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.
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.
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.
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Justin Paige Campus Director
Justin is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. His journey in mathematics began when he taught himself Algebra I in the summer of 1996. As a Joseph E. Pogue Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill, his love for solving deep, challenging problems led him to earn a degree in philosophy. Justin then joined Teach for America and began a career in education teaching elementary students in Miami, Florida. Returning to North Carolina, he transitioned to teach high school mathematics and earned a PRAXIS Award of Excellence along the way. When Justin is not coaching mathletes at AoPS, you can find him working on his grilling techniques, watching football or lacrosse, or browsing a calculus book.
Bobby d'Angelo Associate Director
Bobby is an Associate Director for AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. He holds a BS in mathematics and a BA in philosophy from Stony Brook University, and is pursuing a master's degree in STEM education from the American College of Education. He has been a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows and taught algebra and geometry, as well as engineering and robotics in the Bronx, New York, and later in Durham, North Carolina. Bobby's philosophy of education centers around empowering students to ask the right questions and to pinpoint their own misunderstanding by giving them the proper vocabulary tools. In his free time, Bobby enjoys recreational mathematics, hiking, piano, chess, and solving puzzles. He has been a competitive Rubik's Cube solver for 15 years, has held several state records, and is a staff member of the National Championships every year.
Emma Holt Associate Director
Emma is an Associate Director for AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. Her bachelor's degree is a double major in English literature and rhetoric and composition from the University of Texas at Austin. Her master's degree is in library science with a focus in archival management and digital imaging technology from the University of North Texas, and she is currently deciding the focus of her next degree. She specializes in rhetorical and compositional analysis, literary criticism, and philosophy. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, writing fiction, and recommending books none of her friends and family will end up reading.
Mary Mansfield Associate Director
Mary began her career in finance after gaining her bachelor’s degree in political science. She then earned her MBA with a focus in international business. After undertaking the biggest challenge and joy of her life, being a domestic manager, Mary earned her master's degree in teaching. She has taught in an elementary school setting for almost 20 years. Mary has taught all subjects, but truly enjoys teaching and engaging in mathematics. Finding new and innovative ways to challenge her students drives her passion for problem solving and real world application of learning. She has introduced gamification to bring her students’ math learning to the next level. Mary loves playing strategy board games with her family. They love to go to board gaming conventions all over the country. She is an empty nester who loves to take cooking lessons and crochet lessons via zoom with her children. She’s silly and finds joy in teaching.
Jalaja Koteeswaran Administrative Coordinator
Jalaja is the Administrative Coordinator for AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. With an education in electrical engineering and a decade-long experience in tax consulting, Jalaja’s search for challenging educational opportunities for her kids and a fun curriculum ended with AoPS. Her belief that the AoPS curriculum of problem solving is so distinctively structured to educate and increase children's confidence is what convinced her to be not only an AoPS parent, but also to be an ambassador for the program. She also volunteers in numerous community related events, Scottish-Rite Hospital and Frisco ISD’s Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) and Band Boosters. Besides taking care of a family of two daughters and a husband, Jalaja enjoys connecting with nature and doing math problems for fun.
Florence Allen Front Desk Associate
Florence Allen is an experienced administrative professional. She is driven to administrative and HR work by her passion for helping others and providing exceptional service. She has been working in administrative roles for almost 20 years, and has built many lasting relationships with customers and coworkers. She was educated at Ashford University, where she earned a master’s degree in human resource management, as well as University of Phoenix, where she earned a master’s degree in business administration. Most of her career has been in local and county government. Florence loves meeting new people, family, and travel.
Alexia Heath Front Desk Associate
Alexia Heath is a Front Desk Associate at the AoPS Academy located in Frisco, Texas. She received her MBA from Strayer University in 2015. She has over 18 years of customer service and problem solving experience, and is ready to greet you and your child with a smile. Her primary career is in healthcare, but she missed the interactions she shared with children during her time at the Boys and Girls Club and was ready to get back to that space. She's a Texas native and been in the DFW area for 9 years. She has two dogs, Sam and Lucky, that she loves dearly. Her hobbies include watching movies, attending local events, traveling, spending time with family, and exercising. She is ready to tackle any questions you may have.
Varshini Thyagarajan Front Desk Associate
Varshini is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in healthcare management. Her interest in healthcare management stems from her desire to improve the quality of care provided to patients in healthcare settings and to make a difference in her future career. Beyond her studies, Varshini has a passion for teaching and helping others, which comes from her experience as a K-12 tutor and caretaker, as well as volunteering at shelters and hospitals. Outside of her academic pursuits and employment, she enjoys playing volleyball, exploring new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family. Overall, she is very excited to join the AoPS family and is ready to take on any challenge!
