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Our Team

Our Founders

Richard Rusczyk

Art 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 Dawson

In 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 Patrick

Dave 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.

Management Staff

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Chris Smith - Campus Director

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.

Lalitha Kameswaran - Associate Director

Lalitha Kameswaran - Associate Director

Lalitha is an Associate Director at AoPS Academy Pleasanton. After many years working professionally as an engineer, researcher and software developer, Lalitha discovered a love for teaching math. Her mathematics knowledge is deep rooted from the field of engineering sciences. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering and computer science in addition to an MA in education. She also has several years of experience teaching math at private and public high schools, and her teaching model is to facilitate learning in a student-centered classroom through inquiry-based lessons. In her free time, Lalitha enjoys gardening, traveling, and watching basketball and cricket.

Katherine Patterson - Associate Director

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 Raghavendran

Sampada Raghavendran

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.

Instructors

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Ruchi Arora

Ruchi Arora

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 Botea

Emma Botea

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.

Swarna Guntaka

Swarna Guntaka

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 Ionel

Eugene Ionel

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

Adam Kaddoura

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.)

Judi Klosek

Judi Klosek

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!

Andreas Mueller, PhD

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 Nair

Umesh Nair

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.

Saeed Sofla

Saeed Sofla

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.

Ghada Zakariya

Ghada Zakariya

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.

"General coaching classes at many academic training centers stress repetition of the concept until a student grasps it thoroughly. At AoPS Academy, they go far beyond repetition. Their highly qualified instructors do a great job at teaching fundamental concepts to students at much greater depth, and challenge them to walk that extra mile by presenting them with more complex problems to solve. It provides a great learning experience in a friendly, fun, yet competitive and challenging environment. They provide their students with a combination of excellent instructional curriculum along with amazing online tools. AoPS Academy also encourages students to take part in various competitions. Overall they do an incredible job imparting a deep knowledge of both math and language arts to all of their students, and AoPS Academy sets them on a path towards their career goals. We are happy to be part of AoPS Academy family!"
-Sandeep J.
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