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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.
Chris Smith - Campus Director
Chris is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy Pleasanton. He has a passion for increasing and diversifying the pipeline of students who call mathematics and science their favorite subjects. Chris received his BS in chemical engineering from Stanford University and MBA in quantitative finance from New York University. In the last decade, he has led math enrichment programs with elementary, middle and high school students in Philadelphia, New Brunswick, and Miami. Chris loves exploring challenging math with young learners because it equips them with the skills and mindsets of lifelong learners. Before joining AoPS and returning to the Bay Area, Chris spent time as a biologics engineer and master problem solving teacher/coach. When he is not teaching math, Chris enjoys listening to all types of music and is an avid soccer fan.
Katherine Patterson - Associate Director
Katie is an Associate Director at AoPS Academy Pleasanton. She recently moved to California from Indiana. In Indiana, Katie taught Language Arts to 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students. In addition to a bachelor's degree in teaching English language arts, she is also pursuing a master's degree in public school administration from Ball State University. Katie is most familiar working with middle school students, but she also has experience working with grade school, high school, and college students as well. Katie has written and self-published two novels. When she is not teaching, reading, or writing, she loves to ball room dance with her husband, Brandon, and talk endlessly about her dog, Nova.
Sampada is the Bay Area Outreach Manager. She was one of the first few employees who joined AoPS Academy in 2014 in Morrisville, North Carolina and holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from Bangalore University, India. She served on the Executive Boards of many non-profit organizations such as Pratham USA (NC-Chapter), North South Foundation in NC, Sampige Association in NC, etc. She has three wonderful kids who are big AoPS fans/students and moved to the Bay Area in July 2017. She is currently managing outreach & sales for the Bay Area campuses. She loves to read, travel and spend time with the family.
Ruchi’s passion for teaching mathematics led her to teach at AoPS Academy so she could work around kids and enjoy problem solving. She has a Master’s degree in engineering from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, India and is currently working at Hitachi as a Data Architect & BI Analyst. She has over 10 years of teaching experience from her time in India where she worked as a professor at her college. Ruchi has two beautiful daughters. Working with them and their friends has helped her understand the challenges a young mind can have in solving problems. Outside of work, she loves to read, go for walks, and play Scrabble. Her favorite foods are anything chocolate!
Emma (Minuta) Botea is very excited to be part of AoPS Academy. She is passionate about teaching and loves working with students of all ages. She is originally from Romania, but she has lived in the U.S. for almost eighteen years. She has been working at different colleges, language schools, and private schools in the Bay Area. Emma earned her BA and MA degrees in English in California, and she has been teaching English and ESL for over fifteen years. Her teaching philosophy is that all children are unique and must have a stimulating environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. In her free time, she goes to the theater, ballet shows, or the symphony, and loves to go on hikes by herself and with friends.
Andrea joined AoPS in 2020 and has a B.A. in English from CSUEB. Her love for teaching began when she volunteered in a reading buddies and summer reading challenge program. Before AoPS, she spent about two years teaching writing and ELA comprehension to elementary and middle school aged students--she loves working with students of all ages! Andrea strongly believes in inviting students to bring their experience, culture, and other funds of knowledge as a means of community building and creating better learning environments in the classroom. Most recently, she is working on getting her master’s in education and teaching credential at UCB. When she isn’t studying, Andrea enjoys reading, hiking, and trying new cooking recipes.
Swarna is passionate about teaching and loves helping young learners discover the joy of math. She focuses on helping her students learn to think analytically and develop problem-solving skills. Swarna has helped many of her students succeed in math competitions. She holds a Bachelor’s in electronics and telecommunications from India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Outside the classroom, Swarna loves going on road trips and watching movies and she also has a talent for decorating for parties.
Eugene has been teaching for over 20 years and loves working with gifted students in math and physics. He holds an MS in applied mechanics from Moscow Civil Engineering Institute as well as an MS in applied math from San Jose State University. Eugene teaches math at the College of San Mateo and is passionate about helping his students understand concepts and gain problem-solving skills. Outside the classroom, he enjoys listening to math and physics lectures, reading about world history, and ice skating.
