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Richard RusczykArt of Problem Solving was founded by Richard Rusczyk in 2003 to create interactive educational opportunities for avid math students. Richard is the author or a co-author of 7 AoPS textbooks and a past Director of the USA Mathematical Talent Search. He was a participant in National MATHCOUNTS, a three-time participant in the Math Olympiad Summer Program, and a USA Mathematical Olympiad winner (1989). He received the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions Paul Erdös Award in 2014. He graduated from Princeton University in 1993, and worked as a bond trader for D.E. Shaw & Company for four years. AoPS marks Richard's return to his vocation - educating motivated students.
Glen DawsonIn 2014, Glen founded a learning center in Morrisville, North Carolina, that two years later became the first AoPS Academy campus. Glen served as the National Director of AoPS Academy until his retirement in 2019. He has experience as a college math professor, statistician, and expert SAS programmer. He has been a professional math tutor for many years, and specializes in training academically-advanced and high-performing math students. Glen is a graduate of Duke University and holds a graduate degree in statistics from Boston University.
David PatrickDave joined AoPS in 2004. He is the author or a co-author of 4 AoPS textbooks. Dave earned the sole perfect score on the American High School Mathematics Examination (AHSME) in 1988 and was a USA Mathematical Olympiad winner that year. He attended the Research Science Institute (RSI) in 1987, and the Math Olympiad Summer Program in 1988, where he first met fellow student Richard Rusczyk. He also finished in the top 10 on the Putnam exam in 1991. Dave graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1992 with a BS in Mathematics/Computer Science and an MS in Mathematics. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT in 1997. He was an acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington from 1997 to 2001. Dave is originally from Western New York and is an alumnus of the SUNY Buffalo Gifted Math Program.
Paula is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy Lexington. She brings to the role many years’ experience as a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative, as well as being a founder and director of a summer theatre camp and the president and chair of several arts-related non-profit organizations. Additionally, she is a teacher, freelance writer, playwright, drama director, writing workshop facilitator, and baking coach. Her pieces have been published in a variety of venues, from parenting magazines, to newspapers, to online magazines, and have claimed first prize in writing contests. Her first play, A Fairy Tale Life? A Musical, with music co-written with Canadian folk artist, Nancy Beaudette, has been performed many times in Massachusetts. She is currently working on her second musical, Museum Follies, and her long-term project, a fictionalized account of a slave girl from Holden, MA. Most recently, she has revived her passion for singing and has been writing new songs. She is a graduate of Amherst College.
Miles is an Associate Director for AoPS Academy Lexington. He joined after thirteen years with AoPS Online, first as an assistant, then as an instructor. He's taught a wide variety of courses there, from pre-algebra to calculus. AoPS Online students unofficially elected him as teacher of the year for 2019. Miles was a top-25 scorer in the Putnam Exam, a MOP attendee, a four-time USAMO qualifier, a two-time ARML high scorer, and a contestant at MathCounts Nationals. He's published new proofs of Heron's formula and the law of cosines. His most interesting summer job was helping to run the Saudi Research Science Institute. Miles received a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in cello and math.
Ian is an Associate Director for AoPS Academy Lexington. He received his BS in mathematics and chemical engineering from MIT in 2014 and has been working in education since 2015. In high school, Ian competed in a variety of math competitions, scoring highly at competitions such as HMMT and PUMaC and qualifying for the USAMO four times. His team also finished in 4th place nationally in the 2010 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, a mathematical modeling competition. In his free time, Ian enjoys singing, reading sci-fi/fantasy novels, solving logic puzzles, and playing board games.
Celeste is the Administrative Coordinator for AoPS Academy Lexington. She has a passion for business and computers. Her studies include University of Massachusetts Lowell Manning School of Business where she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in mathematics - computer science. Celeste began her career in business at technology companies focusing on process and training and now has joined the education field. She entered the field first as a substitute teacher at the Nashoba School District and now as staff support to AoPS Academy Lexington. Her role as Administrative Coordinator at the Lexington Campus is helping continue its momentum. Celeste enjoys sharing with people and family all the joys and problems to solve in her life's journey.
Front Desk Associate
Jonathan is a Front Desk Associate for AoPS Academy Lexington. He is a senior at UMass Lowell, and will receive his undergraduate degree in Mathematics in May of 2023 at the age of 18. He intends to pursue a Masters in Education after completion of his Bachelor of Science. He likes to say that teaching is "in his blood" since both of his parents and two older sisters are teachers, and his grandfather was a physics professor at the University of Rochester. In addition to being a Front Desk Associate, he is also a Teaching Assistant at AoPS Academy Lexington. He enjoys a good joke, reading, and playing his electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard, and piano.
