About Art of Problem Solving

Our Team

Below are the people building Art of Problem Solving from our office in sunny San Diego. Click on each image to learn more, and check out our Careers page if you'd like to join the team!

We also have dozens of amazing instructors teaching in our online school. They're a lot like our full-time team. They grew up loving math, and many were winners of major math awards and graduates of schools like MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton. Click here to learn more about our teachers.

Vanessa Apodaca
School Staff Manager
Vanessa joined AoPS in 2018 shortly after earning her degree in Applied Mathematics from UC Riverside. Originally from San Diego, she has enjoyed living in many different parts of SoCal. She found her passion for math while taking a calculus her junior year of high school and eventually found a love of all things space and astrophysics, which led to taking an emphasis in physics for her undergrad. She enjoys spending time with her four younger siblings who range between the ages of 18 and 4. Her hobbies include visiting small coffee shops and taking every opportunity to drink more coffee. In addition, she loves catching up with friends and going to new places (or coffee shops).
Doga Ari
Graphic Designer
Doga Ari is a graphic designer who was born in Turkey. After a few years of work experience as a professional graphic designer following her bachelor’s degree, she was awarded a scholarship to study in Milan Polytechnic University where she got a masters degree in Communication Design. After returning from Italy to Turkey, she began work as a teaching assistant. She is now living and working in San Diego. As a graphic designer, she finds her greatest joy in making artist's books, illustrating children’s books, collecting zines, and experimenting with DIY projects.
R.J. Ashmore
Project Manager
R.J. joined AoPS in 2016, shortly after completing his Ph.D. in Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Southern California. While honing his research, writing, and teaching skills at USC, he studied the ways that the American media has reflected, as well as shaped, the changing roles that young people have played in our society over the last hundred years. Previously, R.J. earned his B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and his M.A. in the same subject from The Ohio State University. In his spare time, he loves watching movies (with a particular fondness for Classic Hollywood and silent comedies), reading (his interests run the gamut from William Shakespeare to Jane Austen to contemporary comic books), playing board games, and looking for new and interesting subjects to learn about.
Lorelei Atkins
Customer Service Specialist
Lorelei has an AA degree in graphic design and a BA in multimedia focusing on web design. After college, she got a job in tech support for an E-commerce software and web hosting company where she became an engineer and spent her days either helping clients with the E-commerce platform or doing more technically oriented things like migrating data and launching sites. In her spare time, Lorelei enjoys knitting solo or with friends. She has several projects going at once, so she's generally pretty busy with that or going out to various events with friends. Occasionally, she likes to take the train or local transit for the fun of it. She calls it backpacking. She of course brings her knitting with and knits in various places, especially in places someone probably wouldn't expect to find her knitting in (like the bar). Sometimes she also plays video games like The Sims 1-4.
Michelle Baird
Physics Curriculum Developer
Michelle joined AoPS in 2020 after graduating from Princeton University with a degree in astrophysics. She has conducted research on super symmetry, the cosmic microwave background radiation, and quasars at institutions all over the world, from CERN to the University of Tokyo. Michelle is passionate about empowering and educating the next generation of scientists as she helps students learn that physics is actually really cool and interesting. In her spare time, you might find her reading, baking, hiking, or sketching.
Joseph Barron
Director of Engineering
Joseph joined AoPS in 2018 during his final semester studying Software Development at Western Governors University. He first picked up programming by learning to create computer games in elementary school. Since then, he has spent years creating bizarre game prototypes and practicing web development. Joseph also utilized his self-taught skills to lead game development teams at both Grossmont College and UC Berkeley. Prior to attending WGU, he spent a year away from academics, in the spirit of entrepreneurship, to develop and market his own desktop app for gaming live-streamers. Outside of programming, he enjoys digital art, karaoke, sushi, and Guitar Hero.
Jason Batterson
BA Headmaster
Jason joined AoPS in 2010 to lead development of the Beast Academy series. Before joining AoPS, he taught math and coached some of the top students in North Carolina, coaching teams to multiple state MATHCOUNTS titles and numerous individual awards. While teaching, Jason wrote and published Competition Math for Middle School and developed AGMath.com. He is also a nationally competitive masters distance runner with a 2:38 personal best in the marathon. When he's not out running, Jason enjoys solving puzzles, skiing, and playing in the pool with his two favorite math beasts, Parker and Ada.
Marychello Bockenhauer
HR Manager
Marychello began her career in Human Resources at one of the largest financial institutions in Canada over 25 years ago. Since moving to San Diego from Vancouver in 1998, she obtained a technical degree from SDSU in HR Management and a PHR (Professional in Human Resource). She has held roles in a variety of industries: financial, environmental/manufacturing, technology, biotech and pharmaceuticals. Marychello's interest in education is close to her heart. Her husband is an elementary school teacher specializing in special needs at the San Ysidro School District. Marychello has two sons, Mackenzie and Jack, and two step kids, Vivien and Jackson, along with her ultimate baby, her golden retriever, Dexter. In her spare time, she is also a competitive curler (yes that weirdly awesome Olympic sport). She competes with a women's team out of Tempe, AZ and has represented California at US Nationals. Marychello can be found banging on the glass cheering on her son Jack who is a hockey goalie, or spending time with family, friends and traveling.
Emily Castner
Master Instructor
Emily Castner started working online for AoPS in 2015 and joined headquarters full time in 2020. The crowning achievement of her mathletics career at Mount Holyoke College was solving one problem (enough to score in the top quartile!?) on the Putnam exam. While majoring in math, she won the Carol Loeb ’63 Fellowship in the Teaching of Mathematics and started a student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics. While minoring in music, she learned to play the organ (slowly) and picked up the nickname Theorem. Check out her theorems in "On the equivalence of Playfair's axiom to the parallel postulate" and her many presentations about an equiangular isosceles triangle. Emily practices Naginata, a Japanese weapons art, and earned her black belt in Germany.
Katlin Chadwick
Content Marketing Specialist
Katlin joined AoPS in 2020, hailing from the digital agency world. For 10 years, she has brought stories to life across products and platforms — from the newsroom to digital marketing and UX. Katlin has led content strategy and messaging initiatives across health, education, consumer, and technology sectors, and has a particular zest for accessible education and brands that are doing good in the world. She currently resides in Charleston, SC. When not working, you can find her running, hiking, paddleboarding, traveling, painting, trying new restaurants, enjoying live music, or hanging with her dog — a spoiled boxer named Gus. Katlin earned her BA in English from the University of Virginia and her MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri.
Ziyi Chen
Software Engineer
Ziyi first came to the USA in 2014 and entered East LA college. After two years of study, he transferred to University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and completed his bachelor's degree in math and computer science. With a passion for problem-solving, he decided to work in the software field. In his spare time, he likes music, travel, food, and conversation. When he is not traveling or meeting friends, he likes to play the piano (classical music) or listen to music with his beloved headphones (pop music). After learning his third language, Japanese, he is planning to learn Spanish in the future.
