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Lokvani Talks To Budhinath And Kalyani Padhy

Ranjani Saigal

Budhinath Padhy has extensive experience in the software field. He has degrees Math and Physics and has served as  adjunct faculty of Mathematics in Dean College, Franklin, Massachusetts. Kalyani Padhy has a PhD in Mathematics and also was an adjunct faculty of Mathematics in Dean College, Franklin, Masachusetts.  Both are active members of the Indian American community and take an active role in the India Society of Worcester. To contact the Padhys please check out http://www.mathmasteronline.com/

Through their school Math Master, the Padhy’s have helped scores of kids get a perfect score on SAT. They share some tips on how to do well in SATs and how to improve a child’s chances to get into an ivy league colleges.

What motivated you to start this Math Master class?

Both my wife and I have a strong background in Mathematics. 
We had been regularly tutoring our children since they are in kindergarten. While tutoring our daughter, Bijaya, we were able to introduce different ways of solving problems in addition to the usual way she learned from school. This helped her to understand the concepts better and she was able to solve problems quickly and correctly.

Bijaya got accepted into Mass Academy of Math and Science at WPI and later got admission into Carnegie Mellon University in 1998. In SAT Math, she had a perfect score of 800 out of 800. After she went to college she suggested us to start a tutoring school to help other children the way she was helped by us. This is our motivation – to help the community children by providing them the extra education they need to make them confident, to excel, to improve their standing in school, and to get into a better college or college of their choice. Math Master was started on November 1st, 1998.

How important are SAT scores for admission to college?

SAT scores are very important. Because high schools are very different from one another with various curriculums, a standardized exam like the SAT provides a proper assessment of the student. Most of the colleges need the SAT scores or scores from equivalent standardized test like ACT. Though the requirements from college to college vary, it’s for his/her benefit that the student should take SAT (Reasoning test) and at least 3 SAT subject tests. For example, a student planning to study medicine typically takes the SAT subject tests as MATH level 1 or 2, Physics/Chemistry/Biology, and U.S. History or a language.

What would you consider a good score to get into an IVY League college?

A good SAT score to get into an IVY league school would be a 2160 and above.  This would also equate to averaging at least 720 in each of the subjects of Math, Reading, and Writing. It’s wise to keep in mind that while SAT scores are important, the colleges equally look whether the student has taken challenging courses like AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Statistics, and AP Biology and the overall GPA.

How is Math Master tutoring service different from other education franchises or from on-line tutoring services?

Compared to franchises that are stereotype and don’t focus on individual needs, our tutoring service is customized to each student’s needs with flexible timing and affordable rates. We provide a very friendly and comfortable environment for learning. Also, we are different from on-line tutoring in the sense that ours is a face-to-face service and students feel comfortable in asking questions and get answers right away instead of getting reply from a computer.

What grades/subjects do you tutor?

Our student body is diverse. Our students are from local public and private schools in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. We tutor students from Kindergarten to College. We tutor Math topics (including Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics), Physics, Chemistry, Biology, SAT subject tests as well as College Mathematics. Also we offer Standardized Tests preparations for MCAS, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, TOEFL, and LSAT.

What is the secret to improving scores on Standardized Testing?

The most important tactics to good scores are proper planning and preparation for each exam. In addition to knowing just the tactics of scoring high, they need to know the materials very thoroughly. We at Math Master emphasize mastering the materials for SAT reasoning test as well as SAT subject tests. Besides, we prepare our students to be familiar with the SAT Standardized Tests as early as 6th grade.

What has been the success rate of your students?

We strongly believe in giving a quality education to our students. As such, we give sincere and serious attention to each and every student we take. Our students’ success rates have been pretty high. Whether it’s improvement of SAT scores over the years or acceptance to the school of their top choice, our students have had a great jumpstart to their college careers. For example, some of our students have scored two perfect scores (800/800) out of the three subjects of SAT reasoning test: Math, Critical Reading and Writing. In AP courses like Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, students get 5 or 4 out of 5. Our students have been admitted to top private colleges such as MIT, Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, Brandeis University, New York University and top public colleges such as UMASS Amherst and University of Connecticut.
You are very active in the community. Do you consider this SAT teaching an extension of your community service?