Sruthi Vallabhajosyula Front Desk Associate
Sruthi is a driven high school student with a passion for both learning and educating. Her love for creative problem-solving and critical thinking prompted her to join AoPS Academy. She hopes, in the future, to study education or computer science. When she isn't studying or working, she is often found building and designing websites, volunteering, and perusing the shelves at the library. Outside of school and work, she enjoys creating (and playing) Roblox games, writing strange novels, and hanging out with friends.
Ethan Hao Math Teaching Assistant
Ethan Hao is currently a junior at Plano West Senior High School. His love for math and basketball started as a toddler and carried into grade school where he was introduced to math competitions. Since then, he has become a 3-time AIME qualifier and a MATHCOUNTS state qualifier. Ethan enjoys teaching and is the founder and president of a student tutoring club with over 100 members. His teaching approach focuses on helping students understand the process for solving problems and extrapolating these strategies to new problems. Outside of teaching, Ethan enjoys listening to music, playing basketball, and meeting up with friends.
Gautam Penna Math Teaching Assistant
Gautam is one who loves the idea of figuring things out, whether in mathematics or anything else. This prompted him to create his own non-profit, SOAR, which now serves over 3000+ students in the Plano-Dallas area in Texas. He is a high-school senior who is going to graduate in May 2023, and has helped change the way students learn together around the IB Program at Plano East. When Gautam is not swimming for the City of Plano Swimmers or woodworking as a hobby, you can find him at AoPS Academy, where he loves tutoring and mentoring kids in math. Outside of teaching at AoPS Academy, you can find him riding his bike around the neighborhood, lifeguarding at recreation centers or just hanging out with friends at malls.
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Jaime earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and her Master of Education degree in counseling from the University of North Texas. She worked as the assistant couples' director at The Gottman Institute in Seattle before deciding to move back to Texas to pursue teaching. She is passionate about instilling a love of literature in her students and works to make learning new concepts exciting and fun. When not teaching, you can find her reading a good book, traveling to new places with her family, or getting her favorite chocolate mix at Braum’s.
Martha earned a bachelor's of mathematics degree from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. She was the first person in her family to become a public education teacher and now others are following in her footsteps. She has taught and tutored math for over 15 years with Lewisville Independent School District. She is passionate about teaching her students problem solving skills. In her spare time, Martha enjoys gardening, hiking, working with charities, and spending time with her family and two rescue dogs.
Peter enjoys teaching his students how the math topics they’re learning get used every day in the real world. He has taught and tutored math for nearly fifteen years, including two years with the Peace Corps in East Africa, where he taught math and English at a community school on Mount Kenya. Peter earned his bachelor’s degree in math from Merrimack College. His passion is digging into the math behind games, puzzles, computer art, and Big Data. His most recent book, Math Adventures with Python, was published in January 2019 by No Starch Press.
Farley earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Juniata College in Pennsylvania and a master's degree in physics from SMU in Dallas. For the master's thesis, he did research in stellar astrophysics. He has taught or tutored physics and math in public and private schools for over 20 years, including three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji, which was his first teaching experience. He enjoys problem solving and making connections between mathematics and physics and other natural sciences. Outside of teaching, he enjoys sports, reading, and walking.
Brittany is a language arts instructor for AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. Her professional background includes serving as a communication manager, magazine editor, and freelance writer. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of North Texas, where she taught freshman English. In her free time, she listens to alternative rock music, reads and writes fiction, and walks her dog, who keeps her on a strict daily walking schedule.
Bob comes from a family of math nerds and met his wife at a calculus reform conference in the early 1990s. Bob holds BA and MS degrees in mathematics from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. He has worked as a math instructor, math department chairman, and principal at schools labeled as America’s public elites. Bob spends his spare time investigating brain research, working sudoku puzzles, examining motivational strategies, and problem-solving. He reads mostly non-fiction, follows Wired, Fast Company, and Sports Illustrated, and his favorite URL is Ted.com. An engaging topic of conversation for Bob would be about how things work.
Michael earned his BS in mathematics from Wayne State University and worked in risk management and quality management in the finance industry before becoming a high school math teacher. He finds teaching math to be a rewarding endeavor and enjoys showing his students the beautiful ways that math can describe reality. In his spare time, Michael enjoys hiking, camping, and running.