Omri Cohen
Product Marketing Specialist
Omri joined AoPS in 2020, coming from a background in marketing research and product marketing. He’s worked for high-growth start-ups in Boston and Barcelona, as well as with Fortune 500 clients in air travel, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and financial services. Omri loves an adventure. Most recently, he backpacked in South America – he’s still trying to break his Colombian coffee addiction. He also is a soccer aficionado (learned the FC Barcelona anthem in Catalan), creative (ask him about his quarantine art), and runner (this helps when he’s about to miss the next bus). Omri graduated from the University of Rochester, where he studied economics, business, and film. He is a believer in the power of education.
Jeremy Copeland
AoPS Online Business Director
Jeremy joined AoPS in 2009. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 2006 and was on the math faculty at MIT from 2006 to 2009. He is currently the Online School Director at AoPS. He once specialized in turning hard problems in geometry, algebra, and mathematical physics into easy problems in combinatorics and graph theory. Now he specializes in helping to redistribute mathematics from brilliant teachers to brilliant students. He gets his signs right 50 percent of the time, struggles with problems that lack symmetry, and secretly believes that every problem somehow reduces to the Chinese Remainder Theorem.
Kathy Cordeiro
Customer Service Specialist, Virtual Campus
Kathy joined AoPS in 2020 and has fifteen years of experience in mathematics education including coaching MATHCOUNTS teams, facilitating math circles, managing math competitions at UT Dallas, and working for a mathematics program.  These experiences culminated in a book that Kathy co-authored in 2019, Awesome Math: Teaching Mathematics with Problem Based Learning for middle and high school teachers. Passionate about connecting ideas, people, and resources, Kathy has spent her career guiding generations of students and their families to get the most from their educational journeys.  Both of Kathy’s sons are AoPS alums who have greatly benefited from the experience. For fun, Kathy loves strategy board games and spending time with her family. Kathy earned a BA in Communications and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island and Instructional Design Master Track Certification from the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.
Dorothy Couchman
Customer Experience Manager
Dorothy joined AoPS in 2017. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Virginia and has been talking to people and asking questions about books and ideas since even before she learned to read. (Her very first student was her sock monkey, Monkey). On her return to California from the East Coast, she celebrated by throwing out all her wool socks. She also likes making pickles, exploring the outdoors, and taking Scrabble just a little too seriously.
Tina Cruickshank
Administrative Accounts Manager
Tina is the Administrative Accounts Manager for Art of Problem Solving. She has been with AoPS since 2007. If you have taken an AoPS class, you may know her as Ubermoderator. Tina graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Masters degree in Public Administration. Tina learned to love the California weather when she was a United States Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, and couldn't wait to move back. She loves her fluffy dog Gizmo and bad vampire movies.
Ashley Duncan
Academy Regional Director
Ashley is the West Regional Director for AoPS Academy. She has always been interested in mathematics education, earning a BS from Brigham Young University, an MS from Arizona State University and is currently writing her dissertation to finish her PhD. She’s been teaching math since 2010. While teaching at ASU she was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the graduate and professional student association. She has a long history with math competitions, ranging from earning a perfect score in the Continental Math League in 6th grade, being the resident math expert on Scholastic Bowl, competing on her high school’s math team (which won state every year), to solving the problems on the current AMC for fun. She’s a Chicago native who loves reading, hosting game nights, playing volleyball, competing in trivia, and catching all the Pokémon.
Mark Eichenlaub
Physics Curriculum Lead
Mark joined AoPS in 2018 after completing a PhD in physics (focusing on physics education research) at the University of Maryland. There, he also prepped the U.S. Physics Team and attended IPhO as a coach. He has been teaching physics and astronomy classes since undergrad, and is always impressed by creativity and resilience students show when they have a great problem to work on. If you start explaining a proof to him and he happens to see how it works half way through, he'll spend the rest of the time flailing his arms around conducting the final steps like Willem Dafoe in Boondock Saints. On weekends you might find him exploring the miles of trails San Diego has to offer.
Nicole Ellis
Copywriter
Nicole joined AoPS in 2019. Having graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Anthropology and minors in Education and English, Nicole is fascinated by the different methods with which people communicate their ideas and processes with the world. She has volunteered in classrooms, libraries, and other platforms that connect people with new concepts, and she can’t wait to expand on these experiences here. After transplanting from the Bay Area, she is enjoying her new life in Southern California immensely and is constantly delighted by how beautiful the landscape can be. In her spare time, Nicole writes with her friends for a self-published flash fiction magazine. She also enjoys reading, drawing, and museum-hopping.
Brad Fischer
Virtual Campus Operations Coordinator
Before joining AoPS in 2020, Brad taught math and coached quizbowl at Keith Country Day School and wrote quizbowl questions for almost every tournament imaginable. His favorite lesson to teach is the Saint Petersburg Paradox, and a staggering percentage of his favorite questions in his old exams were lovingly borrowed from AoPS. Brad earned his BS in mathematics from Northern Illinois University in 2010. In his free time, he enjoys solving logic puzzles, listening to the Beatles, rooting for the Chicago Cubs, and teaching his son probability through card games.
Kat Flores
Shipper
Born and bred in the dull town of Escondido, Kat manages to distract herself from boredom – whether it's watching too many films, cartoons and anime, or listening to too much music, they inspire the creation of her own world through too much daydreaming. Although she isn't a math wiz, she has an obsession with Lewis Carroll's works, art, crafts and making comics. She also enjoys learning about cultures, trying and cooking new cuisine, and writing poetry and stories. She's a collector of oddities and teacups, but nothing beats annoying and pampering her fluffy kitten: Butters Panchon. Coyoacán (in México City) is her home away from home, where she stays with her rather extensive family for long periods of time. Kat plans a career in education and arts for children and teenagers.
James Fung
Data Analyst
James joined AoPS in 2012. He received a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science, studying machine learning and linguistics, at UC Berkeley where he spent several years as a teaching assistant in engineering math courses. James has been tutoring and teaching math and science since high school. He was a National MATHCOUNTS contestant, qualified for the USAMO each year of high school, and attended the Physics Olympiad Summer Program. In his spare time, he applies math to boardgames, thinks of ballroom dancing as a Markov process, and is a novice kitchen scientist.
Alejandro Garcia
Shipping Lead
Alejandro Garcia joined AOPS in 2019 and is willing to learn and expand in different areas within the company. He came to AoPS from a bigger warehouse with experience that he is hoping to integrate into our smaller warehouse. Alejandro is always looking for new ways to better himself work-wise and in his personal life. When he isn't working, he is spending time with his wife and son and teaching his son all he can while also learning himself. He enjoys playing video games late into the night and exploring new places that expand his horizon and outlook on life. He also enjoys watching superhero movies and is a collector of superhero items as well.
Amanda Grant
Accounting and Payroll Specialist
Amanda joined AoPS in 2020 as an Accounting & Payroll Specialist.  She moved from the Bay Area to San Diego with her family in 1990. Amanda enjoys new challenges in work and in life. She enjoys the outdoors and traveling with her husband and two boys (Marc, 22 and Michael Jr., 10). She has recently adopted 4‐month‐old terrier‐mix puppy named Buddy. Amanda and her family keep busy with her younger son who plays year-round travel club soccer and travel club basketball.