Front Desk Associate
Sabrina is a Front Desk Associate for AoPS Academy Lexington. She is an enthusiastic person with a passion for working alongside people. Her goal is to always be a friendly face that anyone can turn to in need of help. She strives to be the best at whatever tasks she’s handed, while also being neat and organized. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time painting and crocheting, while also learning how to cook new foods. She is always ready to meet new students and family, helping to bring the community a little closer.
Front Desk Associate
De’shia is a Front Desk Associate for AoPS Academy Lexington. She is a motivated and determined person who believes that hard work is not for appreciation, but for self-growth. She has many hobbies such as ordering Korean/Japanese snacks here to the US and trying those out almost three times a month, watching romance movies, and spending time with her family. De’shia Is currently attending Bryant and Stratton College, working toward her business degree with the goal of owning an online boutique. De’shia always strives to do her best at work and everything she does.
Front Desk Associate
Cynthia is a Front Desk Associate for AoPS Academy Lexington. Her educational background is predominantly in anthropology, and she has her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam, her master’s degree from the American University in Cairo, and has begun her Ph.D. studies in anthropology at Brandeis University. Cynthia enjoys traveling and meeting new people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. She has studied abroad and taught English as a foreign language in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. Cynthia’s other interests include yoga, belly dancing, reading, writing, and music. She is happy to join AoPS and looks forward to getting to know the students and families of this wonderful learning community.
Mazen has been teaching English and social studies for nearly a decade, and he is thrilled to be a part of AoPS. He graduated from American University of Beirut with a BA in linguistics and completed several graduate level linguistics courses. After college, he taught at an international school in Beirut, where he met middle school and high school students from all over the Middle East. He has extensive experience with the International Baccalaureate Program and has helped several graduating classes earn their IB diplomas and move on to higher education. He recently relocated to Boston and is currently completing a master’s degree in education at the University of Massachusetts. Mazen believes the classroom should be a place of dialogue and spirited debate. He encourages students to discuss authors’ messages and stylistic devices while trying to make meaningful connections between the works they read and their own lives. He constantly strives to help students collaborate to find their unique and creative voices, and to learn how to express themselves effectively. In his spare time, he enjoys biking, gaming, and writing comedy sketches. He is looking forward to meeting new students and learning from their unique perspectives.
Vera has a passion for teaching mathematics. As a special educator, she is always searching for different and new methods to enrich students with skills to become problem solvers. During the summer, Vera teaches her own math program where students can explore math board games from around the world to aid their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Vera has a master's degree in mathematics and a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She taught mathematics overseas for 4 years, and also knows multiple languages. Outside of teaching at AoPS Academy, Vera enjoys riding her bike with her family, and relaxing at the beach. Additionally, she likes to travel to other countries and discover other cultures.
G is a Boston native who recently graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in theatre education. G is an interdisciplinary artist and educator with passions for social justice and teaching. What excites them about teaching is that they get to bring these passions directly into their work as an educator. The medium of theatre already encourages collaboration, listening, and empathy and G emphasizes the importance of these traits in their classroom. When working with students one on one, G comes to notice and appreciate each student’s unique characteristics, which is why they do not treat all of their students the same. G always welcomes new ideas and suggestions to anything that is being covered in the classroom to offer students the opportunity to see their ideas in action. When they are not teaching, G enjoys reading, playmaking, or just chilling out and watching Netflix with their roommates.This is the end of the biography but not the person!
Dominick has several years of experience teaching and tutoring high schoolers and college students in math, science, and economics. He enjoys simplifying complex topics and enabling students to experience the joy of problem solving. Dominick received both his MS in analytics and BS in mathematics from North Carolina State University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Currently, he is a data scientist at a large telecom in Boston. Dominick is extraordinarily grateful to all of the math teachers who helped him hone his problem solving skills, and he enjoys passing on those skills to students. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and playing piano.
