Building a Better Graphing Calculator, with Eli Luberoff

February 20, 2019

This episode’s guest is Eli Luberoff, founder and CEO of Desmos, which offers a free online graphing calculator that is currently being used by millions of students around the world. Eli talks about his work building educational resources that not only benefit learning goals, but help inspire students’ creativity and enthusiasm. He and Richard also discuss what they’ve both learned about founding an education startup, and what role technology can–and should–play in the classroom.

You’ll hear about Eli’s unique educational background, and how it set him on the path to becoming an innovator in student learning. He describes the fateful time in elementary school when he coded his first program on a graphing calculator, and how he now seeks to help students achieve that same feeling of creative inspiration. He also discusses his educational philosophy, and why it’s important to give students the tools–and the freedom–to create cool stuff on their own.

Eli and Richard compare their experiences founding and leading their own companies to support passionate math students. You’ll hear about challenges like building a team of employees, raising the capital needed to get your company off the ground, and dealing with the many anxieties that come with the job. You’ll find out why the role of CEO is often rewarding, but rarely glamorous.

Eli and Richard also discuss the role of technology in education, and why the pursuit of innovation should be checked with a healthy dose of skepticism. Technology can enhance engagement in the classroom, but it can also distract from it. Eli and Richard talk about potential pitfalls inherent in technology, and why it’s important to be deliberate and responsible with the new resources that they create.

You can learn more, and try out the free graphing calculator for yourself, at You can also follow Desmos on Twitter.

Enter your email below to receive monthly digests of AoPS News articles, updates, and more!