Kyle Guillet
Virtual Campus Math Director
Kyle joined AoPS in 2012. He earned his degrees in Mathematics and Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, he joined Teach For America (TFA) to help close the achievement gap in low income communities. As part of the TFA corps, he worked in rural New Mexico, where he taught 6th and 8th grade math and learned to make friends with sheep. He enjoys dancing poorly, and as a matter of principle will only buy prime rib if the number of ribs is actually prime.
Christie Harrison
AoPS Online Associate Business Director
Christie joined AoPS in 2018. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Social Behavior from UCI and Master’s Degree in K-8th Mathematics Education from SDSU in 2012. After teaching first grade for a few years, she returned to school (because sometimes one Masters just isn’t enough). She is now pursuing an MBA from the UCSD Rady School of Management and enjoys finding order in the chaos of operations. In her free time, she is an avid beach-goer and rock climber. Christie jumps at any opportunity to travel with her husband, especially to exotic locales.
Alexis Humphreys
Customer Service Specialist
Alexis Joined AoPS in 2020 after two years as an Education Abroad Advisor for Texas A&M university. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2016 with her BA. Since then she has worked in various travel and education jobs in Boston and central Texas. After growing up in rural Idaho, Alexis has loved moving around the US but is ecstatic about settling in beautiful San Diego. She loves to travel and has been to nearly 20 countries on 3 different continents. Alexis also loves to read, particularly science fiction and historical fiction. Her favorite animal is a goat and whenever she meets one she won't hesitate to get a cute picture.
Aaron Demby Jones
Math Curriculum Lead
Aaron joined AoPS in 2017. His PhD is in Media Arts and Technology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, focusing on audiovisual representations of mathematics. Before that, he got his master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Rochester and a joint bachelor’s degree in mathematics and music at Brown University. Aaron has had the pleasure and privilege of teaching the next generation of math superstars for many years at the CTY and HCSSiM summer math programs. Outside of math, he enjoys designing experimental electronic music, playing the piano and percussion, chess, Xiangqi, Go, and badminton.
Kelly Jones
Academy Regional Director
In 2014, Kelly became the Language Arts Director at the inaugural AoPS Academy campus in Morrisville, North Carolina. She went on to manage the language arts program nationally prior to taking on her current role of overseeing the campuses in the eastern half of the country. In a past life, Kelly was a public school teacher. She is a licensed reading specialist and language arts teacher, spanning all grade levels from kindergarten through high school. Kelly holds a bachelor's degree in education from Penn State and a master's degree from UNC Chapel Hill. When she has time on her hands, Kelly runs a lot, reads a lot, and hangs out with her two kids, objectively the coolest kids on the block.
Bella Kim
Accountant
Bella was born in South Korea and came to the US when she was 5 years old. She lived in San Diego from elementary to high school and for college, she moved to Irvine to attend the University of California, Irvine and get her B.A. in Public Health Policy. After graduating in 2016, she continued to pursue a career in accounting in Irvine after her part-time job in college as an Accounting Assistant. In 2019, she relocated back to San Diego. Her favorite things to do in her spare time are playing video games, watching movies/dramas, golfing, and walking on the beach barefoot. She also loves going on trips with her family and visiting Korea if possible once a year.
Vilmarie Koesema
Web Designer
Vilmarie joined AoPS in 2020 and has a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Central Florida. She has been designing websites for over a decade and loves the creative aspect of web design and getting to help people by creating good user experiences. She also enjoys front-end development because it allows her to apply creative problem-solving skills and to continually learn in an ever-evolving industry. In her spare time, she loves to bike, watch movies with the family, listen to podcasts, go to museums, dine with friends, tend to her food garden, and plan her next travel adventure.
Richard Kreutz-Landry
Software Engineer
Richard joined AoPS in 2018 as a developer. Previously, he spent several years tutoring for math and science and completing a double major in theatre and mathematics with an emphasis in secondary education at the University of California, San Diego. After that, he moved on to become a self-taught software test automation engineer. Outside of work he designs original origami models, writes tabletop roleplaying games, edits and guests on podcasts, and does archery. He has also been known to attempt geeky knitting and crochet projects when the mood takes him.
Ryan Ku
Software Engineer
Ryan grew up playing board games and solving puzzles, which fostered an early passion for mathematics and problem solving. This led him to pursue a BS in computer science & engineering and an MS in software engineering as part of a 5-year program. There, he joined his school’s Robotics Systems Laboratory to kick off a multi-year effort to create an application-agnostic robotic chassis. After his 4th year, he decided to join AoPS to combine his love for computer science and teaching. In his spare time, you will likely find him solving puzzles, tinkering with cars, learning about new tech, and discovering music.
Ryan Kuroyama
School Staff Manager
Ryan first joined AoPS as a math curriculum intern and is now a School Staff Manager. He graduated with a B.S. in math from UC Santa Barbara in 2019. There, he spent much of his free time doing improv comedy, juggling, designing video games, teaching music, practicing memory sport, and explaining his major to people who think they don’t like math. “But perhaps,” Ryan would protest, “it was just taught badly.” Now Ryan gets to do something about it.
Shari Kuroyama
Software Engineering Team Lead
Shari joined the software development team at AoPS in June 2019 after completing her B.S. at Caltech in computer science. She has been interested in math since participating in math camps and competition math in middle school and has been interested in math education since she had problems with the pace of her first grade math curriculum. Shari is very excited to give back to the math community! In her free time, Shari also loves puzzles of all sorts, Japanese archery, making metal jewelry and other DIY art, animals (particularly her snake, Lemma, and her cats, Arrow and Quiver), and fire spinning.
Chris Lang
Purchasing Administrator
Chris is the Purchasing Administrator for AoPS Academy. She joined the Morrisville, North Carolina campus in 2015 and now works at headquarters in sunny San Diego. Chris understands the value of the opportunities that AoPS Academy offers for students, having worked in the public-school system for close to a decade. Besides making sure that everything at AoPS Academy works right, Chris holds a degree in paralegal studies, has two beautiful daughters, and loves watching horror movies.
Andres Lebbos
Software Engineer
Andres joined AoPS in 2019 after receiving his dual Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Duke University. He has always been passionate about mathematics. As a math contest participant, he received two bronze medals representing Colombia at the OCMM (Central American and Caribbean Mathematical Olympiad) and the OIM (Iberoamerican Mathematical Olympiad) in 2013. He also was a candidate for the Colombian IMO team in 2014. His passion for math led him to computer science. Intrigued by the way robots think, he started programming them at the age of 12 by helping his mother at her bead sewing business. Outside of numbers and code, Andres enjoys creative writing, poetry, board games, origami, and cooking.