Growing up, Allison always loved puzzles and games and excelled in her mathematics classes. She majored in mathematics at the University of New Mexico, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. Not ready to stop learning mathematics, Allison moved from the Albuquerque desert to the rainy climate of Eugene, Oregon, where she earned a master’s degree and a PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Oregon. After graduating, she taught for several years at Indiana University South Bend before staying home with two kids who are both now off at college. While being a stay-at-home mom, Allison took a number of online courses, including microbiology, bioinformatics, computer programming, probability, data analysis, and machine learning. She is a big believer in lifelong learning! She enjoys sharing her passion for mathematical ideas with students eager to understand at a deeper level. When not learning new things and exploring cool topics with others, Allison enjoys hiking, gardening, watching gripping TV dramas, and doting on her two white kitties!
Dr. Thakshila Dissanayake
Thakshila received her doctoral degree in computational chemistry at Rutgers University, where she started her teaching career at the department of chemistry. Thakshila continued her postdoctoral studies in computational biophysics at Rutgers, conducting studies on enzyme catalysis using quantum mechanical and mathematical models. In addition, she took part in the e-learning project, involving in online teaching and implementing the General Chemistry eLearning System (GCeLS). Thakshila has a special love for chemistry and mathematics as she majored in both subjects to earn her B.Sc. degree. Also, she has been teaching and tutoring for over ten years from K-12 to college levels focusing on chemistry, mathematics, and coding. She enjoys working with her students, and she finds the most rewarding part of teaching is to witness the students’ “Aha!” moments. When she is not teaching, she loves baking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Jonathan’s journey with math began with his experiences in competitive math in middle school and high school. He participated in competitions such as ARML and USAMO, where AoPS proved to be a valuable resource for these years. Jonathan earned his BS in mathematics and statistics at the University of Florida and is currently an MS student in mathematics at Brandeis University. He has years of experience as a teaching assistant for undergraduates and private tutoring math of all levels from pre-algebra to calculus. He enjoys finding different ways to explain topics to help students understand complex topics. In his free time Jonathan enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and listening to new music.
Chris’ love for math began when he took Algebra 1 and his curiosity led him to browse calculus books three years too soon. Feeling eager to know what foreign symbols meant, he took calculus, often tutoring it to small groups and friends. He received his MS degree in mathematics from Tufts University where he focused on the three major cornerstones of contemporary mathematics: analysis, abstract algebra, and geometry/topology. Before Tufts, he completed his undergraduate education at Saint Anselm College, graduating magna cum laude with a honors BA in mathematics and classical languages. In college, he was also formally admitted as a special student to MIT where he took advantage of challenging abstract math lectures and attended the linguistics colloquia through the department of philosophy and linguistics. Since 2014, he has been a private math and SAT tutor in the greater Boston area, often tutoring multivariable calculus and linear algebra to high school students enrolled part-time at Harvard. When he’s not tutoring, he’s hiking, exercising, cooking new recipes, watching documentaries, or buying more plants he doesn’t have room for.
Asa graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where he majored in computer science and minored in discrete math and logic. He also worked as a teaching assistant, mostly for introductory programming and math classes and loved helping inquisitive underclassmen explore new subjects. The most accurate piece of feedback he received from a student said simply, "little kid." After graduating, he became a software engineer, known around the office for playing Tetris, pulling pranks, and sleeping under desks. He sometimes even wrote code. Feeling unfulfilled but remembering his passion for teaching, he left to join AoPS. He's usually found in his native habitat of rock climbing gyms, screaming for more power and playing Tetris between climbs. He can't tie a tie, but he can do a one-finger, one-arm pull-up, which isn't as useful, but at least it's cool.
Renee Gelin has been teaching and tutoring for over 21 years. She has taught math and science in both public and private schools and has tutored students ages 6 through adult. She has prepared students for tests including SAT, ACT, SSAT, GRE and LSAT, provided academic support in math, science, Spanish, and English, and has provided enrichment curriculum for private students of various ages. Renee has also been a research scientist, an attorney, and a published author. Reinventing herself throughout her life, Renee continually strives to be her highest self, to accomplish as much as she can, and to inspire others to do the same. She is the mother of three adult kids and two spoiled cats. In her spare time, she meditates, watches too much TV, and reads mysteries. Renee has learned to be grateful for unknown blessings already on their way.
