Tony R.

Tony Rothman

Ivy League Prof for Physics and Mathematics Tutoring

Lawrenceville, NJ

134.40 /HR


I hold a PhD in theoretical physics, which I got 1981 at the Center for Relativity Theory at the University of Texas in Austin. Since then I have published about sixty scientific papers in my field and have taught at many universities, including Princeton, Harvard, University of Texas and Bryn Mawr. I also have done a good deal of popular writing, for which I have won a number of awards; I hope this has made me better at explaining things.

Over the years, I have spent countless hours with students in one-one-one sessions. in my office or classroom. Students always find a way to let you know when something is not working, and so hopefully I have used the feedback to try to improve my teaching ability. Most of my students have been at very good schools, and I think they find that they harder they work, the more they get out of me. I am willing to meet in NY, schedule permitting.

Teaching Methods

How I work depends on each student, but I generally try to get students to think for themselves. Once I see the difficulties they are experiencing in problem-solving, I work backwards to figure out where they're stuck and make suggestions on how to think about the situation at hand and on what techniques they should employ to solve it. I'm willing to spend as much time as needed on any problem, but unless all else fails, I try not to give away the answers. I also tell a lot of funny stories.


  • PhD from University of Texas, Austin in Physics in 1981
  • BA from Swarthmore College in Physics in 1975

Professional History

  • Lecturer at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ from 2005 - 2013

About Me

For most of my adult life I have been a professional research physicist in cosmology. After I got my PhD in physics from University of Texas, I did post-doctoral work at Oxford, Moscow State University and the University of Cape Town. Once I returned to the United States I began teaching at various universities, four years at Harvard, later eight years at Princeton. I also speak Russian, do a lot of popular writing, and sing opera. Currently I am spending most of my time writing, mostly science books and articles for the general public. Am willing to come to NY for tutoring sessions.

References (4)

Shreyas S.

06:55 AM 22/Sep/15

Relationship: Student

My first semester in college, Dr. Rothman taught my General Physics II class. It was a thoroughly good experience for many reasons. He pushed us with tough exams and we came out with much more confidence in physics than we had at the beginning. Dr. Rothman doesn't just stop at teaching what is required of him; he is a man who enjoys physics at its core and this passion for physics is translated into his teaching. He will go above and beyond to teach things not necessarily "on the test" in order to further display the wonders of physics. An extremely effective method Dr. Rothman employed during class was splitting us into groups and having us do problems on the board. He would then walk around and guide the students towards the right thinking required to solve them. I highly recommend Dr. Rothman, one of the most intelligent and effective professors I have had in college.

Jason P.

11:18 AM 17/Sep/15

Relationship: Friend

It has been my pleasure to work with Dr. Rothman for more than 6 years. During that time, we co-taught a variety of core university classes and regularly met to discussed aspects of our research. I hold Tony in the highest regard as both a scholar and teacher.  Tony approaches teaching with an impressive depth and intensity. He has consistently scored very well in student assessments of his classes. While I believe students appreciate is depth, candor and clarity, Tony also does an amazing job striking a balance between approachability and professionalism. He engages with students as serious scholars and always has his door open for questions, leading to a substantial flow of students to his office. He maintains and advocates for high standards for all students but always extends a hand to help reach these goals. In all the years I have known Tony, he has consistently devoted more effort and thought to his class preparation than nearly any other instructor I know. Tony has taught students at all levels at multiple institutions affording him a valuable perspective on education and the world. While he is an invaluable resource for students interested in understanding core physics, math and science, he is also an accomplished writer. Tony will be able to assist a wide variety of students, from beginners upward, while acting in a role well beyond the traditional one of a tutor.

Elliott L.

15:04 PM 11/Sep/15

Relationship: Educator

It is a pleasure to write in support of Dr. Tony Rothman. I have know Dr. Rothman for about six years while he was a lecturer in our Physics department, and continue to know him. Indeed, I knew him even earlier from his many books. My opinion of him is high. He is a creative not only in physics, but also very widely read and widely travelled. He is an all around very cultured, friendly and entertaining individual. These human qualities are important for a tutor, even in the sciences. It goes without saying, given his experience and training, that he is very knowledgeable in Physics and Mathematics. This is a person who can bring insight to students at all levels He has my strongest recommendation. Elliott Lieb Higgins Professor of Physics and Professor of Mathematics Princeton University

William H.

10:28 AM 11/Sep/15

Relationship: Friend

Dr. Rothman was an academic colleague of mine at Princeton for many years. We jointly taught several courses, and we frequently interacted in seminars, colloquia and hallway conversations. I think very highly of Dr. Rothman.. Dr. Rothman was a very popular physics teacher at Princeton. His office door was always open to students and they took advantage of this to visit him in large numbers during the academic year. He was able to explain basic physical concepts clearly, even to students with very little background in physics and mathematics. One of the best students in the junior level quantum mechanics class I taught a few years ago told me that he had switched his major to physics in his freshman year thanks to Dr. Rothman's inspired teaching. Dr. Rothman is a citizen of the world. There is scarcely a corner of the globe where he has not studied or taught physics. A pretty good student of Russian language and literature myself, I have always been in awe of Dr. Rothman's command of spoken and written Russian. This facility with language is probably inherent, but a year at the Leningrad State University in 1979 as a university exchange student got him off to a good start. There he worked with the great Russian astrophysicist, Jacob Zeldovich who, with Andrei Sakharov, is considered a father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb. In the preface of Sakharov's ``Memoirs," that I happened read recently, I noticed Sakharov's ``deep thanks" to Tony Rothman for helping to prepare the English translation for publication. Dr. Rothman is valued by our Princeton University Department of Slavic Studies, and he often attends seminars there, sometimes taking me along to help me improve my Russian. Because of his engaging personality and restless curiosity, Dr. Rothman as always been a favorite not only of students but of his professional colleagues. He was a friend of the late Dick Feynman, and he remains close to Freeman Dyson at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, where Dr. Rothman spends quite a bit of time. He is a walking volume of oral history about physics and physicists of the past few decades. One example of Dr. Rothman's wide-ranging interests is his recent book, ``Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry," published in 2008.