Aaron W.

Ames, IA


Math and Physics Helper

5+ Hours
4.3 average from 4 ratings
Algebra 2 - great tutor
— Shawn, Ames, IA on 5/24/16


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DMACC (Undediced)

About Aaron

In the past several years I have spent tutoring fellow students in math, chemistry, biology, physics, and the like, I have heard and responded to the complaints of many students who were struggling in these subjects. While it is true that every subject has its own unique challenges and that abilities vary across a vast spectrum, I know from experience that it is in subjects tied mathematics and the physical sciences where students anxieties and struggles seem most apparent.

Although it is unlikely that there is a single explanation that can adequately account for the existence of this current issue, I do think that it is in large part due to the widespread(unconscious) perception that math and science are "inherently" difficult for those without "innate" mathematical ability/intelligence, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that any sincere effort to learn on the part of the student is pointless unless he has a certain level of aptitude. I think that conclusion is unjustified, for a number of reasons. I will mention a few in this brief essay.

First of all, I have come across many students of different interests and backgrounds who eventually excelled in the areas where they were once lacking. In many cases their success in school was due to both to favorable circumstances and personality traits that often correlate with good academic performance, such as persistence, dedication, hard work, a regular study plan, a healthy life style, stable family life, and so on.

Second, perhaps the most important thing that drives students to succeed academically is the desire to learn for its own sake. The desire to learn for its own sake played a critical role in my own college experience after high school. From high school onward, I would typically read math and physics textbooks for my own leisure. After reading a certain section in the textbook, I refer to problem set attached to that section to do problems that test my understanding of the material. This is one of my main hobbies because I it is something I am very passionate about and I am always up for a mental challenge.

And finally, I know from both experience and education experts that learning is and should be an active process. It cannot be an active process where one simply reads a textbook or listens to a lecture only to regurgitate facts for a examination that will soon be lost and forgotten. Ideally, after becoming comfortable with the material at a certain level, the student should pursue written problems that test his or her understanding of the material. In fact, my tutoring methodology is based mainly on the principle that "practice makes improvement"; learning will occur to the extent students take charge of their own learning.

For example, when tutoring students in a subject, I normally ask them what it is exactly they are struggling with. Once I know for sure, I assist the student by doing a relevant practice problem for so that he will know the kinds of steps he has to take to correctly solve problems on his own. After my demonstration, I ask him to do a problem of his own. After doing a few practice problems, the he finally acknowledges that he understands the material. In case if he has specific questions about concepts, I always try to be a clear as possible.

In short, many people are intimidated by math and science for a number of reasons. But I believe that almost everyone has the potential to learn and excel in math and science. Many students did before, and I will help to make sure more students will do so in the future.
In the past several years I have spent tutoring fellow students in math, chemistry, biology, physics, and the like, I have heard and responded to the complaints of many students who were struggling in these subjects. While it is true that every subject has its own unique challenges and that abilities vary across a vast spectrum, I know from Read more

Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Ames, IA 50010

"Algebra 2 - great tutor"

- Shawn, Ames, IA on 5/24/16
ACT English, English, Grammar, Proofreading, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math,
ACT Science,
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Vocabulary, Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ACT Math

I am familiar with all the math on the ACT from my high school coursework. In high school I took every math course that was offered, from Algebra I to Calculus II. My ACT Math score was 34. While I have never helped anyone specifically in ACT prep, I do not see how it would be very different from my past experience in tutoring so far. I will use what I have learned from my experience to tutor students in ACT Math preparation.

ACT Science

After looking over sample questions from the ACT Science test, I realized that I can answer them easily given the right amount of time. This is so because I have a lot of experience analyzing data and graphs from the science and math courses I have taken in the past. In high school, I took high school level chemistry, where we were not only expected to apply formulas whenever it was appropriate, but to perform experiments in the lab and test hypotheses that explain collections of data. I also took two semesters of general chemistry, which not only reinforces my knowledge of chemistry, but provided more hands on experience in a lab, where I conducted more experiments, collected data, and analyzed the data. And finally, I took two years of physics in high school, in which labs expected to be done once a week. I hope to impart my knowledge of reading graphs and data to those students who will be taking the ACT Science test.

