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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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Jenna Hyary

Jenna Hyary Campus Director

Jenna currently serves as the Campus Director at AoPS Academy Irvine. Prior to this role, she held the position of Senior Associate Director at the AoPS Academy Carmel Valley campus. With over a decade of experience in education, Jenna has taught in diverse settings and grade levels across the country; including Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and California. From the beginning, Jenna was drawn to AoPS for its unique curriculum and culture. She began her AoPS journey as a teacher in 2021, and immediately fell in love with the growth mindset embraced by both students and staff. Jenna loves challenging her students and fostering their love for learning! She finds it incredibly rewarding when students approach a difficult problem with confidence and excitement.

Briana Giarretto

Briana Giarretto Associate Director

Briana is an enthusiastic and skilled educator with over fifteen years of experience working with pre-school to college-aged students. She completed her undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of California, Irvine, which allowed her to obtain a master’s degree in teaching, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Certificate in After School Education. Briana has worked at schools in Northern California, New Zealand, and Southern California. She began working at the AoPS Academy Irvine campus when it first opened in the fall of 2022. She was initially drawn to the exciting and engaging curriculum and contemporary teaching approaches that AoPS offers. She loves working at AoPS Academy Irvine, as she gets to work with insightful and tenacious students, who can share their ideas and learn from each other. She feels joy watching her students grow, succeed, and excel. Briana's teaching style is focused on inquiry-based learning, where she acts as a facilitator for classroom discussions by utilizing questioning strategies to promote critical thinking skills and various problem solving strategies. She is a caring teacher, who aims to nurture her students' interests and full potential.


Office Staff

Alicia Martinez

Alicia Martinez Administrative Coordinator

Alicia graduated in 2014 from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor's degree in communication, and has since held administrative positions. Her love of watching her nieces’ and nephews’ minds grow made her pivot into the educational field. Since starting as a Front Desk Associate with AoPS Irvine, she became fascinated by the curriculum and AoPS teaching technique. Alicia enjoys watching students' excitement for learning and being part of an educational system in which she will have a positive impact on a student’s educational career.

Riya Kulkarni

Riya Kulkarni Front Desk Associate

Riya is currently a first-year college student attending University of California, Irvine, on her way to obtaining a double major in psychological science and business administration while also in the Campuswide Honors Collegium. She has worked with AoPS for over 2 years, at both the Santa Clara and Irvine locations. She was drawn to AoPS in high school when she discovered the ability she could obtain in reaching out to parents and others about allowing their students to attend an academy that would help them find their potential and push past it. Riya loves that her impact in AoPS is possibly helping students find their way to something they enjoy past what their schools can provide for them. Along with this, they are able to build a new community of friends and peers who are in the same boat as them!

Jay Nuwell

Jay Nuwell Front Desk Associate

Jay focuses a good chunk of his time to film, specifically writing, as shown with his BA in film from CSULB. He was with the Newport Beach Film Festival as Shorts Film Programmer and Screeners Coordinator. AoPS has a storytelling program and their original designs for their characters are interesting. A sight to witness is a student's joy when they learn new knowledge.

Suzzette Panduro

Suzzette Panduro Front Desk Associate

Suzzette has spent a lot of time in the fields of math, education, and even music. Upon graduation from high school, her journey at CSUF began, and is currently still in progress. Despite wanting to be a music major, she decided that math would have a more practical trajectory. She has spent many years since then working in various tutoring roles and was drawn to AoPS’ front desk role as it would give her experience both in an educational setting as well as a front desk setting. The most exciting part about being in education, in her opinion, is also one of the most universal parts — the aha moment, when a student finally grasps something they’ve been grappling with. She’s seen it happen while helping with music as section leader, while doing service learning in a math classroom, and even when she attends her own classes as a math major at CSUF.

Wissam Wahbe

Wissam Wahbe Front Desk Associate

Wissam is an undergraduate student pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer science over at California State University of Long Beach. He was drawn to AoPS due to his love for education that was introduced to him by his mother who is a teacher. Wissam just enjoys being able to talk to the students to hear how their days went and what they learned in their classes.

Minseo Choi

Minseo Choi Math Teaching Assistant

Minseo is a junior at Beckman High School who loves math. She has been tutoring elementary students in math for 2 years. She was drawn to AoPS not only because AoPS Online helped her prepare for math competitions in the past, but also because she loves how enthusiastic the kids are and how they challenge themselves. Minseo loves to see how students learn and grow both academically and personally. Working with students who are full of curiosity and positivity makes her smile every day.