Jeannine LeBeau
Customer Service Specialist
It was Jeannine's childhood dream to attend USC, and it did not disappoint! Upon concluding her studies, Jeannine began a career in the small business sector that took her from operational management to business ownership. During this time, she balanced her career with volunteer roles supporting leadership development for collegiate women. Jeannine applied her passion for growth and resilience in helping these young women at USC, UCLA, and UCSB to pursue their goals. That passion was then diverted to the cultural exchange students that Jeannine's family hosted from 9 different countries. By joining AoPS, Jeannine will be focusing on supporting students to reach their goals and explore how they can recognize their potential. In her free time, she now focuses on developing these skills in her young daughters and sometimes her husband too. She is quick to share a joke over coffee or a glass of wine with a friend in need.
Lydia Lee
Marketing Operations Specialist
Lydia joined AoPS in 2020 after working in an agency setting for multiple years. The educational mission of AoPS is what initially drew Lydia to the team, and she is dedicated to utilizing her marketing background to connect students and families with what AoPS has to offer. Outside of establishing marketing processes and keeping things organized, Lydia enjoys traveling with her husband and frequenting cafes, breweries, and restaurants in San Diego.
Walfrey Lim
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Walfrey joined AoPS in 2020 as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator. He is passionate about building meaningful relationships through recruiting and has experience in both agency and in-house recruiting. Prior to joining AoPS, he was a sourcing recruiter at Salesforce in San Francisco. He then moved to Thailand to teach English. Walfrey’s experience working with children in Thailand offered him personal enrichment and invaluable opportunities for cultural exchanges. While an undergraduate at Colgate University, Walfrey helped start two dance groups and choreographed. He also incorporated dance and music into his lessons when teaching in Thailand. Walfrey’s hobbies include jogging, exploring restaurants and cafes, listening to music from various genres and different languages, and traveling.
Yating Liu
Virtual Campus Director
Yating Liu is the Director of AoPS Academy Virtual Campus. Before taking his current role, he served as the Business Director and the National Operations Director of AoPS Academy. Yating was the designer or significant contributor of seven AoPS Academy courses. He was a university professor and doctoral advisor before joining AoPS. Yating earned his BS in math from Peking University and his MS in math and PhD in math education from Ohio State. He was a one-time champion in China's national level math competition and a two-time champion in provincial level physics competitions by the age of fifteen—the same year that he received an entrance exam waiver for any university in the nation. In his free time, Yating enjoys tinkering and antique hunting.
Bridget Lynch
Workflow Systems Designer
Bridget joined AoPS in 2019 after working for five years as a program director at a nearby Catholic parish. The transition from church work to STEM was a big one, but as a homeschool alum, a philosophical academic, and an emotional support human to a giant greyhound, she’s used to juggling unconventional situations. When she isn’t trying to save the world through impactful communication practices, you can find her cooking huge amounts of her Italian family recipes for her friends, hand-lettering random quotes, and rocking her friends’ babies to sleep.
Grayson Maas
VP of Sales
Grayson joined AoPS in 2015. He recently earned his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Grayson understands culture as the lens through which we assign meaning to the world and everything in it. Culture shapes our perception of reality--how cool is that?! For the past three years, he has been conducting research, writing, and teaching about the various factors contributing to underrepresentation in STEM education and in the workforce. Prior to becoming an anthropologist, Grayson earned a BA in biology from the University of Pennsylvania during a time when he was considering a career in veterinary medicine but then thought better of it. He loves animals (especially dogs), music (especially playing his acoustic guitar), traveling (especially everywhere!), and sports (especially basketball, football, and all professional teams representing Philadelphia, the city that raised him).
Corinne Madsen
VP of Technology
Corinne attended her first math competition in the 5th grade and continued competing through her high school years at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. While attending Mount Allison University, she fell in love with coding and switched over to computer science competitions. There, she also tutored in various subjects, taught middle school students how to code, and learned how to live with 6 feet of snow. After graduating with a combined major in Math and Computer Science in the spring of 2015, she was very happy to join AoPS in a position that lets her combine her passion for mathematics, teaching, and computer science.
Miriam Martinez
Customer Service Specialist
Miriam graduated with a degree in architecture from the Institute of Technology of Mexico and earned a diploma in sales and marketing. Working for a worldwide corporation for twenty-one years provided her with the knowledge and experience in various fields including design, marketing, sales support and customer service. It was a great journey but her passion has always been education. During her first years in college, Miriam started her own tutoring business teaching English in her native country of Mexico. After she graduated, she taught painting classes to young children.She found these experiences to be truly rewarding and they inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in education to help others excel and achieve their learning goals. Miriam is always looking for opportunities to learn new skills and enjoys painting, cooking, gardening and bike riding with her family. She is new to San Diego and looks forward to relocating soon with her husband, 12 year old son and little Chihuahua “Estrellita."
Palmer Mebane
Software Architect
Palmer joined AoPS in 2012 shortly after graduating from Harvey Mudd College the same year. As a math contest participant, he was honorable mention on the USAMO in 2007, a US IMO team candidate in 2008, and a top 15 finisher on the Putnam in 2009 and 2011. During his four years of college, he graded for the USAMO and MOSP four times and single-handedly managed the WOOT "Problem of the Day" service. Outside of mathematics, Palmer solves and writes logic puzzles. He solves them fast enough to have been named the US Puzzle Champion in 2011, 2013, and 2014, and World Puzzle Champion in 2011 with top-3 finishes in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His best constructions can be seen on the tests he made for Logic Masters India.
Karla Micheli
Talent Acquisition Manager
Karla joined AoPS in 2019. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago and is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum. She earned dual Master's degrees in International Public Administration and Education Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Karla has a passion for education, philanthropy, and travel which has inspired her to work, study, volunteer and/or immerse herself in nearly 30 countries to date. In her spare time, she loves to go on adventures with her family, including her husky who she brought back from Nicaragua. She is currently working on writing her first children's book.
Amy Mills
Administration Manager
Amy joined AoPS in 2018 when she relocated to San Diego from the east coast and is loving it! She has three beautiful children and three amazing grandchildren! Her hobbies include bicycling, cooking, quilting, needlepoint and gardening.
Tasha Moyer
Beast Academy Project Manager
In 2009, Tasha graduated with a math degree from Arizona State, where Barack Obama gave her commencement address. After college, she joined Teach For America and taught Algebra I and Algebra Readiness for two years at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, CA. She then moved to Oakland, CA to teach Precalc and AP Calc at KIPP King Collegiate High School. At King, she also served as Math Department Chair. In 2014, Tasha joined AoPS, where she has worn many hats. Now, she could not be more excited to be back in the classroom. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys exploring San Diego with her friends, running and doing yoga by the beach, and cuddling with her adorable cat Eli.
Heidi Ng
Student Services Specialist
Heidi joined AoPS in 2020. Her professional pursuits have been varied, including license and royalties management at a biotech corporation, a stint teaching English in France, and overseeing operations at a local pet-sitting company. Heidi is a homebody who also loves to travel and has friends all over the world. She's a closet nerd who enjoys solving math puzzles and playing word games like Codenames. When Heidi's not working, you can find her cooking, reading, or practicing yoga.