Algebra 1

Sometime before I entered high school, I took a course titled algebra I and passed with an A. I enjoyed the teacher and subject a lot. Although it was a while ago, to this day I remember all the material because I regularly use it(both consciously and unconsciously) in the classes I take at Iowa State and I recall it often as I tutor people in subjects such as algebra I, algebra II, precalculus, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, and even differential equations. In fact, I almost never have to use a reference to look up a formula when tutoring students in algebra since I can recall it very easily. I am confident that more students in the future will benefit from my help in this subject.

Algebra 2

In my sophomore year of high school, I took algebra II and passed with an A. To this day I remember practically everything I learned from that course because throughout the rest of high school and college, I learned to recall the material automatically for use in subjects like precaluculus, trigonometry, calculus, physics, electric circuit theory, and differential equations. When I worked as a tutor at Iowa State and DMACC, I had to tutor students in algebra or subjects in which algebra is a prerequisite, such as algebra I, algebra II, precalculus, trigonometry, calculus, and differential equations.


To be honest, calculus is one of my favorite subjects. In fact, out of my own curiosity and enthusiasm, during the beginning of my sophomore year of high school I purchased an introductory calculus text and independently studied the material on a regular basis. As a result of my efforts, in the last two years of high school I took both Calculus AB and BC, earning 5's on both AP exams. Once I went on to college the following year, I managed to test out of Calculus III due to my knowledge of the subject and went on to differential equations. Due to my knowledge in the subject, I worked as both a math helper and math grader during my second semester at Iowa State. I found that many of the students were satisfied with the help I had to offer them. I look forward to helping more students with calculus in the future.


I was first exposed to the science of chemistry when I was in high school, in which I took an introductory level course and easily passed with an A. I have taken two semesters of general college level chemistry, passing the first semester with a B and the second semester with an A in the course. In addition to completing coursework in chemistry, I have also tutored other students in the subject, an opportunity which allowed me to both help someone cope with a challenging subject and reaffirm the knowledge that I had all along.

Differential Equations

A few years ago a took a differential equations course at Iowa State University that included Laplace transforms and series solutions to differential equations. I enjoyed the class tremendously and as a result I easily passed with an A. After taking the course it was easy to help other students who were taking the subject during subsequent academic semesters. In fact, during my free time I helped many acquaintances who were struggling in the subject. In order to impart my knowledge of differential equations onto someone else, I would normally do example problems that pertain to the topic in which they are struggling. Once they finally "get" the big picture, I ask them to do a problem on their own, because I truly believe that the best way to learn math is to get involved by doing multiple problems.

Discrete Math

I am familiar with much of the content of discrete mathematics from a course I took at Iowa State called "Discrete mathematics for Business and Science," a introductory math course that covers linear equations and inequalities, matrix algebra, linear programming, discrete probability., ideas which have been reinforced by repeated exposure and use in more advanced mathematics courses, such as linear algebra and calculus. As a result, I remember the content of this course well enough to tutor someone who is struggling with the subject.


I believe my knowledge and experience in the subject qualifies me to tutor in it. In high school I took a course titled "Advanced Placement Economics", a survey course of the principles and applications of both micro and macro economics that is roughly equivalent to college introductory economics courses. Due to my previous independent study of the subject for enjoyment, I earned an A in the class. I also did well on the AP exams, earning 5's on both the micro and macro economics exams. I have tutored a few people in economics at my local community college and I noticed that my fellow students benefited from the knowledge I imparted to them. In the future I hope to help others who are struggling in this subject.


I took geometry in high school and passed with a solid A. I really enjoyed both the course and the teacher at the time, almost enough to the point of studying the material on my own for fun. I thought the proofs were very straightforward and easy for me.