Ella Kim

Ella Kim Math Teaching Assistant

Ella will be a junior at Canyon High School. She loves STEM (especially math, biology, and chemistry) and has taught math and art to elementary school students and tutored high school students in chemistry prior to AoPS. She is excited to be a part of a program that challenges students in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. Ella loves watching students light up when they figure out the solution to a tough problem.

Siddh Ranawat

Siddh Ranawat Math Teaching Assistant

Siddh will be attending UCLA in the fall as an undergraduate student studying biology. What drew him to AoPS was the focus on true problem solving, not meticulous computation and reputation. Real learning comes from critical thinking and not just copying steps you have seen before, and AoPS really embodies this idea throughout their curriculum. He loves being able to explain new concepts to students and seeing them apply those concepts in ways they have never thought of before. He is excited to help students along their educational journey!

Chanoo Yoon

Chanoo Yoon Math Teaching Assistant

Chanoo is a student at Portola High School. He was drawn to AoPS because he likes how AoPS thinks of learning; it should be student-driven, thought-provoking, and most importantly fun. He loves encouraging students to work on challenging problems and helping them to develop their skills. He loves seeing his students develop their skills and enjoy what they do. When he teaches, he likes to help his students do as much thinking and problem-solving as possible.

Ava Saucedo

Ava Saucedo Language Arts Teaching Assistant

Ava is currently a student at Woodbridge High School in Irvine with current aspirations to study engineering in college. Throughout her life, Ava has strived to create a more inclusive and supportive environment in Irvine, and the AoPS academy does just that. Ava loves working with students and helping them to grow, she believes every student has potential, and she hopes that with her help, they will reach it!


Instructors

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Dana Martin

Dana Martin Senior Instructor

Miss Martin graduated from California State Long Beach with a bachelor's degree in science in pure mathematics. Upon graduating, she taught 5th and 6th grade math at Acaciawood Preparatory Academy for two years. Miss Martin will receive her single subject teaching credential in secondary math from Cal State Fullerton next month, May 2024. What drew Miss Martin to AoPS is it's ability to provide students with the learning environment to explore difficult concepts in a fun and engaging way. What Miss Martin loves most about working with students is being part of their learning journey and seeing their academic growth over time. Miss Martin would describe her teaching style as approachable and student-centered.

Cara Guggino

Cara Guggino

Cara attended the University of Delaware before receiving her master's degree and teaching credential from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona. AoPS' creative Beasts, unique teaching format, and class curricula drew Cara to its program. Cara loves breaking down larger, challenging concepts into smaller, manageable chunks for her students and enjoys creating a student-centered classroom. Cara's teaching style encourages student inquiry and collaboration in the classroom.

Hannah Hashemi

Hannah Hashemi

Hannah's educational background is a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in fiction writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Child and Family Social Work at the University of Southern California. She wants to devote her career to helping children reach their potential and succeed in their lives. Other than her work at AoPS, she has a background in tutoring K-12 Students, teaching fiction writing, SAT English tutoring, college essay counseling, and peer counseling. Her passion for working with children and language arts drew her to AoPS as she loves to inspire and challenge children to learn and reach their potential academically. Her teaching style is empathetic, yet firm, as she has high expectations for her students but is understanding if they fall short and helps meet them where they are academically to reach standards. If a student falls short, she does her best to meet with them during class or office hours to help them catch up and succeed with the rest of their peers. She uses a balance of empathy and high expectations for her students to help them succeed to reach their highest potential. What she loves most about working with her students is seeing them persist through difficulty, find confidence in their ability to perform academically, and have a stead-fast passion for the subject by the end of the academic year.

Masha Karbovskaya

Masha Karbovskaya

Masha is a versatile educator with a strong background in mathematics and economics, holding master's degrees from Moscow State University and the New Economic School in Moscow. After a successful career as an IT and business analyst at Accenture, she has taken on various roles, teaching English to adults and young children, as well as working as a math teacher and Montessori teacher in multiple schools in Upstate NY and Irvine. She came across AoPS while searching for a strong math curriculum for her children and was amazed by its comprehensive and multifaceted approach, which aligned perfectly with Masha's own passion for math and her desire to provide her children with the best possible math education. Working with children brings Masha immense joy and fulfillment because of their boundless energy, creativity, and curiosity. By sharing her excitement for math and building strong relationships with her students, Masha not only fosters a love for the subject but also helps her students feel comfortable and confident in their learning journey.