Tianbao enjoys teaching math to students and showing them how math can be leveraged in everyday life. He holds advanced degrees in math and computer science, and works as a statistician/data scientist, building models that help companies make decisions. In his spare time, Tianbao’s hobbies include listening to classical music, reading about science, math, and AI, and solving math competition problems.
Charles Hui likes to teach math to such an extent that he wants to hack into your brain to let you get every math idea. He believes math is a convenient tool to solve a lot of problems at a much faster rate and learning this requires tremendous stamina and training. Mr. Hui received his master’s degree in math from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. His hobbies include playing badminton and reading the Wall Street Journal to understand business models.
Arpitha's passion for problem solving led her to teach at AoPS academy. She earned bachelor's degrees in math and science and an MBA in finance from Osmania University, India and MS in computer science from California State University, East Bay. She has been working in the IT industry for several years. Arpitha loves analytical reasoning and problem solving. She likes to work with young minds to sharpen their mathematical reasoning skills and explore creative solutions which can bring millions of possibilities. Outside of work, Arpitha enjoys spending time with family, cooking, running and fashion designing.
Dr. Jinhee Kwon
Jinhee graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a doctoral degree in physics. Ever since she was an undergraduate student, she has worked with many kids as a private tutor. She also worked as an instructor of engineering physics lab classes at UT Austin and has experience helping and guiding other students from her time working as a research scientist at Rutgers University at UT Dallas. She has found that teaching young kids and interacting with those bright minds is more rewarding than anyone could imagine. She currently lives with her wonderful husband and two amazing sons in Frisco.
Aiyu Li is an accountant at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She has been teaching elementary school math for 8 years. She really enjoys helping her students learn math because she thinks math is the foundation of other sciences such as physics, computer science, chemistry, and biology. In her spare time, Aiyu loves reading and travel.
Mary Beth McKenna
Mary Beth is a language arts instructor at AoPS Academy Frisco/Plano. She is an avid reader and writer, and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Yale. After a long career in advertising, she spent the last few years writing a series of novels. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two teenage daughters, and an assortment of unruly pets. Mary Beth enjoys reading fiction and poetry, running, word puzzles (current favorite is Quordle), and trying to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
After obtaining her MS in physics from Oklahoma State University, Reema taught at various levels, ranging from MS to college for 12 years. She is currently pursuing her PhD in physics. Reema loves how math explains the working of the universe and is utilized to improve technology. She is passionate about learning, teaching, and gardening.
Mitzi earned her degree from Texas Tech University and just completed her 15th year in the classroom. She taught Reading for 5 years and has been teaching Integrated Language Arts for the last 10 years. Figuring out what motivates each student, understanding their needs, and watching them learn and grow is what she finds most rewarding. When not in the classroom, you can find her spending time with her 17-year old twins and attending their many extracurricular activities. She loves going out to eat, board games, and country music.
Natalie earned her BS in mathematics and computer science from the University of South Carolina Honors College. She has over 7 years of teaching experience, which started in high school where her first job was working as a math instructor at Mathnasium. She also founded a tutoring program at her local library and volunteered with the North Carolina Virtual Public School. She enjoys working with students, helping to nurture their curiosity and inspire a love for math. Her favorite moments are when students are excited to learn and ask really great questions. In her free time, Natalie loves to read and play with her cat Evie, who just turned three this year. She also enjoys volunteering at the art museum!
Hao began tutoring math as a student in college. Throughout all the changes in his life, the one constant has been teaching in the past 20+ years. He has grown to love teaching even more as he's honed his craft and seen students succeed in ways big and small. It is Hao's hope that he can impart knowledge and enthusiasm for learning to all his students here at AoPS, and to see each student grow and reach their full potential. When he is not teaching, Hao is probably on his laptop learning something new or building some piece of software. Of course, he can’t forget to mention his lovely daughter and wife, who bring him joy and laughter; you might catch them laughing and playing at parks and libraries on beautiful evenings. Hao loves music and dance, so if anyone loves to perform and needs an audience, he's as good as there if you give him some heads up.
Patrick's fascination with nature led him to get a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has been teaching and tutoring a variety of subjects between math, science, and language arts for a few years now. He will always be amazed by how far humanity has been able to decode the universe through education and is honored to contribute. Patrick loves music, art, and gaming, and his favorite Pokemon is Gengar.