Lindsay loves working with children and teens! She has a MEd in curriculum and instruction and a MFA in nonfiction writing. She has taught social studies to students in grades 7-12 and currently coaches gymnastics to athletes of all ages and ability levels. In addition to teaching she has a passion for writing and history. She loves being part of a writing community and looks forward to helping foster such a community in the classroom. She is fascinated by American history, and as a longtime resident of Concord, MA especially enjoys local history. She is descended from a Minuteman who fought the British in the first skirmish of the Revolutionary War in Lexington! In her free time Lindsay enjoys spending time with her two middle school-aged daughters, reading, walking in the woods of Concord with her pug Buffles, and playing guitar. Mostly she plays songs by her favorite band that you may have heard of: the Beatles. Lindsay is thrilled to apply her love of history, writing, ideas, and books to help students not just understand humanities content but also feel like they play an active role in the arts and society. Every voice is important and should be heard, and Lindsay looks forward to hearing yours.
Raymond grew up and attended school in New Hampshire, where he considered a career as a jazz guitarist before deciding to become an English teacher. He received a BA in English and a Master of Arts degree in teaching from the University of New Hampshire and taught writing to middle school students in the northern part of the state (near Canada!) for three years. Later, he moved to South Korea, where he taught English courses for gifted students and adults, as well as working at a high school that specializes in foreign languages. He is also a lover of literature (favorite author: Virginia Woolf), a writer (two-and-a-half novels under his belt), a musician (guitar, piano, flute), and an amateur foreign language enthusiast (primarily French and German). He believes that the most effective way to learn is by thinking hard and solving problems, either independently or collaboratively, and loves a good, healthy debate.
Casey’s love for math and science led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Rochester. After graduating, she moved to Boston to work in a research lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, studying how the brain changes as we age. While the research was fascinating, she realized a career in scientific research wasn’t for her. The creative aspects of teaching, her love of working with children, and her passion for equitable access to quality education, all played into her realizing teaching was the right path for her. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in elementary education at Boston College. Casey’s goal in teaching math is to show all students that they have mathematical brilliance inside of them and to draw out their intrinsic excitement for problem solving. In her free time, she loves spending time outside, especially during ski season!
Bowen has been writing math curriculum for nearly 20 years, with a focus on helping students learn higher-order thinking skills at the same time they are learning new content. He has been a lead writer on multiple published curricula for Grades 6-12, and is the author of an AMS book series. He has a BS in mathematics from Stanford University and a master's degree in teaching from Boston University. He scored in the top 10 on the USAMO and attended the Math Olympiad Program in 1990. He has been a mathematical advisor for over 20 game shows. He loves Slurpees and once won $1000 for knowing the number of degrees in a right angle.
Dave Neary graduated from University College Galway in 19(mutter mutter) with a B.Sc. in mathematics, and a love of competition math, which started when he attended some enrichment lectures in the local university in high school. After completing a post-graduate degree in engineering, Dave worked in the computer industry for 20 years, as a software engineer and consultant. He currently works in the Open Source Program Office at Red Hat, training software teams and helping customers get the most out of their work with open source communities. Dave’s family think he's crazy for doing AoPS problems in the evening for fun! Joining AoPS as a math instructor is a dream come true for Dave as he loves nothing more than passing on his enthusiasm for math to others. In fact, he really wishes something like AOPS existed when he was in school! Dave is a father of three boys, who are in middle school, high school, and university, and besides his home country of Ireland, he has lived in France for 14 years before moving to the Boston area in 2014.
Laura is a former AoPS student herself, and she loves sharing her passion for math with students and seeing them light up when they solve challenging problems or learn cool new concepts. She teaches at several other math enrichment programs in addition to AoPS, including the Berkeley and Cambridge Math Circles and Girls' Angle. She's also worked as a counselor at BEAM and Canada/USA Mathcamp. She has a BA in applied math from Harvard and has earned a master's degree in education. She also hopes to earn a graduate degree in math or statistics. When not doing math, she enjoys social dance, painting, logic puzzles, board games, and modular origami.
Dr. Andy Sanders
Andy completed his bachelor's degrees in mathematics and English literature at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. Immediately thereafter, he attended graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, and earned his PhD in mathematics in 2013. Consequently, he lived in Chicago for three years where he was an NSF post-doctoral fellow in mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, before moving to Germany where he spent four years as a post-doctoral research fellow at Heidelberg University. Andy loves sharing his joy for the beauty of mathematics with anyone who will listen, and is committed to fostering a fun and open atmosphere in the classroom. When not thinking about mathematics, Andy enjoys cooking, traveling, watching basketball, and electronic music production.