Joshua Kuschner

Joshua Kuschner

Josh completed his Bachelor's degree in computer science from UCSD in 2022. While in college, he worked as a math and science instructor for a tutoring company called MeriEducation where he primarily did one on one tutoring with students that wanted some extra help for their classes in school or studying for the SAT/ACT. After graduating, Josh worked as a software developer for Moebius Solutions based in San Diego. Josh's passion for teaching and learning prompted him to look for more opportunities to exercise these passions until he eventually found AoPS Academy. Josh loves being able to see the growth and success of the students that he works with especially when they are able to cultivate their own love for learning. Josh likes to use practice problems as the main method for teaching concepts, since students can learn by doing. When approaching a new topic, he will briefly explain the methodologies and then dive into problems where students can get their own experience while still having guidance.

Danny Lau

Danny Lau

Danny discovered his passion for tutoring math when his fifth grade teacher asked him to show his classmates how to solve a challenging problem. After a 20-year career as a software engineer, he has come full circle in his current position as a full-time tutor preparing students for math competitions and their math and computer science classes. A student that he tutored many years ago introduced him to AoPS. Danny was drawn to AoPS by the appealing curriculum. It contains a deeper coverage of the concepts and problems that are more challenging than those in a typical school setting. As a result, it provides students with a much better understanding of the topics and allows them to apply their knowledge to a larger variety of problems. Teaching at AoPS Academy gives him the opportunity to work with advanced and highly motivated students who are very interested about what they are learning. Danny loves seeing students learn a new concept and be able to use their skills in solving difficult problems is very rewarding. He finds it very gratifying to make a positive impact on their education. Danny is periodically learning new techniques to solving problems by actively engaging with his students to understand their strategies. When Danny teaches a new topic, he shows his students not just how but also why it works. He also introduces real-life examples in which the concept can be applied to pique the interest of the students. During the lessons and in-class work, Danny gets all of his students involved by having them explain how they solved a particular problem in order to give them confidence and satisfaction that their feedback benefits themselves and the other students in the class.

William Lin

William Lin

William earned dual bachelor's degrees in mathematics and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and a master's degree in education from Loyola Marymount University in 2007. He has been working in schools as a teacher and administrator (i.e. dean, assistant principal, and principal) at the middle and high school levels since 2005. His former students have competed at the highest levels at the MathCounts and American Math Competition competitions. At AoPS, he saw like minded instructors who wanted to cultivate authentic problem solving. He loves cultivating in students a growth mindset and a genuine love for mathematical problem solving. When his students completed their letter of recommendation for the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching, they wrote the following: "He exposed us to the types of mathematics that we could truly struggle with and enjoy, as opposed to the quite repetitive and routine problems we had been going through at school."

Maximillion Maxwell

Maximillion Maxwell

Max received his bachelor's in applied physics from University of California, Irvine after researching project-based learning within physics and math education. He has spent over 8 years teaching math and physics to students of all ages and levels making use of his ability to explain complex topics simply. Max became an AoPS teacher because of his passion for math and physics, desiring to help others come to understand and love the math behind how the world we live in works. He strives to help students learn how to go from frustrated to confident, while having fun along the way. Max keeps the classroom lively with consistent discussion, jokes with students, and a focus on connecting what they're learning in class to interesting facts and problems in the real world.

Alfredo Pascua

Alfredo Pascua

Puzzles and math go hand-in-hand, as Alfredo discovered at an early age. Alfredo graduated from the University of California, Irvine under pure mathematics, where he learned of his love of teaching. He moved over to Mathnasium, then onto AoPS, where he can share his passion with students. Alfredo loves sharing the joys in math and showing all the weirdness involved in numbers and functions. His teaching style is student-focused, allowing them to solve the problems rather than leading them, like giving hints to a difficult puzzle.

Sanja Petrovic

Sanja Petrovic

Sanja is thrilled to share her passion for mathematics with young, eager minds. Her journey began in a program similar to AoPS, where she honed a strong mathematical foundation and built lasting friendships. Spanning various fields including finance, neuroscience, operations research, and computer science, her career has always been anchored in mathematics. Sanja's love for the subject drives her commitment to inspiring and nurturing a similar passion in her students at AoPS. She strives to engage students in critical thinking, collaboration, and continuous communication through active participation. Sanja has a knack for piquing students' interest with real-life examples and historical anecdotes of mathematical discoveries, fostering a deeper appreciation for the subject.

