Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to get in touch with you?

A: Email to is almost always the best way to contact me.  If you have an urgent concern (e.g. running late to a meeting), an email or text message is the quickest way to get me a message.  If there are things you’d like to discuss over the phone or video chat, please email me to settle on a time.

Q: Do I need to make a long-term or weekly commitment for tutoring?

A: Nope! While I strongly suggest that most students stick to a regular weekly meeting time, I do not require any commitment.  In particular, some of my stronger students simply contact me to set up meetings on an as-needed basis.  If my schedule allows, I also see students looking for last-minute help before major exams.

There is one exception here — for small group tutoring, after a few sessions to ensure a good fit, I do ask groups to plan each month together and stick to whatever plans we make.

Q: Do you offer online tutoring?

A: At this time, online whiteboard chat tutoring is only available for students with whom I have a prior relationship, such as students who work with me in high school and want to continue when they move away for college.

 Q: How does payment work?

A: Payment is due at each meeting.  Alternatively, students with a regular meeting time may prepay up to one month at a time.  You can pay with cash or a check made out to Kelli Talaska.

Q: Sooo, what do you do when you’re not tutoring?  Do you just do math for fun all the time?

A: Ha, good one!  I do a fair amount of math for fun, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve education.  But my favorite thing to do with my free time is scuba diving, which I took up in 2010.

I find the ocean incredibly awe inspiring, and I love that I keep discovering new weirdest critters ever. So far, I’ve been diving in Bali, Australia, Iceland, Thailand, Roatan, Monterey, Ventura, and the Ohio quarries.

Keep an eye out for some of my photo highlights later on. I’m no pro photographer, but the octopuses in the photo banner at the top of the page are from photos I took myself.  Yep, every one of those has an octopus!

I’ve been in the water with everything from tiny stuff like pygmy seahorses to enormous “Seriously, that’s a SMALL whale? Are you sure it’s not going to eat me???” dwarf minke whales. My favorites change all the time, since there are so many cool things, but I highly recommend some research on nudibranchs, flashlight fish, and mantis shrimp. Up close and personal, if you can manage it.

Speaking of crazy places, I love traveling in general. Admittedly, most of my trips now revolve around diving, and for those that don’t, I will neither confirm nor deny that I partake in activities such as aquarium visits or penguin-watching boat rides. No really, I occasionally do other stuff –I’ve fed deer in Japan, hiked steaming hot volcanoes in Iceland, and eaten roughly my body weight in pastries (primarily mousse-filled delicacies) in Paris. I generally love being outdoors in cool weather, and I can easily be tricked into going hiking, though I rarely think of it myself.

Developing skill and adaptability in math and problem-solving