Meet Wes.

I help gifted and engaged students find their love of math, and use it to succeed.

What I do

I don’t aim to change the contents of my students’ minds. I aim to change their architecture. To my students, this means tackling fun problems and challenging puzzles that they’d never see in a classroom. To their parents, it’s about authentic engagement, permanent advancement, and self-management under pressure.

Why I do it

Because I love it. And because gifted students are too often under-served.

Gifted students have the potential to bring about positive change in the future. But they don’t get extra attention when they stop learning.

I challenge bright kids in order to turn complacency into determination, disinterest into engagement, and frustration into delight.

Teacher

I’ve spent nearly 15 years (starting in 2002) working full-time to help students excel at math and general problem solving.

MIT grad

I taught as a student instructor at MIT, and earned an SB.

Math Puzzle Master

In 2009, 2015 and again in 2017, my team won the MIT Mystery Hunt, arguably the most challenging amateur puzzle competition in the world. (This taught me more than I expected, about intellectual success under pressure.)

Math Competition Coach

From 2008 to 2013 I was Head Coach of the (San Francisco CA) Urban School Math Competition Team.

Musician

From 1995 to 2007 I was also a part-time professional musician.

Wes Carroll’s Blog & Puzzler Podcast

Below you'll find my most recent posts and episodes. Click the posts to access my blog and podcast.

Say NO to ROPO (in private education)

Return On Planned Obsolescence (ROPO), I have recently learned, is basically the extra money Apple gets when people buy a new phone while their old still works perfectly fine,...

What’s wrong with math education

"Math punk" Tom Henderson has written a brilliant essay that I have co-opted and edited here. In a nutshell, what is the problem with math education in the US? It's that students...

Put a little math in your life!

Brian Greene makes the point about science, and it holds just as true for math: "We rob science education of life when we focus solely on results and seek to train students to...

What’s wrong with standardized tests for teachers?

Well, I really mean to answer "what's wrong with using the results of students' standardized tests to evaluate teacher performance?" On its surface, nothing. Indeed, student...

Cheating on the SAT

The thing I can't get out of my head when I read this NYT article on kids paying other kids to take the SAT for them is simply this: All they charged was $3600? Cripes, that's a...

22: Split the check

Last week, two of my friends and I went to a restaurant and had a lovely meal. We decided to evenly split the check, so we asked the waiter to just combine the totals. However, ...

Podcast – 21: The faulty odometer

A faulty car odometer proceeds from digit 3 to digit 5, always skipping the digit 4, regardless of position. For example, after traveling one mile the odometer changed from...

Podcast – 20: The middle digit

How many three-digit numbers satisfy the property that the middle digit is the average of the first and the last digits? // Spiciness: ** out of ****

Podcast – 19: The token tax

A game is played with tokens according to the following rule. In each round, the player with the most tokens gives one token to each of the other players and also places one...

Podcast – 18: The circular track

Brenda and Sally run in opposite directions on a circular track, starting at diametrically opposite points. They first meet after Brenda has run 100 meters. They next meet after...

Testimonials

I do incredible things for focused families like yours.

Simply put, there is no better private teacher of mathematics and SAT prep for students of exceptional ability in the entire San Francisco Bay Area than Wes Carroll. Chris Borland

Academic Coach, Borland Educational

Wes Carroll was *phenomenal*. … It truly was a life-changing conversation. My self-awareness and general insightfulness have noticeably improved since. For me, Wes Carroll was the most helpful Mathcamp visitor ever, by a long shot. Attendee

Canada/USA Mathcamp

Wes is a great tutor and a great friend. I’m also a fan of his podcast, The Puzzler!. When you’ve got Wes’ brainpower, a terrific puzzle podcast is just the sort of thing you can crank out for fun, in your spare time. Nathan Fox

Tutor, founder, Fox LSAT

Wes Carroll has a laser-sharp focus, a quick wit, and connects directly with what a student needs. If you want to increase your understanding and scores while you decrease your stress, work with Wes. Ben Bernstein, PhD

Tutor, author of Test Success! How to Be Calm, Confident and Focused on Any Test, Test Success

That was probably the most efficient tutoring session I’ve ever witnessed. Debbie S.

Director of Admissions, Epsilon Camp

A high-energy, no-nonsense force. Denise Flagg

Parent, Bodsat Prep

The Math 2 SAT Subject test help was great. But I especially appreciated the life advice. I know I can apply these new tools to boost my confidence and my success in any aspect of my academic life. Maybe even beyond. C. Leung

Student

You explain things clearly, but if I don’t understand the explanation, you explain it in a different way. And a different way again—and again. You’ll explain something five different ways if that’s what it takes for me to understand. R. Hooper

Student

Not only is Wes Carroll an insightful, brilliant math tutor par excellence, but he is hands down the best Skype teacher I know. I don’t know how he does it, but his enthusiasm and stage presence are even more infectious on screen than in person. Justin Sigars

Tutor and co-founder, Bodsat Prep

She is stunned that she did so well. You were simply awesome in working with her, and I can’t thank you enough! David B.

Parent

(Yours) was the highest rating this summer among our visiting teachers. (All of the others have Ph.D.’s, by the way.) M. Debowsky

Program Director, Canada/USA Mathcamp

Wes is absolutely fantastic! He figures out how your kid learns and teaches him or her the way they need to reach their goals…With Wes, she learned not only the SAT, she learned to have confidence to do her best. Claire Serrato

Parent

…working with Wes, these students will rocket-launch their math scores and even increase their eagerness to excel at highest altitudes. Wes’s enthusiasm is infectious, his efficiency in teaching enormously productive, and his service as a role model for what an ambitious student can achieve priceless. I count on him to help make dreams come true for my brightest academic stars. Scott Cowan

Tutor, founder, SF Learns

My students are in: Middle school through college

I charge: $375 to $525 per 85-minute session

($375 for initial sessions; $450 for curriculum work; $525 for test prep)

 

"I think I'd like to work with Wes."

13 + 8 =