In Scientific Arts Discovery I do one-on-one instruction in Mathematica combined with a collaborative model for exploring areas that you are interested in. It doesn't matter what you know about a topic or field–whether you are new to it, simply curious about it, or if you are a seasoned professional research scientist needing to expand the tools you use in your daily work.
If you are a pre-college or college student here are some of the things we will do:
If you are a seasoned researcher here are some of the things we will do:
About me: what do I know?
You can get a bit of a sense of the different areas I've been involved in over the years by looking at my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dreiss. As these things go it's a somewhat rarified document. But perhaps it suggests that I have been involved in a variety of things and that I have an approach that involves diving into projects without necessarily knowing a field in fine detail. In fact, I think that to create new ideas and discover beyond the expected, it is actually good to start without being biased by "how things should be done." This doesn't mean that one should be ignorant or eschew powerful tools. Quite the opposite.
Even if I do not know a particular technical or scientific field, I generally know how to find out about its general framework, where to look for more details, and how to just start playing with it. In my experience this quickly takes me to parts of the field that are fertile ground. And part of my excitement in doing this sort of pedagogical collaboration is that it gives me excuses to learn more about other fields. So, one of the things that I do is to read up on topics that come up in our sessions.
And these days, with such a huge landscape of fields of knowledge, having a tool at your command that allows you to do this sort of diving in across disciplines in coherent manner is incredibly valuable.
This extends to exploring the Wolfram Language itself–which is that tool. (And, interestingly, you can explore the Wolfram Language with the Wolfram language.)
I have been using it since before version 0 (an interesting story which I can share when we first talk). I don't know all that is in it–it has a huge amount of stuff in it–and I am still learning about the new functionality in Version 10. But I do know how to work with it and how to quickly track down functionality that I need, learn and explore it, and then apply it to the problems that I am curious about. How I do this is one of the things that I will teach by example.
So, this is the approach that we will generally take. I will tell you what I know, teach you how to use the system and do research with it, and dive in with you to explore together any things you are curious about.
And here's my dirty little secret: one of the reasons that I do this is so that I am given fresh reasons to learn and explore new areas.