Thomas is a lover of all things written because the strength of the written word communicates far beyond the author's sphere. Thomas holds a BS in finance from Tuskegee University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and an MA in literary studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Thomas transitioned from a successful career in sales and marketing to education in 2019. As a certified educator in the state of Texas, Thomas teaches Advanced Placement Literature, Independent Study & Mentorship, and continues to create authentic literature of his own. When not educating others, Thomas can be found at home with his wife, three children, dog, and more than likely working fervently in the family garden. Thomas's philosophy of teaching is simple: I teach because I have been taught.
Michael Salimitari is a 7th grade Language Arts teacher at Clark Middle School in Frisco, Texas. From an early age, his mother instilled in him an obsession with books and storytelling. Weekly trips to the library led him to try acting in plays, which he loved. In fact, he loved it so much, he decided to get his degree in acting from a drama school in New York. Upon leaving New York, he moved to San Diego, CA where he got a job as a resident teaching artist for a professional theatre company. This provided the opportunity to teach elementary, middle, and high school kids about all things theatre: Shakespeare, improv, voice lessons, monologues, scene study, etc. While he loved teaching theatre, he decided he wanted to switch to teaching English because of his love of reading and writing. Michael received his bachelor's degree in English education from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas and is accredited to teach anywhere in Texas. Aside from teaching, Michael loves going to the movies, writing short stories, and seeing stand-up comedy shows. He still takes frequent trips to the local library. Some things never change.
Judy earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas State University. After teaching 4th and 5th graders for 10 years, she returned to school to earn her master’s degree in library science. She now has her dream job as librarian to preschool through high school students at a local private school. She also tutors Chinese students to help them learn the English language. She finds joy in helping students grow into life-long readers and learners. She believes the book is always better than the movie. When she isn’t reading or teaching, you can find her bingeing on her favorite show, cooking new recipes, and knitting. She loves spending time with her husband and two college aged children.
David teaches AP Physics and AP Chemistry and chairs the science department at a local private school. He loves helping his students use math to understand the universe. David earned his BA in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, being outdoors with his wife and their two kids, and participating in anything sports-related—including refereeing local soccer games.
Charumathy started her career in the insurance industry in India as soon as she completed her bachelor's degree in commerce and accountancy. Subsequently, she gained her master's degree in English. While helping her kids with their schoolwork, she developed a passion for teaching, and math became her favorite subject. This led her to base her career on education specializing in math. She has taught for over 10 years in various private and public institutions. She strongly believes that learning is a continuous process and the desire to learn and grow should be instilled in a child's mind early on in life. She feels that it is important that children must understand and see the applications of math in real life. She loves to help children find patterns and stimulate their critical thinking skills in a fun, creative way.
Shanda earned a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She has taught language arts and reading for over 10 years, and is passionate about helping her students love language as much as she does. She is a total grammar nerd and has a huge passion for theatre, specifically musicals. In her free time she likes to spend time with her husband and three kids, and run marathons, while listening to Broadway showtunes.
Kaleb’s passion for mathematics encouraged him to earn his BS in mathematics at The University of Texas at Dallas in 2020. While tutoring students and completing coursework to become an educator, he also spent two seasons as an assistant cross country coach at his alma mater high school where he taught students the skills and dedication it takes to be successful in that sport. While teaching out in the field to complete specific coursework, Kaleb developed a love for teaching and especially enjoys instilling his passion for problem-solving in young learners to spark their own love of mathematics. Outside of teaching at AoPS Academy, Kaleb loves mountain biking, hiking, and eating delicious tacos on Taco Tuesday.
Jessica graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in education from Northeastern State University. She has been teaching elementary students for the past eight years and enjoys creating fun learning experiences for young minds. She has also been a tutor, dance team coach, and has been named teacher of the year. She is passionate about inspiring a love for learning while making her classroom a place where every student feels valued. Jessica loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.
Angela has four years of experience teaching mathematics. She has worked for Moorpark Unified School District teaching middle school math for two years, and has taught high school math online since 2020. So far, she has taught more than 2500 hours of pre-algebra, Number Sense Tricks, HS algebra, HS geometry, HS trigonometry, HS precalculus, and SAT/ACT math. She enjoys mathematics and is passionate about exploring deeper into this beautiful world with her students. She is dynamic, fun, loving, and interesting, but also serious and strict. Her particular skills are breaking down complicated problems into different steps and making them easy to solve. She can always find the steady stream of fun in math and looks forward to sharing what she has learned with her students!
Dr. Dongsheng Zhang
Dongsheng received his doctorate in physical chemistry from Purdue University. He has loved math since he was a kid and attended different math competitions from middle school through college. Working on math problems is one of his favorite activities. In his free time, he likes reading books, doing yard work, and playing with his children.