Brent Nicklas
School Staff Management Lead
Brent first joined AoPS as an assistant in 2013. He received bachelors degrees from Michigan Technological University in both mathematics and physics with concentrations in secondary education in 2014, then went on to obtain a masters degree in statistics in 2016. Exploring the many paths to a solution and sharing discoveries is part of what makes mathematics so fun and enjoyable for Brent. When he's not doing math, he enjoys drawing comic sketches, playing board games, cooking, riding his bicycle, and swing dancing.
Eric Olsen
VP of Marketing
Eric joined AoPS in 2020 having spent the previous decade as an education marketing executive, supporting some of the fastest-growing online brands in higher education and the fastest-growing social emotional learning program in K12. Endlessly curious and obsessed with making sure students on both ends of the performance bell curve don’t fall through the cracks, you can usually find Eric with his family making music or trying to track down the most delicious bites and prettiest sunsets in San Diego. Eric earned his BS in Marketing from Bradley University and his MBA in Marketing Analytics from Lewis University.
Kevin O'Neal
Customer Service Specialist
Kevin joined AoPS in 2020 after several successful years in retail management and has over eight years of customer service experience. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Waldorf University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration in 2020. A huge ladies man, Kevin is married to his high school sweetheart and together they raise two cute little girls. They enjoy traveling and the outdoors... and Frozen and play-doh and coloring and playing in the dirt.
Erich Owen
Cartoonist
The actual date that Erich "joined AoPS" is still in question. It's a long story. After eight years as the Lead Illustrator of AoPS's Beast Academy math series for younger children, he is now the Art Director for all Beast Academy curricula. Erich doesn't have a degree in mathematics, but he draws awesome creatures doing math better than anyone else in the office, so he has that going for him. He has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a crayon and has put that experience to good use in his 20 years as a professional illustrator. Some highlights of his career other than AoPS include co-creating and illustrating the internationally published graphic novel and comic strip series, Mail Order Ninja, working with William Shatner on a comic book series based on Mr. Shatner's TekWar novels and TV series, illustrating Teen Titans GO! for DC Comics, and co-writing/illustrating a Fruit Ninja graphic novel. In his spare time, Erich draws other stuff and builds/drives Ford Mustangs; currently driving a 750HP 2012 Shelby GT500.
Chris Page
Math Curriculum Developer
Chris is old enough to have used a slide rule before calculators were a thing. High school math competitions led to a math/physics double major at Rutgers University. A physics Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania followed, including three years of TA’ing calculus. It also led to meeting Richard Garfield, and being a developer and expansion designer for the early years of the card game, Magic: The Gathering. After graduation, he worked in labs analyzing protein oxidoreductase reactions, and electron microscope tomographic reconstructions. His mid-life crisis was returning to math and AoPS in 2016. In his spare time, Chris choreographs contra dance, collects Eurogames, studies TV animation, and sleeps in on weekends.
Arti Patel Martinez
AoPS Academy National Operations Director
Arti graduated with a bachelor's in sociology and an emphasis on counseling in 2002. She has spent the last 18 years building a career in education. Specifically, she has worked in the higher education field for a variety of post-secondary institutions. Her areas of expertise are in student services, admissions and enrollment management, institutional compliance, and operations management. Arti loves being able to watch the student journey and see them accomplish their goals. While not working, you can find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen, pairing them with wines, and making her husband, Matthew, the taste tester. She’s an avid traveler and also loves to read.
David Patrick
Principal Math Curriculum Developer
Dave joined AoPS in 2004. He is the author of Art of Problem Solving's Introduction to Counting & Probability, Intermediate Counting & Probability, and Calculus textbooks, and co-author of Prealgebra. 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.
Lizette Payneward
Graphic Designer
Lizette Payneward is a visual designer/motion graphics artist with 14 years under her belt. She has a certificate for Branding & Identity for Marketing from SDSU. Teaching graphic design for the past 4 years, she gained a passion for understanding how individuals learn, which keeps her sharp in the design field. One claim to fame in her career was getting an IMBD for working on the motion picture Man of Steel converting 2D film to a 3D IMAX experience (no, she never got to meet Zack Snyder). Free time is spent on the beach with her wife and their daughter, watching horror movies, restoring their 1914 Victorian home and always living by the motto..."No Payneward, No Gainward."
Ivan Perez
Warehouse and Facilities Manager
Ivan joined the AOPS warehouse at the beginning of 2019, bringing with him experience from previous warehouse roles with a large focus on team safety, shipment accuracy, and machine operation. He spends the majority of his time playing music (either through music apps or with a guitar), but also makes time to be with family, go hiking in new locations, or do much needed car maintenance from excessive driving. To him, Los Angeles is a second home, well worth the long drive and traffic. Ivan intends to improve his skillset with AOPS as it continues to grow.
Celeste Pilkington
AoPS Online Operations Director
After graduating with honors in English literature and art history from Sewanee, the University of the South, Celeste spent three years teaching English in Japan where she founded a charitable organization that raised funds for volunteer activities in the Asia-Pacific region by writing and performing easy-English musicals. In the first two years, they built six houses in Fiji with Habitat for Humanity, and the organization is still active today. Upon returning to the States, Celeste embarked on a 20-year career in corporate meetings and events, specializing in operations management and leadership. At AoPS, Celeste has returned to her roots in education. AoPS’ mission speaks to her core as a person and a parent - teaching resilience and problem solving to her two young kids is a top priority and her mantras are “you’ve got to blossom where you are planted” and “you can figure it out!” In her free time, Celeste loves to run, hike, bike and explore the great outdoors with her family.
Noah Prince
Technology Systems Designer
Noah Prince joined AoPS in 2016. Before that, he taught math and coached quizbowl at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Noah earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2008, having done his thesis research in graph theory. He also earned his B.S. from U of I in 2004. He has taught enrichment camps for mathematically-bent middle schoolers and graduate math classes at a local university, sometimes in the same day. He likes proofs that involve mathematical induction, and his favorite proof (that of the Erdos-Ginzburg-Ziv Theorem) uses two inductions in its base case. When not doing math, he plays with his three kids, reads novels, and eats lots of hummus.
Pavi Rannulu
Student Services Specialist
Pavi joined AoPS full-time soon after graduating with their B.S. in Mathematics from University of Maryland in 2018. They were born in Sri Lanka, and spent most of their childhood there, before venturing to the US. Pavi won high distinction in the Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad and went on to represent Sri Lanka at the 2011 International Mathematics Competition. During their time as an undergrad, they were passionately involved in social justice and activism. Outside of math, Pavi loves travelling (and getting lost), camping (and the outdoors in general), surfing (and everything to do with the ocean), and animals (with a soft spot for cats and wildlife).
Dustin Ransom
VP of Operations
Dustin first joined AoPS as an assistant in 2013, and assisted the intermediate group at the Los Angeles Math Circle while studying math at UCLA. Dustin became interested in math through music. Interested in digital audio synthesis, he realized he'd need to actually learn some math in order to build synthesizers from the ground up. Soon after, math overcame his musical interests. Outside of math, Dustin is obsessed with endurance sports and training. An avid runner himself, you'll often find him running in the San Diego mountains wondering, "When are we going to run that sub-2 hour marathon already?!"
