“I’ve immensely enjoyed working with Mark over the past year to learn category theory and connect it with mental models of my own field. Mark does an excellent job of prioritizing learning: I chose a set of goal papers and topics to understand, and he helped determine and learn the necessary background. He was also able to dive into recent papers and break them down to help build my own understanding. Along the way, he was open to experimenting with different teaching styles to determine what worked best for me. Additionally, working with Mark logistically has been great, as he is flexible around scheduling conflicts with some warning.”
—David Dohan, research engineer at Google Brain (LinkedIn profile)
“Mark is one-of-a-kind. The multitudinous reasons why:
Mark has expansive knowledge and skillsets in pure mathematics, physics, biology, cognitive science, philosophy, and a long array of other things.
As a benefit of Mark’s wide-ranging interests and expertise, Mark is very good at at contextualizing the math you’re learning to pretty much any field you’re interested in.
Mark’s penchant for autodidaction almost defies explanation. If you ever run up against something he doesn’t know, he’ll come back two days later with not only an answer, but an answer deeply contextualized to everything else you’ve been learning, and probably something else you haven’t. Mark has a frankly absurd ability to consume and integrate new information, which is a wonderful trait for a tutor who tutors quick and curious students.
One thing I’ve deeply appreciated about Mark’s tutoring is his approach on fundamental mathematical skills: identifying and creating effective notation; selecting, synthesizing, and critiquing mathematical resources; keeping track of function type signatures; etc. This just isn’t something you’ll find elsewhere (probably not even in a mathematics degree). This derives from Mark’s long history as an autodidact who needs to filter incoming information, and furthermore from the fact that…
Mark is a first-principles thinker.
On flexibility: Mark will adapt his teaching style to you (he and I have probably tried 3-4 different styles), and his scheduling flexibility is terrific.”
—Avery Bedows, neurotech investor at Loup Ventures (LinkedIn profile)
“It's been a dream of mine to understand contemporary physics. I had made multiple attempts to study physics on my own, but I was capping out at quantum field theory. Mark has enabled me to go further. Mark and I have iterated on a working style that I like, and he is very flexible. Watching myself successfully tackle such a daunting topic as QFT has been an empowering experience that has given me confidence in other areas of study and my day job as a researcher.
Regarding what makes Mark unique: He is an exceptional autodidact and has a large breadth of knowledge in math and physics, which comes in handy when reading material needs elaboration. We are not tied down to any one book or resource, and Mark is very adept at finding good reading material to clarify particular stuck points in my understanding. Good textbooks on QFT are notoriously difficult to come by and Mark found a textbook and a few other texts that have gotten me unstuck. The biggest benefit I've gained from working with Mark is that I am developing a more mature understanding of how to learn about advanced subject matters. This roughly consists of learning how to be aware of what resources exist, and how to read them in parallel to see the same topic discussed from different perspectives.”
—Dan Abolafia, research engineer at Google Brain
“I was on medical leave for six weeks and had “learn a math thing” as a goal, because I had developed a kind of learning paralysis around programming and wanted to teach my brain that it could learn things that felt like programming. Mark suggested learning group theory + learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube, and it really worked - the first solve one month ago took me three hours, and now I’m down to two minutes. I have strong evidence that my brain can change to do things it couldn’t do before, and I have an excellent new hobby fidget.
I also want to explicitly recommend Mark as a math / physics tutor. I had an hour long session on group theory with him after reading the first several textbook chapters on my own, and I was worried going in that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about since the chapters I’d covered were pretty easy and I didn’t have major confusions. But it turned out that I did have major confusions, or at least vaguenesses in my understanding that I wasn’t looking at directly, that he just naturally dug up and clarified while we were talking about group theory. I think that’s a neat talent and you should book him if you ever want to be clarity judo’ed on some STEM topic he’s versed in that you’re curious about.”
—Anonymous student, sofware engineer at Facebook
“Just had Mark Moon teach me some basic category theory in preparation for learning Lawvere's theorem. It was absolutely awesome. Mark is a great teacher, and I have high standards. If you are interested in learning category theory or anything else Mark can teach, I strongly recommend booking him.”
—Ronny Fernandez, PhD student in Philosophy at Rutgers (grad student profile)