in his math skills. Thanks, Colin!

Jayden Sep 9, 2017
Algebra · Online

He's an Algebra superstar! Patient and great tutor.

Bradley Aug 31, 2017
Calculus · In home

Colin has a great grasp of the material. He really helped me through such a tough subject!

Leigh B. Aug 19, 2017
Basic Math · Online

Coln was really wonderful to work with. He explained everything so well and in a relatable way to me I look forward to the next lesson

Corey Aug 15, 2017
AP Calculus · Online

Colin has been the best tutor! He was a huge help in this past semester, as my professor was not good at teaching. Many of the concepts in pre-cal are very confusing and new; I wouldn't have been able to pass the class with an A without Colin's help!!

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Luke D. Aug 13, 2017
Pre Algebra · Online

Colin is amazing!!! Glad we found him for summer help. Really took his time to make sure my son understood the concept and not just a quick do and be done. He s got a nice teaching style. Ty!

Lynn Aug 11, 2017
Calculus · In home

Colin was flexible with my schedule and was readily available if I had additional questions. He broke subject matter down for me and made sure that I had a good understanding of the topic before moving forward.

Most importantly, Colin never made me feel incapable when it came to doing the work.

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Lili Aug 8, 2017
Chemistry · Online

Colin has such a strong passion for science and it's easily seen in his teaching style. He takes time to make sure that I understand the material before moving into the next section. He is very flexible and works around my schedule, especially if I have a final coming up! He has helped me get all A's in my general chemistry courses and I recommend him to anyone who needs some extra help to get higher grades!

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Jack Aug 8, 2017
Calculus · Online

I'm happy to say I found Colin for help with my calculus 1 class. I was doing okay from the beginning, but I felt like I was lacking the depth of understanding of some core algebra concepts and wanted to get solid on them before the class got more challenging (integration), as I was striving for an A in the class. Colin was a wizard at honing in on my weak points and he did an excellent job of really breaking things down and honestly, presenting concepts in more tangible ways than did any of my algebra teachers. I used the principles I learned from my sessions with Colin to get me through some challenging exam problems, and I'm proud to say that I ended up with a 97% in the class overall!

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Lynn Aug 8, 2017
Calculus · In home

Colin was flexible with my schedule and was readily available if I had additional questions. He broke subject matter down for me and made sure that I had a good understanding of the topic before moving forward.

Most importantly, colin never made me feel incapable when it came to doing the work.

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Josh Aug 8, 2017
Math · Online

Colin tutored me in business math and he did such great job!!! He explained it so well for me to understand and he knew the material. Very professional.

Noah Aug 3, 2017
Calculus · Online

I was falling behind in math and Collin really helped me understand some harder concepts that I was missing. He goes the extra mile to help you succeed

Nydia Daleo Apr 14, 2016
Algebra · In home

My 3 daughters looked forward to Tutoring Nights with Colin!

I have 3 girls in High school (10th, 10th, and 9th) . they had been struggling in math since I can remember. I didn't think I could afford tutoring. They each had an 'F' in math.

I found Colin, and what a blessing! In just THREE short weeks Colin had my girls understanding HIS lessons, their CLASSROOM lessons and PASSING their exams! They brought their grades up too!

The best thing I can compare his tutoring to is: an adult teaching a kid to ride a bike...
He didn't expect them to just ride a bike. he took the proper steps and taught my girls about the bike parts, the way the bike functions, how they all work together, how to properly sit and pedal, and he even held them up until they understood it completely and eventually were able to ride the bike on their own.

Thank you Colin! for putting my girls back on track with math!

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Grace Mar 30, 2016
Algebra 1 · Online

He is very good at explaining and making math simple. He's helping me take algebra and geometry at the same time. My grades have defiantly improved! I really enjoy these lessons and help. I highly recommend him for a tutor.

Ryan Mar 27, 2016
Chemistry · Online

Colin provided me with tutoring for chemistry, via FaceTime. Over the semester he was very flexible with my off-peak time schedules, and was EXTREMELY patient to my questions. Using Colin for tutoring helped my grades and provided an overall great value. Thanks Colin!

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Ryan Mar 27, 2016
Chemistry · Online

Colin provided me with tutoring for chemistry, via FaceTime. Over the semester he was very flexible with my off-peak time schedules, and was EXTREMELY patient to my questions. Using Colin for tutoring helped my grades and provided an overall great value. Thanks Colin!

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