Amanda Reilly
Software Engineering Manager
Amanda joined the Software Development team at AoPS in April 2019. She has been obsessed with computers and technology most of her life. She built her first website when she was 12 years old, back in the bad old days of table-based layouts and dancing-squirrel GIFs. In high school, she joined her school's FIRST Robotics team, where she worked on the website and community outreach teams. After attending Purdue University, Amanda held various business administration roles, always gravitating towards roles that allowed her to indulge her first love of programming and development. In her spare time, you'll most likely find Amanda reading historical fiction or planning her next trip. She's working towards a lifelong goal of visiting every US state and six continents before she turns 50.
Mark Richard
Curriculum Project Manager
Mark joined AoPS after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2018 with a degree in mathematics, doing a senior thesis involving physics and probability. He dabbled in just about every subject in college and has a particular passion for mathematics history. You can find him playing percussion in a local concert band or reading and writing at home. He is an avid baseball player and fan, although he enjoyed playing squash in college. He does two podcasts and owns seven harmonicas.
Jeff Roberts
Controller
Jeff is excited to join AoPS as Controller in 2019. He has an extensive background in accounting and financial management and reporting, including six years in public accounting, and many years as a Controller in the distribution, construction, professional services, and real estate industries. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and is a Certified Public Accountant. In his spare time, Jeff is a devoted fan of the performing arts. He studied music for several years, plays a few instruments, and was the choir director at his church for many years. He is a performer and Board member with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and still does some singing in church. He really enjoys spending time with his four children and grandpuppies when circumstances allow. Jeff is also an identical twin, so don’t feel bad if you call him the wrong name, he’s used to it!
Maggie Roby
Language Arts Curriculum Developer
Maggie joined AoPS in 2018. A proud graduate of The Ohio State University, Maggie moved to Saitama Prefecture in 2013 to teach high school English with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She returned to the U.S. to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where her research interests in children’s and young adult media helped her to design unique course components for her undergraduate writing classes. After earning her M.A. in English, Maggie spent a year as a middle school language arts teacher, learning many important things from her students: patience, adaptability, and—most importantly—how to dab. She has a strong belief that kids are capable of way more than they’re often given credit for, and she can’t wait to use her love of stories and language to help students learn to think creatively.
Alisa Rogers
Software Engineer
Alisa joined the AoPS team in 2020. She grew up competing in local mathlete competitions and having long conversations about math with her dad and brother while on family road trips. She earned her BS in mathematics specializing in computer science at UC San Diego in 2019. During her time in college, Alisa served as president of Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in STEM. After graduating, Alisa worked on mobile development at a startup and developed apps for clinical trials. She enjoys seeing her work have an impact on the world around her, and is excited to contribute to fostering other young math students' education. In her free time, Alisa enjoys reading, running, doing puzzles, and adding to her succulent garden.
Shannon Rogers
Project Management Lead
Shannon is Project Manager at AoPS Academy, where she oversees the launch of new Academy campuses across the nation. She has executed a variety of roles since joining AoPS in 2011, including as co-author of AoPS's Beast Academy series, curriculum developer, teacher in the AoPS Online School, and manager of customer service and internal operations. Shannon holds a degree in mathematics from UCLA and has been actively involved in Math Circles in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New Mexico for nearly a decade. She loves math jokes and all things combinatorics.
Damian Romney
Virtual Campus Teaching Staff Manager
Damian is a Teaching Staff Manager for the AoPS Academy Virtual Campus. He joined the AoPS Academy team in 2019 as a physical campus director. After graduating from Guilford College in 2011, he served in City Year Boston, an AmeriCorps program, from 2011-2013 as an in-school tutor and a physical service project manager. From 2013-2017, he taught 6th and 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies in Boston charter schools. He moved to the Atlanta area in 2017, continuing to teach for a year and then attending the University of Georgia to earn a master's degree in education in 2019. In his free time, Damian enjoys biking on nearby trails and woodworking.
Richard Rusczyk
CEO
Richard Rusczyk founded Art of Problem Solving in 2003 to teach avid math students in an innovative, interactive way. Richard is one of the co-authors of the Art of Problem Solving classic textbooks, author of Art of Problem Solving's Introduction to Algebra, Introduction to Geometry, and Precalculus textbooks, co-author of Art of Problem Solving's Intermediate Algebra and Prealgebra, one of the co-creators of the Mandelbrot Competition, 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.
Paul Ryu
Senior Software Engineer
Paul joined AoPS in 2009. Paul discovered QBasic on his computer when he was six years old and has been programming ever since. Before attending Harvard, he was a third-place winner at National MATHCOUNTS, a two-time perfect scorer on the American Mathematics Contest (AMC) 12, a participant at the Research Science Institute, and a prize winner at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In his free time, he enjoys emacs, waterbending, learning musical instruments, talking about himself in the third person, watching crime shows, and herding cats.
Paul Salerno
Senior Software Engineer
Paul joined AoPS in 2013. He first discovered his love of mathematics in high school, when an inspirational teacher introduced him to the Pomona-Wisconsin Mathematics Talent Search. He went on to earn his degree in mathematics from Pomona College, and in his junior year he traveled to Hungary to study combinatorics in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program. After receiving the Hugh J. Hamilton Prize for an outstanding senior math major, he went on to graduate with a Master's degree in mathematics at the University of California, San Diego, where he spent several years as a teaching assistant for math courses. In his free time, Paul enjoys making music, playing adventure games, and writing computer programs for mathematical problems.
Jack Sanchez
Academy Language Arts Curriculum Lead
Jack joined AoPS in 2020 as the Academy Language Arts Curriculum Lead. Despite being drawn to math in high school, he completed a BA in philosophy from Arizona State University and an MA in religion from Yale University. Jack taught a variety of philosophy courses at the college level before entering a PhD program in philosophy at Purdue University. During his doctoral program, Jack fell in love with crafting lesson plans that helped students become more creative and analytical thinkers, so he moved to San Diego to teach humanities classes at a private school. Most recently, Jack has been teaching 5th-8th grade language arts classes at AoPS Academy in San Diego. In his free time, Jack enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.
Mariela Sanchez
HR Generalist
Mariela joined the Accounting and Human Resource team in September 2017. She is a native San Diegan and loves the outdoors. She graduated from Kaplan University in 2015 with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration. Mariela has worked in the finance department of San Diego State University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Currently, she is working on obtaining her Masters in Human Resources from Southern New Hampshire University.
Anakaren Santana
BA in Schools Director
Anakaren earned her degrees in Mathematics and Art Practice from UC Berkeley. Throughout her college career, she worked as a Physics tutor for the Biology Scholars Program focusing on Introductory Physics for college students. At the Art Department in UC Berkeley, Anakaren worked on combining her art practice and fascination for math through various projects based on fractals. After graduating, Anakaren volunteered as a Science and Art teacher at a bilingual school in Honduras where she also contributed to the development of the Science curriculum. She often tutors Middle School, High School, and College students in various Math and Science subjects. On her free time, Anakaren likes to play board games, work on art projects, cook, and, when possible, she helps out at a family owned candy factory that specializes in dulce de leche and other traditional Mexican candies.
