Online Maths Tutor Heidi Watkins
We thought it would be interesting to hear what our online Maths Tutor, Heidi Watkins thinks about a range of topics. Heidi is one of our Tutors for Secondary, IGCSE and A Level maths. Here are the questions we asked her and as you might expect maths does crop up in some of her answers!
Who are your heroes?
You’re probably expecting me to name a female mathematician such as Emmy Noether (who even Einstein called a genius!) but right now I am full of utmost respect and praise for all those workers travelling out to help those suffering with Ebola. What amazing, selfless people they are…definitely heroes!
What’s your favourite fact or piece of trivia about Maths?
I was absolutely fascinated when I first discovered the world of imaginary numbers, where we say, “I know we can’t really take the square root of a negative number, but what would happen if we could?”
Do you have any personal experience with homeschooling or distance learning,
or was Wolsey Hall Oxford your first real encounter with it?
I had done some 1:1 tutoring of two homeschool students; a school phobic child, and a student who felt the school environment was not suited to his learning, and many in-depth conversations with these students about their experiences have really helped me to understand why so many students are happier to learn at home instead.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen in a museum?
A few years ago I went to Egypt and saw the most amazing things. The museum in Cairo had many of the treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, which were absolutely magnificent. We visited several awe-inspiring places in Egypt, but my absolute favourite has to be Karnak – the sheer size of everything, and the fine detail, was like nothing I had ever seen before in my life.
What’s your favourite TV show or book at the moment?
My favourite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, which reminds me of many of my friends from my maths degree course and the amusing theoretical conversations we would have. The book I am reading at the moment is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, because I watch adaptations of it this time each year but I have always wondered how much was missed out of the original story.
If you could have dinner with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
It would have to be Pythagoras, as I would love the chance to find out if all the legends about him are true. Did he really ban his followers from eating beans? Did he really believe he could write on the moon? There would be so many intriguing questions to ask him!
Finally, based on your experience as an online Maths Tutor at Wolsey Hall Oxford, what’s the biggest piece of advice
you’d give someone just starting a homeschooling or distance learning course?
The more you put into your course, the more you will get out of it!