Danjoseph Quijada

Danjoseph Quijada

Dan's deep love for mathematics spans his whole life. When he was not busy going the extra mile with his studies or partaking in math competitions, he shared his enthusiasm for the subject through problem solving clubs and tutoring. He later earned his Bachelor of Science and doctorate in mathematics, having done academic research in enumerative algebra and combinatorics. Dan is especially fond of resonating with those who have just as much fun with math as he does, and he finds it thrilling to encounter promising young minds who would be eager and receptive enough to dive deeper into the subject with him.

Jerry Reyes

Jerry Reyes

Mr. Reyes is a mathematics engineer from Ecuador. He thinks that mathematics is more than getting a correct result, but it is about thinking, analyzing, and understanding every step taken in a solution process. AoPS Academy’s methodology aligns with his idea of how mathematics should be learned, making the students develop solutions with a little guide from the tutor — this is why he joined the AoPS team after working for several academies in the United States and also in Ecuador. He believes that every student is unique, with unique talents, which have to be exploited the most, and if math is one of those talents, he loves to help develop it by sharing the knowledge he has and by helping developing the thinking process in every class with questions that will force students to think.

Justin Rim

Justin Rim

Justin Rim is an educator with a masters in teaching from the University of Irvine, California. He has taught in California schools for about a year now and has performed many roles within schools from substituting to aiding instruction. Justin came to AoPS in order to utilize his skillset outside of the standard school day as a way to aid students enthusiastic to further their own learning. In particular, Justin's favorite part about working with students is getting to see their passion for learning and seeing student's take ownership of their own knowledge.

Frank Sanchez

Frank Sanchez

Frank Sanchez graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and has been working towards a Master's in Education from National University. He has been tutoring and working with small groups of students for 3 years, helping with math, English, history, and science. The main reason he decided to go with AoPS is that the curriculum and lessons were like nothing he'd seen from any text or guide book. The clever and interesting methods introduced to students impressed him so much he had to apply. Whenever a student has been struggling with a concept or problem, and finally understands it, having an “I get it now!”, moment is the most motivating thing to him. It is the reason he became an educator, to help students overcome those challenges. His teaching style could best be described as thorough and diverse. He will always go into detail on any method students are curious about, other then what the curriculum calls for.

Sherri Singh

Sherri Singh

Sherri holds a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in applied psychology from the University of Southern California. Since her undergraduate studies, she has worked as a market research consultant for various Fortune 500 companies. She was impressed by the proprietary teaching curriculum at AoPS and excited about the opportunity to teach in small classroom settings. What Sherri loves most about working with students is the opportunity to witness their growth and development. She's inspired by their curiosity, creativity, and resilience. It's incredibly fulfilling to be a part of their learning journey and to help them discover their strengths and passions. Sherri's teaching style can be described as student-centered and interactive. She believes in creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students feel empowered to actively engage in the learning process. Her goal is to foster critical thinking skills, promote collaboration, and inspire a lifelong love of learning in her students.

Erika Valdez

Erika Valdez

Erika sets out on her teaching journey with an infectious energy, fueled by her deep love for learning and her innate passion for mathematics. She pursued her bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of California, Irvine, all while completing her teaching credential, showcasing her dedication to refining effective instructional methods. Now, as a member of the AoPS Academy team, Erika is thrilled to engage with students who share her eagerness for knowledge and collaborative ethos, fostering an environment ripe for shared learning and development. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in interactive and engaging methodologies that not only demystify mathematical concepts but also infuse joy into the learning process. With a student-centered approach, Erika cultivates active participation and inquiry-based learning, nurturing the growth of critical thinking skills in her classroom.

Zhenyue Zhu

Zhenyue Zhu

Zhenyue is a data scientist working on various AI algorithms regarding recommendation and personalization in the e-commerce field. He earned his PhD in physics from UCI and worked for another four years as a postdoc researcher in computational physics. When teaching his own kids math, he discovered AoPS textbooks, which is a excellent supplemental material for IUSD school math. Zhenyue loves the depths and self-learning style of AoPS textbooks. He enjoys working with students, especially when he notices the students making progress and forming a good habit of learning. Zhenyue's teaching style is a demonstrator or coach style, by showing students what they need to know and how to solve the problems.

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