Naoki Sato
Math Curriculum Developer
Naoki joined AoPS in 2005 after a successful career in investment banking. He won first place in the 1993 Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, and represented Canada at the 1992 and 1993 International Mathematical Olympiads, winning a bronze and silver medal, respectively. He has also served as deputy leader for the Canadian IMO team in 1997, 2002, and 2006. A native of Toronto, Canada, Naoki earned a Bachelor's in mathematics from the University of Toronto, and a Master's in mathematics from Yale University. His interests include cycling and wine tasting.
Sean Schuster
Beast Academy Operations Director
Sean joined AoPS in 2020. An insatiable lifelong learner with a BS in Business, and holds three six sigma certifications. His professional experiences span management of supply chains and distribution, e-commerce and CRM platforms, and a global network of contact centers. He is passionate about the art of operational excellence and continuous improvement, leveraging programs such as lean, kaizen, six sigma, and others. Sean joined the global muda dori team where he shared his experience and gained new perspectives in Brazil, China, Mexico, and Thailand, to name a few. During his free time, Sean enjoys experiencing new cultures and native cuisine traveling near and far. A lover of the great outdoors, you might find him (and his 3 sons) hiking or camping anywhere from the beach to the mountains.
Melissa Schulz
Language Arts Curriculum Lead
Melissa joined AoPS in 2016. She spent the last decade before that immersed in the worlds of language and teaching. She earned a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine (where she studied abroad in Sweden, learning the delicate arts of eating caviar from a tube and pronouncing words with the letter å) and an MA in English from UC San Diego. Along the way, she has gained more than a decade of experience teaching Language Arts in classrooms ranging from elementary through college, developing curriculum, and supporting other teachers. Aside from books and words, Melissa enjoys landscaping, playing the piano, and learning Spanish.
Dane Scott
Language Arts Curriculum Intern
A San Diego native, Dane studies Classics and Religious Studies in Massachusetts, and he hopes to graduate in 2021. He is excited to return to San Diego for the summer and join the Language Arts team at AoPS. His hobbies include music composition, learning different languages (especially constructed or dead ones), and he is an avid reader of fantasy and sci-fi!
Jessica Seekamp
Virtual Campus Teaching Staff Manager
Jessica is a Teaching Staff Manager for AoPS Academy Virtual Campus and was previously a director at a physical Academy location. Jessica sees math as a record of human creativity and perseverance and loves sharing this view with her students. Jessica holds a BS in applied math from the University of Texas at Dallas and formerly served as a high school Math Department Chair, where she wrote curriculum and taught everything from middle school math to AP Calculus. As a teacher, she wants her students to think deeply as they discuss math, to be creative as they approach problems, and to appreciate the beauty of mathematics. Outside the classroom, you can find Jessica running ultra-marathons or climbing mountains in Colorado.
Greta Selman
Artist
Greta first started as a freelance colorist and artist for the Beast Academy books in 2012. She joined AoPS full-time in January of 2016 in order to help work on the BA websites. Prior to working for AoPS, she worked as a designer for many years in the home decor industry as well as taught Adobe Illustrator courses. When not coloring for a living, she enjoys cycling, cooking, and creating.
Tom Shelly
Math Curriculum Developer
Before joining AoPS in 2020, Tom spent two years as a visiting faculty member at Mount Holyoke College and two years as a faculty member at Edmonds College. Prior to teaching full time, he spent several years drinking lots of coffee while filling up notebooks with drawings of tangled strings, for which he was eventually given a PhD in math from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at UMass, Tom also ran the undergraduate math seminar, served as an advisor for two REU’s, and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UMass Math Department. When he is not doing math, he can usually be found drinking coffee while doing something else. Just know that there is always coffee.
Kris Siy
Math Curriculum Developer
Kris joined AoPS thrice: In 2011 as a student, in 2016 as a teacher, and in 2019 as a math curriculum developer. They started and coached their high school's math team and won the COMAP High School Mathematical Contest in Modelling twice, but their love for math never really cemented until they discovered graph theory while studying in Budapest and went on to complete their M.Math. in graph theory at the University of Waterloo. Kris is also particularly interested in equity in math education and the teaching and learning of discrete mathematics and has previously worked with San Diego State University’s Centre for Research in Math and Science Education to develop discrete math curriculum for high schools. In their free time, Kris enjoys playing board games and playing the ocarina.
Chris Smith
Director, Outreach Initiatives
Chris 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 his 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. Before working in his current role with the company, he also held the position of Campus Director at AoPS Academy Pleasanton. Chris loves exploring challenging math with young learners because it equips them with the skills and mindsets of lifelong learners. Before joining AoPS, 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.
Rebecca Sodervick
AoPS Academy Operations Coordinator
Rebecca previously served as an Associate Director at AoPS Academy Santa Clara and AoPS Academy Bellevue before joining the AoPS headquarters team. 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.
Venus Solomon
School Staff Associate
Venus joined AoPS in 2020, the same year she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. Venus has a long love for math, being a student on AoPS as early as 2011. She is a proud trans woman seeking a better world for all children to learn and grow within. When Venus is not teaching mathematics, she can be found playing guitar and working on publishing her first book of poetry.
Amy Szczepanski
Software Engineer
Amy joined AoPS in 2013. She completed her Ph.D. in mathematics in 2001 at the University of California, San Diego and then spent a few years living in Ithaca, NY while teaching math at an assortment of institutions in the mid-Atlantic states before ending up at the University of Tennessee. While at UT she taught still more math and later coordinated education and outreach for the Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center. She is an alumna of the Research Science Institute and has served on the staff of the program six times, including as Director of the 2009 and 2010 sessions. She enjoys sewing and knitting, especially projects with a mathematical flavor to them.
Stephanie Taylor
Internal Communications Specialist
Stephanie joined AoPS in 2019 after ten years of working for a local San Diego community college. While earning her BA in Literature and Writing Studies, she worked full-time tutoring students in writing, reading skills, grammar, and ESL. After graduating, she was the Writing Center Specialist at MiraCosta College, where she got to hire, train, and manage a rotating staff of amazing student writing consultants. She also spent some time as a staff writer for a pop culture website, where she wrote a whole lot about Game of Thrones and got the slightest taste of how cool it is to get press credentials. Stephanie has been fortunate to work with countless incredible students over the years, which has made her passionate about helping humans of all backgrounds become empowered critical thinkers and researchers. In her free time, she watches tons of horror movies, spends her money at concerts and festivals, annoys her pets with selfies, and goes to the gym more than she thought she would as an adult.
