Many students have asked what my Educational and Professional background is, so I thought I would provide some info for those that are interested.
Education: 1998 - Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Houston
2001 - Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Texas
2005 - Masters of Science in Physics, Univ. of Houston at Clear Lake
Professional Background: (1993 - 1996) While in school at the University of Houston, I was a Research Assistant at the Texas Center For Superconductivity. My duties involved fabrication of numerous superconducting compounds and their associated cryogenic measurements. While in the lab I co-authored two published papers.
(1996 - 1998) While still pursuing my BSEE degree, I worked at Texas Instruments, Inc, in the Failure Analysis Laboratory. In this position I disassembled semiconductor integrated circuits to determine the cause of failure. I spent considerable time running the Transmission Electron Microscope in the TI Lab. This is very time consuming because every sample you wish to look at must be manually ground down to a thickness no greater than a human hair.
(1998 - 1999) After graduating with my BSEE degree, I accepted a full-time position at Texas Instruments as a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Applications Engineer. In this position, I designed printed circuit boards that would test the functionality of TI's flagship line of DSP chips that are used in cell phones, GPS receivers, iPods, etc.
(1999 - 2001) While attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, my research was in applied Plasma Propulsion for deep space applications. My research was sponsored by the Fusion Research Center at the University of Texas and also the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory (ASPL) at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. During the summers I would travel to ASPL to perform experiments on the prototype deep space plasma rocket being assembled in Houston. Specifically, my research involved understanding the power efficiency in the prototype plasma rocket. In other words, if you put 100kW of power into the rocket, how much power comes out as usable thrust?
(2001 - 2009) In 2001 I graduated with my MSEE degree and accepted a full-time position at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. In this position I began training to be a Flight Controller for the Space Shuttle in the Misson Control Center. Also in 2001 I began pursuing my
MS in Physics on a part-time basis which I completed in 2005. In 2008, I completed certification as a space shuttle flight controller and I am one of a small cadre of individuals that is in charge of the orbiter's flight computer systems, onboard software, and flight critical avionics during missions. I work console shifts during the Ascent, Orbit, and Entry timeframes, and have been priviledged to work numerous space shuttle flights over the years.
(2009 - Present) In late 2009, I departed from NASA in order to focus on MathTutorDVD.com full time. It has been a wonderful journey at NASA working with shuttle crews, training for missions, and working launches and landings. I have even had the privilege of being inside of Shuttle Discovery and walking the launch pad more than once. But, the shuttle program is winding down, making room for NASA's next spacecraft. It was time to focus on Math Tutor DVD. I have some great courses planned for the future, some of which have been requested for a very long time by students. Focusing on Math Tutor DVD will allow me to produce more courses and release them more often.
Now, I am the first to admit that none of this amounts to a hill of beans when teaching a lesson. What really matters is if the instructor can take a complex topic and assume the student knows absolutely nothing about the task at hand and take him/her from zero knowlege to expert in step-by-step chunks.
I personally get a thrill out of making seemingly complex topics suddenly easy to students. I have found over the years that the easy way to do this is to learn by working example problems, beginning with the easier ones and gradually progressing to the harder ones.
Finally, many folks begin their email correspondences with me with things like "I am not a math person...", or "I don't have the aptitude for math...", or "you must be some sort of genius...".
Truthfully, I wish I were a genius, but I am most certainly not. My opinion on that matter is that there are very very few people who have ever lived who I would consider a real genius. Folks like Beethoven who could compose music while deaf, or Einstein who made incredible leaps of insight in physics - are the true geniuses. Everyone else, like you and me, just need to be introduced to the right instructor early on to break the process down and make the topics understandable. With understanding comes confidence, and confidence is 100% the name of the game in math and science.
Sincerely, Jason Gibson
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M. Dalrymple Lancaster,
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