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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.


Directors

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Matt Hin

Matt Hin Campus Director

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and a master's degree in applied mathematics from Cornell University. Before coming to AoPS, Matt was a remote teacher and tutor, serving classrooms-in-need across the nation. He first heard of AoPS when he trained for the AMC and MAA Invitationals during his years as a mathete. Later as an educator, he grew to appreciate AoPS as the premier place to challenge and enrich his undergraduate students. Matt enjoys working with students to face challenges, overcome frustration, and grow as curious problem solvers. He hopes to create a community where individuals can experience and share their eureka moments with each other.

Sharon Ma

Sharon Ma Associate Director

From showing her friends how to fold little origami animals to helping at her mother’s Chinese school, Sharon has always had a love for teaching. Sharon graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in earth and space science and is absolutely in love with space and space travel. Being able to teach the starry-eyed students at AoPS and wow them on how numbers and mathematical concepts translate into literal rocket science tickles both Sharon’s love for teaching and space. She is delighted to meet future scientists and innovators who may someday reach beyond the stars. Sharon encourages curiosity and doesn’t shame mistakes; her heuristic approach demonstrates to students that making mistakes is just a part of problem solving!

Rachel Shine

Rachel Shine Associate Director

Rachel's love of reading led her to earn her study in Canterbury, England and earn her BA in English literature at the University of Illinois. She knew she loved working with students, so she earned her MA in teaching from National Louis University through the Academy for Urban School Leadership. She taught middle school and high school language arts in Chicago Public Schools and Seattle Public Schools for nearly 15 years. She served on the Museum of Pop Culture’s Teacher Advisory Board and earned the prestigious National Board Certification. She loves all the personalities and curiosity of students and believes the AoPS students have the most interesting perspectives! Her teaching style can be described as a “warm demander” - a balanced mix of strict, goofy, and encouraging.


Office Staff

Haley Lee

Haley Lee Administrative Coordinator

Haley pursued a bachelor's degree in English at the University of Washington and established a career there in higher education administration. She was drawn to AoPS by the opportunity to work within a smaller community, still based in education, and with a younger student population. Working with students is always an inspiration and a refreshing reminder to maintain curiosity and an open perspective when approaching any aspect of life.


Instructors

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Zak Kane

Zak Kane

Zak received his BS in physics from Northern Arizona University while facilitating adventure course programs high in the Arizona pine forests. He has taught high school math and university physics in both Arizona and Washington. For him, AoPS has delivered on its promise of providing highly-motivated students with an outstanding curriculum. Here, he believes, the students and teachers work together to discover and delight in the intellectual and creative joys of mathematics. Zak loves building a classroom where students can be themselves, share their passions, and investigate exactly that which excites them about math. He pledges to be patient, attentive, caring, and silly when required. He hopes you enjoy learning about math as much as he does.

Robert Lathrop

Robert Lathrop

After graduating from Central Washington University with a degree in teaching secondary mathematics in 2012, Robert has worked with various Monroe, Lake Stevens, and Snohomish School Districts as well as local tutoring and learning facilities. Throughout this time, he has taught several levels of math to a wide range of grade levels, developing extensive experience and expertise in the field. His love of teaching complex mathematical concepts and guiding students through problem-solving journeys naturally aligns with the Academy of Problem Solving's mission. He has a passion for making mathematics accessible and engaging, combined with his affinity for puzzles, brain teasers, and games, makes the Academy a perfect fit for teaching and other interests. Robert enjoys helping students understand and appreciate mathematics, whether it's basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, or advanced topics like trigonometry and calculus. He finds joy in sharing neat tricks and strategies to dial down the difficulty of problems that look harder. The greatest reward comes from seeing students put their best work forward to make progress until they finally succeed in their mathematical endeavors. His teaching style is focused on being a facilitator who guides students through the labyrinth of math concepts. They emphasize understanding and application, helping students conquer problem-solving challenges and fostering a sense of accomplishment. They blend traditional instruction with engaging activities, such as puzzles and games, to make learning both effective and enjoyable.

Hesen Peng

Hesen Peng

Dr. Peng holds a PhD in Biostatistics from Emory University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Fudan University. With extensive experience as a data scientist, he has worked at major tech firms including Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb. During high school, he won a first-class prize in the Chongqing Math Olympics in China. Dr. Peng was drawn to AoPS by the Beast Academy books. His oldest son was captivated by the book, and he was thoroughly impressed by how fun and engaging math education could be. It is fun to see how young minds perceive the world and incredibly fulfilling to witness their growth and development. Dr. Peng likes to engage with students, ensure their attention is fully captured during class, and encourage them to think deeply about problems from different angles.

Anitha Suresh

Anitha Suresh

Anitha completed her master's in teaching from Northwest University, Kirkland and works as a substitute teacher at the neighboring school districts. She also has a master's in counseling psychology from India where she worked at the neurological center for 1.5 years. Anitha entered AoPS with more than six years of experience working with students from preschool to middle school. She was drawn to AoPS for its enriching curriculum that sets high expectations for students and sets them up for success. In the classroom, Anitha loves to facilitate student learning and provide continuous support for their progress. She understands students come from different learning backgrounds with various interests and learning styles. Anitha's teaching methodology helps students build confidence, grow their love for learning, and sharpen their math as well as language arts skills.

Christine Waldron

Christine Waldron

Christine earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where she also minored in Religious Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She holds a WA State Secondary Teaching Credential in English with a focus on Reading. Christine taught English literature at a Catholic high school in Southern California, where she also served as the English Department Chair. She completed her Master's in Educational Leadership at California Lutheran University and earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the same institution in May 2023. Christine was originally drawn to AoPS because of how well the content is aligned with skills mastery and the support teachers/instructors would be given by the AoPS administrators. Christine's favorite part of working with students is seeing them grasp a new subject or concept. When students have that 'aha' moment, and begin to enjoy and connect with the material, she likes being able to facilitate that level of excitement and engagement with her students. After spending 10+ years in a classroom environment, Christine's teaching style has continued to evolve. She recognizes the importance of connecting and building a rapport with students to facilitate a deeper engagement and investment in the content. Christine recognizes the importance of classroom management so that all students can be successful, but also encourages group discussions and a learning environment that does not rely too heavily on direct instruction. The more students can engage with the content on their terms, the better.

Aihoon Yeo

Aihoon Yeo

Aihoon received her master's degree in communication studies in Singapore. She previously worked as a TV producer for many years and taught at various universities in Singapore. Aihoon enjoys the innovative and engaging curriculum offered at AoPS. Aihoon sees herself more as a facilitator in engaging students in collaborative learning. She recognizes that each student has something valuable to contribute to the class.

Our family regularly talks about AoPS. We try to think about how our life would be different without you all. What if my daughter hadn't learned to love math? What if she never experienced being pushed to her limits? Overcoming failure? She wouldn't be who she is. And she is AWESOME! A very proud mom here. We are so fortunate that we found AoPS Academy. I credit AoPS for much of her confidence.

Kelly B.,

AoPS Academy parent to 16-year-old engineering major at UW and future cancer researcher