Emily earned her BA in English and Education from Providence College, where she was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education; she is currently earning her MA in English at Northeastern University. Her love of learning is what grounds her love of teaching, and the commitment to nurture an appreciation for learning in others, whatever it may look like for them, is what drives her as a teacher. Emily is a big believer that literature not only helps us build our critical thinking, analytical, and problem solving skills, but that it also helps us learn empathy for others and discover new things about ourselves. Emily is passionate about justice and equity in the world and in the classroom; kindness is her number one goal! In addition to being a total bookworm, Emily is a major movie lover and will always be down to talk about any of her favorite fictional universes, including the MCU, Harry Potter, ATLA, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars!
Dr. Molly Swanson
Molly entered the world of advanced math first through the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP) in 7th grade, and took three years of calculus by 11th grade. Ever since, she has been passionate about providing similar opportunities to talented students. She earned a BS in physics from Caltech and a PhD in astrophysics from MIT, and takes great joy in seeing the beauty of mathematics through the lens of applying it to the physical world. She spent 8 years teaching math and science at the Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay, where she involved students in many creative mathematical applications, such as building giant geometric sculptures, exploring the math behind perspective drawing methods, and developing innovative techniques and tools for celestial navigation. She is also involved in Destination Imagination (DI), a team-based creative problem solving competition, and has served as a team manager for many DI teams ranging from kindergarten through high school, including two teams that advanced to the Global Finals DI tournament. When she's not teaching math, you'll likely find Molly hiking through the woods, paddling on a lake, creating papercraft sculptures, or snuggling with her miniature dachshund, Mechagodzilla.
Lauren is thrilled to join the AoPS faculty having first been an AoPS parent. She received her BA in English literature and psychology from Smith College, and her JD from Boston University School of Law. After a twenty-year career as a trial attorney, she realized that her true passion is for teaching after discovering that there is nothing as fulfilling as watching a student’s “lightbulb moment.” Lauren has taught in Grades K-8 and everything from biology to AP Literature. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and differentiated learning, and loves working with students on interdisciplinary lessons. She also encourages independent inquiry – if there is an abiding interest, it is worth investigating. She loves demonstrating that there is no greater joy than the acquisition and sharing of knowledge. When not teaching, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and her two (almost grown-up) children. She is an avid speech and debate coach, theater-goer and book-lover, and looks forward to sharing these passions with her students.
Since graduating Dartmouth College, Ariel has explored passions for science research and education. While he has enjoyed his work at North Dakota State University and the Volcani Center on sustainable agriculture and plant-microbe interactions, he has found his most rewarding work has been with 11-13 year old students in mainstream classroom, special education, and supplemental religious school settings. Ariel enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and a good math puzzle. Ariel considers his greatest achievements to be "persuading" students to enjoy a subject they previously disliked. His favorite part of teaching is seeing the "lightbulb moment" when a child solves a problem they'd worked hard on. Ariel currently teaches 10th grade math at APR Public Charter School, and is working toward his Master in Effective Teaching degree through Sposato Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Huayu Xiong
Huayu’s curiosity of how life started on earth prompted her to pursue chemistry and earn her doctoral degree. She works in the biotech industry with colleagues in vast different fields and has provided training so that colleagues in different fields can communicate and work together on shared projects. She likes to see young kids grow into confident problem solvers through asking inquisitive questions and wrestling with challenging problems. Outside of her professional activities, she serves on the boards of Youth Counseling Connection, a non-profit group that provides mental health counseling services in Lexington and FOLMDADS (Friends of Lexington Music and Arts), a non-profit organization that supports arts and music education in the Lexington School District.
Rachel is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she earned a BA in mathematics and minored in computer science. She grew up with an immense love for puzzles, and carried this love into math and problem solving throughout her life. Having tutored elementary through high school students in math for 5 years, Rachel is passionate about teaching math in a way that is intuitive and visually engaging for each individual student she has. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the smiles on her students’ faces as they gain confidence in their own skills. Outside of teaching, she likes to spend her time filling her sketchbook, learning new languages, and figure skating.
Throughout her career, Jennifer has served as an ELA teacher, curriculum developer, academic mentor, and tutor for students in grades five through twelve. She taught middle-school English in Boston and Lexington and was a longtime faculty member at the Steppingstone Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving equity in education. Jennifer is also a writer and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She holds a BA in English from Bates College, an MAT in teaching English from Tufts University, and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. Jennifer’s other interests include hiking, yoga, dance, meditation, art and museums. She believes that every experience has something to teach us and enjoys guiding students on their own learning journeys. Jennifer is glad to join the AoPS community and looks forward to meeting students and families. Be sure to ask her what she’s reading – she loves to swap book recommendations!