Sarah Trebat-Leder
VP of Personnel
Sarah joined AoPS in 2018 after finishing a PhD in mathematics from Emory University, where she studied number theory and moonshine (no, not the drink). She first fell in love with mathematics while attending HCSSiM in 2007, and since then has been involved in many other summer math programs, including MathPath, PROMYS, Emory's REU, and BEAM. As an undergraduate at Princeton, she was already president of the math club and helping to run PUMaC in her freshman year. When she moved to Atlanta for graduate school, she started Emory Math Circle, which by the end of her tenure was serving over 200 students each semester. In her free time, she likes to play board games and go on long walks.
Denise Trevenen-Parker
HR Administrator
Denise is originally from the Bay Area (San Mateo) and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State and her MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University. She joined the Human Resources team full-time in August 2020 after working many, many years part-time in the Human Resources field. Before joining AoPS you could find her cheering on both her daughters in a multitude of sports, basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, and track! She’s also that crazy person who works out every day at 4am which allows her to eat chocolate every day!
Amanda Turk
Science Curriculum Developer
Amanda joined AoPS in 2019 after six years of classroom teaching. As a teacher, she launched and led multiple flagship programs, including an engineering academy and a Physics First initiative, and developed curriculum for thirteen different physics and engineering courses. In addition to holding a B.A. in Physics Education and a teaching credential, Amanda has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and worked as a mechanical design engineer before becoming a teacher. She is passionate about empowering students to view the world through the lens of physics, to learn from authentic laboratory experiments, and to apply physics to design cool things! Amanda also loves reading, history, and strategy board games. She is an avid theater-goer, hiker, rock climber, and backpacker.
Claire Vannette
Launch Project Manager
Claire studied Literature and Writing at UC San Diego and then spent a year in AmeriCorps, completing service projects across the Eastern seaboard. She has also worked as an SAT tutor, but is very glad she doesn't have to take any more standardized tests. Her hobbies include gardening with native California plants, playing RPGs, and giving people advice on the internet.
Deven Ware
Math Curriculum Lead
Deven joined AoPS in 2014. During this same year he earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics from UCLA. While there, he led the Intermediate Circle at the Los Angeles Math Circle and played with electron lasers for fun. Outside of school, he attended MathPath twice as a counselor and attended the UCLA Logic Summer School as a student. In his free time, Deven enjoys solving logic puzzles and pondering about interesting math problems. He also acknowledges the concerning fact that in this bio he has claimed attending school as one of his outside of school activities.
Josette Welsh
Customer Service Specialist
Josette moved to San Diego with their family in 2011 when their father was stationed at Miramar. While at San Diego State University they did some editing and English tutoring. After graduating, the lovely weather, company, and museums convinced them to stay. In their free time, Josette enjoys tabletop roleplaying games (and designing Google Sheets based character sheets for them), walks around the neighborhood (and the beautiful Balboa Park), cooking (especially when there’s company), and sewing (though they're still getting back into it). They work on two Actual Play podcasts and love working on world development. When they can, Josette loves to take their niece to arcades (namely Nickel City) or host a game day at home.
Alex Williamson
Shipper
After meeting AoPS coworker Micah Spence in his Calculus III class, Alex joined the team in the Summer of 2017. Alex is a student at Cuyamaca College, transferring to SDSU in 2019 for Aerospace Engineering. He loves space basketball, reading books about physics, learning, and enjoys trying new cultural and culinary experiences.
Valerie Wong
Digital Marketing Specialist
Valerie joined AoPS as a Digital Marketing Specialist in 2020 after spending 6 years in the entertainment industry. Having started her career in graphic design and UX, she'd sworn to never go to the dark side (marketing) until she realized her creativity and ideas flourished there during her first project with a marketing team. When she's not working, you can find Valerie behind her VR headset, trying to keep her plants alive, and hanging out with her two dogs and cat. Valerie earned her BA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Phyllis Xu
Software Engineering Team Lead
Phyllis joined AoPS at the start of 2014. Originally from Maryland, she completed her B.S. at MIT in Materials Science and Engineering and continued on to finish her Ph.D. at UC-San Diego where she studied various materials on the nanoscale. In her free time, you'll probably find her walking her pups, eating watermelon, or learning about fermentation science.
Kevin Yaiko
School Staff Manager
Kevin joined AoPS in 2018 as a grader and assistant but transitioned to a full-time position in 2020. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Houghton College and a master's in education from Liberty University. Prior to joining AoPS, Kevin lived 13 years in Budapest, Hungary with his wife and four kids where he taught math and coached basketball at a small international school. He is passionate about promoting learning instead of performing in education. In his free time, he likes starting books that are too big to finish, tinkering with computer programming, and playing Gang Beasts with his kids, both the video game and their own real-life version.
Kiyoshi Yamaguchi-Pedroza
Student Services Specialist
Kiyoshi joined AoPS in 2020 after earning his AA at Santa Ana College and his BA in English at UC Berkeley. In his senior year, he completed an honors thesis comparing two novels concerning Japanese internment: one Japanese American and the other Japanese Canadian. Prior to AoPS, Kiyoshi enjoyed helping students with a variety of career-related issues and concerns as a Peer Advisor for the UC Berkeley Career Center. This work was especially rewarding since he could help other students succeed in school as well as prepare them for their future. He is excited to bring this same enthusiasm and desire to help others to AoPS as well. In his free time, you can find him playing video games, reading, taking walks, or finding something new to learn.
Laura Zehender
Student Services Lead
Laura first joined AoPS as a middle school student in 2004. After taking AoPS's awesome classes for many years, she was excited to start working as a class assistant while she was attending Stanford and then to join AoPS full-time soon after graduating in 2014. She's loved math and teaching for a long time, whether going to math meets (when she could find enough other homeschoolers to form a team!), attending math camps as a camper and later as a counselor, or coaching a MATHCOUNTS team. While at Stanford, Laura studied a mix of mathematics, computer science, and classics – the latter gave her the chance to study abroad in Italy, where she could visit lots of exciting ancient ruins like those in the photo on the left. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, working on crafts, learning new styles of dancing, and roller skating.
Jessica Zhang
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Jessica joined AoPS in 2020 and has a BA in history from UCSD. Before AoPS, she spent two years at a tech startup, where she learned how to build early stage teams from the ground up. Originally from the Bay Area, she’s passionate about education and has been teaching English to ESL students on her own time for 6 years. Her own personal goal is to become fluent in 7 different languages (3 down, 4 to go). When she’s not working, you can find her accidentally napping, exploring new cafes, going to karaoke with her friends, and looking for new ways to push herself out of her comfort zone. Recently, she’s also been getting into making art on Procreate, trying her best to become a good plant mom, and spending way too much time on TikTok.
Kiana Ziglari
Software Engineer
Kiana joined AoPS in 2020 after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona. A lifetime love of logic puzzles led her to a BS in computer science with a minor in mathematics. While studying at CPP, Kiana played an active role in the campus community by representing the school’s computer science department at various events, organizing a coding competition for high school students, and leading a club called the Software Engineering Association. Throughout her development experience, she discovered a passion for user experience, focusing on details that make software simple and convenient. In her free time, she enjoys solving puzzles such as Sudoku and Nonagram, spending time with her dog Bella, playing tabletop role-playing games, and indoor bouldering.
Invalid username
Sign In