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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. 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.

Instructors

Interested in joining our team? Click here to learn more!

Mark Smith

Mark is the Site Director for AoPS Academy in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Houston at Victoria and a Master of Education degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has worked at schools in the US, China, Hong Kong, and Jordan teaching a broad range of rigorous math and computer science courses and leading both mathematics and technology departments, through all of which he has shared his passion for math and technology through active, student-centered and inquiry-based pedagogy. In his spare time, Mark likes to tinker: on his computer with web design, in his workshop with tools, and with various instruments making music.

Mark Smith

Victoria Vetrano

Victoria is the Assistant Site Director for AoPS Academy sites in Vienna, Virginia and Gaithersburg, Maryland. Victoria has taught mathematics at various levels for 7 years at Montgomery College and Northern Virginia Community College, and continues to share the passion of education. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from University of Washington. Other than mathematics, Victoria also has a minor in Studio Art. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, origami, and creating Chinese calligraphy pieces for various occasions.

Victoria Vetrano

Rebecca Poyatt

Rebecca has taught and tutored for over eleven years. She currently serves as a fifth grade language arts teacher at Landon School in Bethesda, MD. She has previously worked in elementary and middle school classrooms across Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Rebecca also has extensive experience as a K-12 tutor, focusing on reading, writing, history, and test preparation. Rebecca holds both a master's degree in education and a specialist degree in education theory and practice from the University of Georgia. She actively continues to study the teaching of writing through the National Writing Project.

Rebecca Poyatt

Alessandra King

Alessandra is an astrophysicist by training, with a Doctor of Physics degree from Milan University. She has over 15 years of experience teaching mathematics at several local schools. She was Director of the mathematics department at Green Hedges School in Vienna, VA for over 7 years, and currently teaches middle and high school level mathematics at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda.

Alessandra King

Ben Stone

Ben Stone is an experienced high school math teacher who has assisted in many of the Art of Problem Solving online classes from Pre-Algebra to Calculus. He is also a very experienced teacher of math competition classes. Ben was a three-time AIME participant, and also placed second in the Oregon High School state math championships. Ben holds a B.S. in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Washington. Ben is also a content developer for the Art of Problem Solving's Beast Academy online, for students from grade 2 to 5.

Ben Stone

Matthew Ratz

Matthew has been supporting, engaging, and teaching students for more than 12 years. He has taught Literature, Film, and Writing to middle and high school students at both public and private schools, and he has been an adjunct professor of English Composition at Montgomery College since 2010. In addition to his role at AoPS, he will be teaching English Composition at Howard Community College this fall. Matthew has presented at a number of local and national educational conferences, and he has had his ideas published in an array of newspapers and magazines. Matthew recently published a chapbook of original free-verse poems called Lightning Bugs in Fragile Jars. He holds his B.A. in English Language and Literature with dual foci in Film & Visual Studies and British & American Literature, and holds his M.Ed. in English Education, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys acting in dramatic and musical theater productions.

Matthew Ratz

Joyce Yang

Joyce Yang has participated in math competitions including the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) and American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). Ms. Yang obtained a B.S. in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College in 2016 and started grading for Art of Problem Solving in 2011. Ms. Yang also has experience in research in mathematics and statistics.

Joyce Yang

Dr. James Tian

James is a math professor at Hampton University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from The University of Iowa, and has over 10 years teaching and research experience. His work involves questions originated in signal processing, machine learning, operator theory, and mathematical physics.

Dr. James Tian

Cezar Serban

Cezar received his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2004. He participated in math competitions in middle and high school, and later fell in love with teaching math to bright students as a TA in college. He first discovered AoPS in 2013 and has been hooked on problem solving ever since. He's had a blast being involved with the AoPS online community and classes as a student, grader, and course assistant. Cezar's other hobbies involve running long distances, playing lots of chess, and attempting to improvise jazz on his clarinet, all while being constantly entertained by his highly energetic six year old son.

Cezar Serban

Lisa Voss

Lisa has more than 16 years’ experience developing and delivering academic writing courses. Her areas of expertise include developmental English, basic and advanced composition, technical writing, business writing, and creative writing for students from middle school through graduate school. She is also a playwright whose work has been produced in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Lisa has an MA in Fiction Writing from The Johns Hopkins University and a BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Lisa Voss

Shahzad Rajput

Shahzad has over 10 years of teaching and research experience. His area of expertise includes using computers for understanding and analyzing text. He strongly believes that building a strong mathematical foundation at a young age plays a key role in maintaining interest in mathematics later in life, thereby expanding career options for the individual. Shahzad's hobbies include playing strategy games.

Shahzad Rajput

Jonathon Baker

Jonathon has spent ten years working in various locations teaching mathematics to many diverse people. He has spent most of his time working for the Community College of Baltimore County as an adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Baltimore County Public Schools as a math teacher. He currently holds a Bachelor's degree from Goucher College in Mathematics and will soon be working towards his Master's Degree in the same filed of study. He enjoys the field of teaching.

Jonathon Baker

Dr. Mark Helfand

Mark is a retired earth scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Goddard Institute for Space Studies. At GSFC, he researched the Earth’s atmosphere and climate variability, designed and built state-of-the-art Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate Simulation models, and lectured in outreach programs as a NASA “Ambassador." Mark holds a BS in Mathematics from MIT and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University. Mark has taught mathematics and earth science at several universities, and currently is a substitute math and science teacher within the Montgomery County Public School System. He is a scientific consultant and independent scientific and technical editor.

Dr. Mark Helfand

Jessica Screen

Jessica Screen joined AoPS in 2017. In addition to teaching at AoPS, Jessica is an English Language Arts teacher and Reading Specialist at Paul Public Charter School in Northwest DC. She is a graduate of Emory University where she received her BA in Philosophy and is currently working on her M.Ed in Secondary Education from Johns Hopkins University. Jessica has extensive experience in reading intervention, rigorous text-based instruction, and using critical thinking questions to advance her students academically. Jessica believes in a philanthropic and artistic approach to education; crafting creative and holistic lessons is her passion. In her free time, she enjoys composing music, cooking, and traveling.

Jessica Screen
"One of the best decisions I ever made was to send my son to AoPS Academy for improving his math skills. The results are simply amazing! In addition to dramatically improving his math skills, my son also enjoys the social environment that the academy offers. Personally, I am very impressed with the quality of the entire staff (teaching and non-teaching alike). I would not hesitate to recommend AoPS Academy to any parent who is serious about developing their child's academic potential in a safe and stimulating environment."
-Kiran H.
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