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Official Bio

Vaish_003_smallDr. Vaishnavi Sarathy is an elite chemistry coach and the founder of Plum Pudding Academy – a unique learning platform that enables students of all abilities and learning styles to intuitively understand Chemistry. Dr. Vaish holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from Oregon Health and Science University, an M.S. degree from University of Delaware and a Masters in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. After 10 years as a researcher/engineer at premier organizations including Intel Corporation, Dr. Vaish changed tracks in 2011 to focus on helping children learn. Since 2011 she has taught close to a hundred students with varied learning abilities and is one of the highest rated Chemistry tutors in the Portland metro area.
Hi, I’m Dr Vaish. I believe

Chemistry IS for Everyone.

The genius. The struggling student. OR the person with atypical learning abilities. I’m here to help you not just learn Chemistry, but understand it, inside out. With over 15 years of experience in the field of Chemistry – including a PhD, several acclaimed research papers and a few years of engineering experience at Intel – I walk the talk. But first let me tell you a bit about why I do the work I do today.

My Motivation

DSC_0044It all started with leaving a high-flying career as a research chemist with Intel. My son has Down Syndrome and Autism, a double whammy. He is non-verbal. Everyone wrote him off. That he’d never be able to learn anything significant. But as a mother, I was determined to help him not only learn, but to experience life to its fullest. Well, it turned out that while my son is still non-verbal, he is able to understand grade-level academics. This is because I was fortunate enough to find teachers that believed that cognition and learning had nothing to do with speech. Behind the scenes I applied my scientific mind to research everything there is to know about ‘learning’ and ‘cognition’. Through the years I’ve found that – how well a child learns, has less to do with the child’s ability, more to do with how you present the material. After my son, I have worked with at least a hundred kids. Many of them with very unique learning styles – ranging from students who found chemistry challenging to those who would be considered genius. The core of my work is understanding how my students learn, what drives them, and what the most effective ways are to help them learn. I combine my love of learning and my love of Chemistry to help children learn to love Chemistry.

My Teaching Philosophy

The #1 reason most students are ‘afraid’ of Chemistry has less to do with the subject, more to do with the way it is taught. A never ending list of equations that you must memorize. I’ve been in love with Chemistry all my life. And that’s what I help my students experience – a love for Chemistry. I teach Chemistry in an interactive way. At a level that my students find it easy to understand. Bringing in the logic, the structure to complex principles in a way that makes it not just easy, but fun. I don’t just make them memorize equations. I help them see how and why certain elements behave in a certain way. How they dance together to create ‘things’. This makes it easy for my students to not only understand chemistry, but also, almost effortlessly, ace exams. When you KNOW the subject, any test, any exam, is well… just another chance to show off to play with Chemistry.

My Qualifications

Here’s a bit of my background in Chemistry, my qualifications and my teaching experience
  • Environmental Process Engineer, Intel Corporation, ’08–‘11
  • Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, Oregon Health and Science University, ’08
  • M.S., Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, ’02
  • M.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, ’00
  • Over 10 years of Research experience, 6 acclaimed publications in reputed journals.
  • Over 5 years teaching Chemistry and Calculus, one to one, and in small groups.
  • Among the highest rated tutors in Chemistry (from Portland) on

Want to Know About My Chemistry Tutoring Packages?

Why Plum Pudding Chemistry?

Because JJ Thomson loved plum pudding. Well, kind of. In the early 1900s, JJ Thomson discovered the presence of electrons through his now-famous Cathode Ray Tube experiment. By measuring the charge/size ratio Thomson deduced that the electron was 1/1700 the size of an atom. Until then the atom was assumed to be the smallest known particleThomson figured that the electron (that he called corpuscle) must be sub-atomic (or come from within an atom). This was a Nobel prize winning discovery! But since Thomson didn’t actually know anything else about the internal structure of the atom, he figured that the electrons were distributed like plums in a pudding of positive charge. Thus was born the Plum Pudding Model, the very first model of the atom, and the beginning of modern chemistry. (Yes, that’s actually a blueberry pie on the right! You get more of these here.)

Send me a mail to see how I can help you understand Chemistry better.

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