For us, this is more of a hobby and community service rather than pure business.  We love what we do and it’s great to meet new students and  their parents, to understand their needs, and to help them to achieve their goals. In addition to SAT, we educate the students and their parents about the importance of planning for college such as course selection in high school, best time to take the Standardized Tests like PSAT/SAT/ACT, and finally applying and choosing a  college. We give free SAT mock tests as well as free consulting for college planning as a part of community service.

You have raised successful kids yourself. What advice do you have for parents raising young children?

 Yes, we are fortunate to have and raised two wonderful children. Our daughter has graduated from Syracuse University in Math Education and a Master’s degree in Applied Math from WPI and currently working as System Engineer. Our son is a senior in UCONN studying Actuarial Mathematics. Both of them scored 800 out of 800 in SAT Math.

The main advice that we could give to parents is to make sure that they keep education a top priority for their children.  Not only does the child gain knowledge and confidence but also this could lead to scholarships/full rides to college. Besides teaching Math/Science and other school curriculum we also advise the students and their parents how to face the challenge of choosing career path with same concern we had for our own children.

You teach as a team. How does it work out to have both of you as partners in the business?

By working as a team, we help one another on keeping our knowledge up to date.  With classroom competition increasing, it’s imperative that we fine tune each others skills in the given subject. Having common interest and common goal it helps us to focus on  tutoring and helping students to achieve their goals.

Thank you for your time

Thank you

About Budhinath and Kalyani Padhy

Budhinath has been brought up in Berhampur, Orissa. He successfully completed B.Sc. (Honours) in Physics with distinctions in Mathematics and Chemistry from Khallikote College, Berhampur and M.Sc. (Physics) from Berhampur University in 1975. After completing  Master’s degree, Budhinath worked as a Lecturer in Physics in Kendrapara College, one of the top private colleges in Orissa. In 1980, he came to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA where he did his Masters in Electrical Engineering. In 1982 he joined Digital Equipment Corporation, Marlboro, MA as an Application Engineer and worked there until 1993. During 1994-1997 he had positions of Member of Technical Staff in Interleaf, ITP and Buzzeo, Inc. From 1997-2007 he was a systems consultant/ Senior Software developer at Putnam Investments. In the meanwhile, he studied for Master’s degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from WPI, Worcester, MA. He was an adjunct faculty of Mathematics in Dean College, Franklin. After running Math Master Institute for part time since 1998, he is currently managing the Institute full time.

Budhinath has outstanding contributions to the community at large. He was the General Secretary, Vice-President and the chairperson of the Nominating Committee of the India Society of Worcester from 1996-2003. Since 2004, he is serving as the Board of Trustees of the India Society of Worcester. In addition to serving as the President of the Orissa Society of New England from 1999-2003, he is also the current president since 2007. Moreover, he served as the Commissioner of the Industrial Development Commission of Northborough, MA during 1997-2006.

Budhinath lives with his wife Kalyani in Northborough, Massachusetts. He and his wife have two children, Bijaya and Vivek.

Kalyani has obtained her B.Sc(Hons) in Mathematics with distinctions in Physics and Chemistry, M.Sc(Mathematics) and Ph.D.(Mathematics) from Sambalpur University, India in 1980. During 1980-1983, she worked as a lecturer under Orissa Public Service Commission in Government Women’s College, Berhampur and Government Women’s college, Bolangir, India. During 1984-2000 she worked as a Programmer Analyst/DBA in Riley Stoker Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, Quantum and Applix Corporation in Massachusetts. Since 2000 she is working as a tutor for Math Master. She was an adjunct faculty of Mathematics in Dean College, Franklin for the fall of 2003.

Since 2000, Kalyani is a member of the Northborough Junior Women’s Club serving as a co-chair of the education committee, treasurer and coordinator of the Book-club. In her spare time she does watercolor painting as her hobby. She is also a member of Northborough Art-Guild.

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