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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

Glen Dawson is the National Director of AoPS Academy. In 2014, Glen founded a learning center in Morrisville, North Carolina, that two years later became the first AoPS Academy campus. 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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Sean Russom - Campus Director

Sean Russom - Campus Director

Sean is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy Santa Clara/Cupertino as well as the Area Director for the broader South Bay region. Before coming to California, he served as the Campus Director of Virginia’s AoPS Academy Vienna, where he also oversaw the Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Princeton, New Jersey campuses. An experienced teacher of gifted children, Sean has taught math at both the middle- and high-school levels, served as the coach of a successful MATHCOUNTS team, and designed the Algebra 1 curriculum for the high school where he used to teach in North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in math from UNC. In his spare time, Sean loves creating challenging math problems for his students.

Katrina Ayres - Associate Director

Katrina Ayres - Associate Director

Katrina is an Associate Director at AoPS Academy Santa Clara. She loves anything related to words, reading, or writing. She wrote her first poem at age 5 and created a classroom for her dolls and stuffed animals as a preschooler. As a middle school student, Katrina often read the dictionary for fun. Naturally, she became a teacher and author when she grew up. Katrina holds a Masters degree in education and teaching credentials in three states. She has published four books about classroom management for teachers. When Katrina isn't working, she loves to bicycle, play chess, and prowl her local library for new books.

Rebecca Sodervick - Associate Director

Rebecca Sodervick - Associate Director

Rebecca is an Associate Director at AoPS Academy Santa Clara and previously served in the same role at AoPS Academy Bellevue. She loves teaching math to students from elementary through college and once coached a state-qualifying MATHCOUNTS team. She holds an MS in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a BS in advanced mathematics from Michigan State University, where she supervised one of the math learning centers and spent her summers helping direct the math summer camp. Working with colleagues from universities in China, she also organized the Discovering America Exchange Program. For fun, Rebecca likes being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her playful dogs, Dexter and Jill.

Sampada Raghavendran

Sampada Raghavendran

Sampada is the Bay Area Outreach Manager for AoPS Academy. She was one of the first to join the company in Morrisville, North Carolina in 2014 and holds a Bachelor's in computer science from Bangalore University in India. Sampada has served on the executive boards of many non-profit organizations, including Pratham USA, (NC Chapter), the North South Foundation, and Sampige. She has three wonderful kids (who are also big AoPS fans) and moved to the Bay Area in July 2017. When she isn't telling everyone how wonderful AoPS is, Sampada loves to read, travel and spend time with her family.

Instructors

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Keith Ayres

Keith Ayres

Keith loves math! He earned his BS in elementary education from Western Oregon University in 1994 and holds teaching credentials in California and Oregon. He was named Coach of the Year in 2012 by Oregon’s Chess For Success and retired from classroom teaching in 2017. Currently, Keith works part time at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, where he gets to help children of all ages discover the joy of learning. When he isn’t teaching, Keith enjoys playing chess with his wife, exploring San Jose on his bicycle, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Dr. Zachi Baharav

Dr. Zachi Baharav

Dr. Baharav enjoys exploring new subjects with math students, and values emphasizing basic principles while also making time for reflection. He earned his PhD in electrical engineering from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and has worked as a researcher, manager, and CTO, as well as a high school teacher and a university professor. Dr. Baharav holds more than 30 US patents, has published over 40 scientific papers and book chapters, and is a distinguished lecturer and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Outside the classroom, he enjoys the outdoors, drawing, and running, and can often be found enjoying a game of chess.

Dr. Paul Du

Dr. Paul Du

Dr. Du has been teaching math to students from middle school through college for more than 15 years. He holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Ottawa and an MS in information and systems science from Carleton University. Dr. Du teaches math at De Anza College, tutors students in SAT math, and coaches competitors for the AMC 8/10/12. Outside the classroom, he enjoys hiking, swimming, and music.