Adam Kaddoura is a writer, educator, and gardener who spends most of his time at home with his baby daughter. His experience includes teaching middle school and attending the Mills Graduate School of Education. Deep down, he hopes he is the writer of the next great novel but in the meantime is enthusiastic to show others the ways of the written word. He loves working in small groups where collaboration is key, and is always reading old history books, modern novels, and baby books (that last one isn’t by choice.)
Rathi strongly believes that mathematics is never fully understood until it is applied to solve day to day problems. She has been keen on having her son build problem solving skills early on. The AoPS curriculum and its cartoon-based guide was the ‘aha’ moment. It was time to show her flair for math and make sure her son and other young kids get the AoPS approach to problem solving. Rathi has an engineering background and has spent more than a decade in software companies. She enjoys telling stories to her sons and going for long walks.
Judi’s passion for decades has been to make teaching a fun and interactive learning experience for all students. She focuses on teaching English, writing, communication, and analytical skills and has taught almost every grade level, including adults in corporate America. Her real joy and personal reward is seeing students develop and tap into their individual creative abilities and talents. In addition to long-term teaching experience, she has a strong academic background with undergraduate, graduate, and law school degrees. She believes learning should be fun!
Dr. William Lam
William strives to teach problem solving strategies and solution insights by guiding students in tackling challenging math and physics problems. He believes learning to think is far more important than solving problems, but solving problems can help develop thinking capability if the right aspects of the process are highlighted. Through a national competition in math, science, and engineering, William won a Hertz Foundation fellowship for his graduate study and received the best PhD thesis award from EECS department at UC Berkeley. In high school, he was awarded prizes in math and physics competitions. Outside of study, he competed for his colleges in squash and badminton.
Kunal has enjoyed Math ever since elementary school in India and won several math competitions from grades 5-10. He earned his Bachelor’s of Technology in computer science from IIT Delhi and has an MBA in Analytical Finance & Economics from the University of Chicago. In over 20 years of professional experience as a technology consultant, software engineer, structured credit trader and, most recently, as a business leader at tech startups, Kunal has extensively applied mathematical concepts such as time-value, induction, statistics, probability, and Monte Carlo simulations.Kunal enjoys engaging with children in and outside the classroom. He has led and taught a middle-school summer camp in Palo Alto focusing on math and cryptography and is also a substitute teacher in the Pleasanton school district. Beyond the classroom, Kunal enjoys spending time with his 2 sons and has coached his son’s team in their baseball, soccer and cricket leagues.
Michael received his undergraduate degree in chemistry & physics at Harvard and a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford. His love for math and science dates back to his childhood in the Bay Area, and he thrives on sparking and developing that same enthusiasm and drive for problem-solving that inspired his own academic pursuits. He launched his professional career in computer graphics animation, working as a Technical Director, Engineer, and Technical Trainer. Michael has over 10 years of experience teaching in corporate, university, and K-12 schools settings, plus another decade of experience as a private tutor and academic coach. In his spare time, he enjoys family outings and coordinating the Math Kangaroo competition at his kids’ elementary school.
Andreas Mueller, PhD
Andreas has three decades of experience helping students sharpen their mathematical reasoning skills from middle school through college. He loves helping learners explore creative solutions to challenging problems is especially proud that several of his students have gone on to attend Ivy League schools and other top institutions. Andreas holds an MS in algebraic geometry from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and an interdisciplinary PhD blending math, computer science, and physics from the University of Munich. He has taught and conducted research in Europe as well as in California. In his spare time, Andreas enjoys hiking in the beautiful outdoors.
Umesh holds a master’s degree in engineering and has been a software engineer for over 27 years, working in companies like Google, Workday and Mentor Graphics. He has extensive experience teaching computer science to adults. He has also taught middle school math, chess, and computer programming. He was the coach of the winning chess team in the scholastic division of the US West Amateur Team Chess Championship in 2014. Umesh loves to talk math with kids in a way that helps them understand the core concepts without memorizing too many things. He also likes to illustrate different ways to solve the same problem.Outside his work and teaching, Umesh writes essays and poetry in three languages, does research in ancient Indian mathematics, and maintains a blog and YouTube channel in his native language, Malayalam.
