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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.


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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

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
"AoPS Academy is such a valuable resource for my two daughters and our family.  We kept hitting brick walls with our former school and the Director of AoPS Academy was the first person to honestly explain to us options and provide us with information so that we could make informed decisions about their education.  For that we are forever grateful and trust him beyond measure. AoPS Academy is far more than just an after-school academic training center. They have gone above and beyond to help our children's talents develop into their full potential.  Art of Problem Solving Academy will continue to be a key part of our long-term education plan.  The results have been amazing! They are truly my children’s first school, even though they are an after-school program!"
-Wendy D.
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