Casey Dzuong

Casey Dzuong

Casey Dzuong has taught all levels of math from kindergarten to high school pre-calculus. As a math instructor, she enjoys working with students to dissect math problems and create algorithms for solving more complex problems that require higher levels of abstract thinking. The problem-solving strategies she has developed over the years have culminated in her book called 'Study Hacks,' which have helped students improve from D+ grades to earn A+'s and break from A- grade plateaus, landing students in platinum A+ territory. Casey holds a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Biology from the University of California, Irvine and completed her medical school coursework at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Drew Ellington

Drew Ellington

Drew holds a BS in mathematics from the University of Utah and an MS from the University of Michigan. He has taught math, physics, computer science to students from middle school through college and likes teaching with inquiry- and problem-based learning strategies. Outside the classroom, Drew deploys his mathematical interests in stochastics, machine learning, and statistical modeling as a business intelligence analyst. He enjoys playing guitar, drinking coffee, and spending lots of quality time with his girlfriend and their (very spoiled) dogs.

Mary Keonouphet

Mary Keonouphet

Math instructor Mary has been an educator for many years and has worked with primary, secondary, and post-secondary students both in the US and abroad. She focuses on math but has taught a range of other subjects. Mary holds a BA in psychology and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in statistics. When she isn’t studying or teaching, you can find her hiking, camping, and enjoying the outdoors!

Michael Nasti

Michael Nasti

Mike has been a contest prep and academic tutor for middle school through college math for the past eight years. He has a passion for teaching and extensive problem solving experience including qualifying for the USAMO and placing first in the Illinois State Math Team competition. He earned his degree in mathematics from UIUC in 2010 before moving to the Bay Area. In addition to math, Mike also enjoys cooking, fitness, West Coast Swing dancing, video games, and board games.

Lia Pratomo

Lia Pratomo

Lia Pratomo has taught all levels of math from grade 5 to Calculus. She loves teaching her students to master math concepts using a multiple solution approach. Before becoming a math teacher, Lia was a materials and technical engineer for Hewlett Packard, Wacker Chemical, and Nanyang Technological University. She has a Bachelor of Materials Engineering with Honours from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Lia is excited to be joining the AoPS team!

Michelle Sekuras

Michelle Sekuras

Language arts instructor Michelle loves watching creative younger learners play with words and build ideas. She holds degrees in history, religion, and law, and has taught students as young as five and as old as sixty. Michelle teaches writing and essay skills to elementary and high school students, which means she gets to use her background in communication, logic, and research and writing to help others hone their ideas. Outside the classroom, she loves cycling, hiking, kayaking, and listening to music.

Vivian Tran

Vivian Tran

Math instructor Vivian earned her BS in biochemistry and Master of Arts in Teaching from Santa Clara University and works as a high school chemistry teacher. Vivian got her start teaching back in her own high school days, when she started tutoring her peers in math and science. Outside the classroom, Vivian enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and trying out new bubble tea cafés.

Bill Zabor

Bill Zabor

Bill Zabor loves helping his students learn new concepts and overcome challenges. He has been teaching math for more than 15 years and tutors middle- and high-school students from across Santa Clara County. He is experienced in a wide range of math subjects, from algebra and geometry to trigonometry, calculus, and statistics. Bill holds a Master’s in electrical engineering from MIT and an MBA from UC Davis. Outside the classroom, he enjoys hiking, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

Joshua Zucker

Joshua Zucker

Math instructor Joshua Zucker first joined Art of Problem Solving's Online School in 2007. He was a member of the first US Physics Olympiad team, a top-10 scorer on the Putnam Competition, and a member of Team USA at the World Sudoku Championships. Joshua holds a BS in physics and an MS in mathematics from Stanford, as well as an MS in astrophysics from UC Berkeley. He has taught math to gifted elementary students as well as remedial courses at community college. A former problem writer for MATHCOUNTS and director of the Bay Area Mathematical Olympiad, Joshua also was the founding director of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival.

"One of the best decisions I ever made was to send my son to AoPS Academy for improving his math skills. The results are simply amazing! In addition to dramatically improving his math skills, my son also enjoys the social environment that the academy offers. Personally, I am very impressed with the quality of the entire staff (teaching and non-teaching alike). I would not hesitate to recommend AoPS Academy to any parent who is serious about developing their child's academic potential in a safe and stimulating environment."
-Kiran H.
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