Physical Science

I learned physical science from a combination of science courses I took before, during, and after high school. I was introduced to earth science before high school when I learned about plate tectonics and how they are related to many seismic phenomenon. During high school I took a high school level course in chemistry where I learned about chemistry and how it affects nature. I passed that course with an A. After high school I took two semesters of general chemistry and did fairly well in each(In the first semester, I earned a C+; In the second semester, I earned an A). During high school, I took Advanced Placement Physics, I course which not only prepared me for the AP exam(I passed with a 5), but a course in which a thoroughly learned the principles of physics and how they are related to everyday phenomenon. In short, I believe my experience in previous coursework equips me with the knowledge to help students succeed in physical science.


Physics is another one of my favorite subjects. In addition to taking both AP physics B and C in high school with passing grades (all 5s on the AP exams), I also took a few physics courses at Iowa State. I took a course titled classical mechanics, which is definitely a challenge but I learned a lot from the course. Also, I spend some of my free time studying physics for leisure.


Before entering high school, I took prealgebra and passed with an A. Though it seems like I took that course a while ago, even today after taking the course I still remember everything since I have used to the material countless times in subsequent math courses and since I tutor students at Iowa State and my local community college either in prealgebra or courses where prealgebra is a prerequisite.


During my junior year of high school, I took precalculus independently with the permission of my instructor, who oversaw my self instruction over the course of the year to ensure that my work was completed and that I do not fall behind. Fortunately, I never fell behind, I handed in all my assignments, and I passed with an A. Like most other math courses, I enjoyed taking this one both because of the subject and teacher. Afterwords I took advantage of various opportunities to tutor students in the subject as well as subjects where precalculus is a prerequisite, such as calculus and differential equations. And to my knowledge, the students I have worked with in these subjects reported better performance on tests and better grades overall.


I learned probability both in and out of the classroom. In precalculus, a chapter was devoted to the study of probability. In that chapter we covered permutations and combinations,sets and set notation, calculating the probability of an event, the additive rule, mutually exclusive events, the probability of equally likely outcomes, and the law of large numbers. In the end I passed precalculus with an A. In my spare time I read a book titled "probability demystified", which not only reinforced what I already learned, but included topics which I have not been exposed to. These topics are the expected value of a variable, the fundamental counting rule, the binomial distribution, , the difference between discrete and continuous variables, variance and standard deviation, and Bayes Theorem. Because of the time I devoted to learned these additional topics, I feel confident enough to help other students who are struggling in probability.

SAT Math

I looked over sample tests and found that I am more than comfortable enough to assist students in preparing for the math section of the SAT. The math section basically consists of questions about Numbers and Operations(Arithmetic, Properties of real numbers, Rationals, Sets, etc.), Algebra and functions(algebraic word problems, manipulation of algebraic expressions, quadratic equations, etc.), Geometry and Measurement(Area and perimeter of a polygon, area and circumference of a circle, slope, volumes, etc.) and Data Analysis, statistics and probability. I am familiar with these and many more topics from math courses I have taken in the past. These courses are Algebra I, Algebra II, Precalculus, and Geometry. And these are courses that I passed with A's in high school.


In high school I learned most of trigonometry from my precalculus course. It was in that class where I devoted a lot of time and energy to studying the six basic trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities and their proofs, right triangles and how to solve them, the law of sines, the law of cosines, the unit circle, vectors, and the arithmetic of complex variables. After earning an A in the course, I took courses where a knowledge of trigonometry was expected. For example, in high school I took calculus AB and BC and did well on the AP exams(earning 5's on both tests). I was even able to opt out of introductory math courses at Iowa State. When I first enrolled I Iowa State, I was required to take three math placement tests covering three subjects: algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Fortunately, I earned perfect scores on each of them, allowing me to pursue more challenging courses earlier. I also later took advantage of opportunities to tutor students in trigonometry/precaculus and other courses where competency in trigonometry is expected, such as calculus, physics, and differential equations.



DMACC (Undediced)

Algebra 2 - great tutor

Aaron was always prompt and on time. He was willing to stay later if our son was not understanding the material but was flexible enough to leave if our schedule was tight. He helped our son succeed!

— Shawn, Ames, IA on 5/24/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $35.00

Travel policy

Aaron will travel within 15 miles of Ames, IA 50010.