Dr. Anqi Shao
Anqi has been teaching math for almost 10 years. He found out that teaching is a unique way to both offer your insight to help students and a chance to look at things you are already familiar with in a totally different perspective. He believes that the learning process is never meant to be a straight line. A good habit of learning and thinking benefits the student during their lifetime. Anqi earned his master’s degree in statistics and his PhD in financial mathematics in University of Florida. In his free time, Anqi likes to play basketball, guitar, violin, and an ancient Chinese chess game named Go (Yep, the go in AlphaGo), reading, travelling, skateboarding, and eating LOTS of Chinese buns.
Dr. Anna Shustrova
Anna loves problem solving and can be absorbed for hours on end by a good problem. She has a PhD in math from UC San Diego and a BA in applied math from UC Berkeley. Anna has taught math at the university and community college levels, as well as tutoring high school students. She has three children and enjoys working on creative projects with them, including math and logic puzzles.
Saeed earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and software engineering. He worked as a systems engineer for the US Army, BAE Systems and NASA Space Station projects. Since his graduation, he has been teaching mathematics in several colleges as part time instructor. In his free time, Saeed likes to work out and go camping and fishing.
Jaya loves problem solving. Whether it’s puzzles, a tricky math problem or a strategy game, she is always up for the challenge! She holds a Bachelor’s in engineering from BITS Pilani, India and worked as a software engineer. After moving to the Bay Area, Jaya has been helping her children prepare for math competitions. She believes in building strong foundations to equip her students to become creative problem solvers and lifelong learners. Outside of math, Jaya enjoys cooking, spending time with her daughters, and getting creative with DIY projects!
Ramaswamy (Rama) Venkateshwaran holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and worked as a software engineer at Qualcomm for almost 20 years. He then turned to entrepreneurship as a co-founder of Infinilytics, a startup in the machine learning and data analytics space. Rama really enjoys teaching and has had various stints teaching both kids and adults. He worked as a teaching assistant while earning his master’s degree, teaching a C programming class and an electrical engineering lab. While at San Diego, he was a coach at Dharma Center teaching mindfulness and meditation practices to adults. He also volunteers at Shiva-Vishnu temple in Livermore, teaching Sanskrit and yoga to kids. Outside of work, Rama enjoys doing yoga and hiking out in the woods with his family whenever he finds time.
Kevin has had the pleasure of being a rocket scientist, a national laboratory research engineer, a touring musician, a teacher, and a tutor. Helping others with mathematics has been a constant through it all. This desire to help as many people as possible led him to collaborating with Google on the Socratic App which now serves over 10 million students.While on summer break from Head Royce, where he has taught calculus, physics and geometry, Kevin wishes to share his love for math through the AoPS program. Kevin has worked with students of all ages, but specifically, he enjoys working with middle to high school students as they are curious, motivated, and typically unafraid to ask questions. While not touring as much as he used to, Kevin still plays drums and enjoys jamming out with his 4-year-old daughter.
Ghada is very excited to join the wonderful team at AoPS Academy. She has 14 years of experience teaching different math levels up to undergraduate students in both the Middle East and at Las Positas College. Ghada teaches math at different learning centers: Mathnasium, MathSeed and RISU USA. Her main goal is to make kids enjoy learning math and ultimately help them excel in the material. Ghada is an enthusiastic, patient, and dedicated teacher who likes to convey her knowledge to all students and watch their improvements day after day. In her leisure time, Ghada enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and son.
Chuanling has been working in mathematics and education since 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and applied mathematics and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. She used to be an editor with a special focus on math textbooks and has also played multiple roles as a STEM curriculum designer and robotics teacher. Her proudest achievement of being a teacher is that she has managed and coached multiple teams to the Wonder Workshop Robotics Competition since 2017. As a well-equipped teacher, Chuanling knows how to make math fun and always helps kids develop their problem-solving skills. Outside of work, she loves to read and cook.