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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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Salisa Grant

Salisa Grant Campus Director

Salisa is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy Vienna. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Women’s Studies from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and a master’s degree in English from Howard University in Washington DC. Salisa is a doctoral student in the department of English at Howard University. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and children, and writing poetry.

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo Senior Associate Director

Dennis is a Senior Associate Director for AoPS Academy Vienna. He grew up in Northern Virginia, where he graduated from TJ before going to Virginia Tech to study physics and math. Later, he got his MT in math education from the University of Virginia. He has had a varied and colorful job history, but the one constant is the 22 summers he has spent working at the Lancaster site of Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth summer camp. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching quizbowl, staffing quizbowl tournaments, and watching soccer.

Dr. Michelle Quigley

Dr. Michelle Quigley Senior Associate Director

Michelle is a Senior Associate Director for AoPS Academy Vienna. Her expertise in mathematics has been a lifelong passion. She earned her PhD in physics from The Catholic University of America. Her impressive post-doctoral experience includes time spent with the department of Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin and the department of Psychology at Georgetown University. She has extensive experience teaching students of all ages, from pre-school to young adults. Dr. Quigley is pleased to bring her breadth of knowledge to the classroom at AoPS Academy, where she enjoys sharing insights gained from her experience with astrophysics at NASA and her neuroscience research at the University of Texas.

Aurora Hatchel

Aurora Hatchel Associate Director

Aurora Hatchel earned her Masters of Education from Union University in Tennessee where she spent seven years teaching high school English. She moved to the DMV area to help develop one of the only public secondary Montessori schools in the country. Her love of pushing advanced students beyond traditional curricula drew her to AoPS. She lives for the moments when a student sees a text or philosophy differently from her and opens her eyes to the complexity of familiar literature. Her teaching style is rigorous, and personal, but always warm and humorous.


Office Staff

Richard Helwig

Richard Helwig Administrative Coordinator

Richard is the Administrative Coordinator for AoPS Academy Vienna. Earning his degree in international affairs from James Madison University in just three years, Richard has a love of learning above anything else. He is also working to earn his master's degree at George Mason University while working two jobs. Coming from a military family, Richard has seen and experienced more cultures, ideas, and people than most his age. He's always attentive, calm, and willing to lend an ear to anyone. Richard is also an entrepreneur, co-founding Mild Red, a business consultancy with a dedication and love of investigation and research few can match.

Daniel Epperly

Daniel Epperly Front Desk Lead

Daniel is a Front Desk Lead at AoPS Academy in Vienna, Virginia. His love of fiction in all its forms led him to pursue a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing at the University of Mary Washington. His favorite classes involved the study and writing of fantasy literature. In his spare time, Daniel continues to read fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and comics, while developing his own skills as a writer. He also enjoys playing the Scottish bagpipes, practicing tae kwon do, and watching British detective shows with family.

Marshall Sharif

Marshall Sharif Front Desk Associate

Marshall is a recent graduate from George Mason University, where he studied computer science and information technology. He is currently working towards obtaining his Comp certifications. Marshall loves to hike and is very passionate about computers. He also designs and operates websites.


Instructors

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Sundari Chander

Sundari Chander Senior Instructor

Sundari Chander completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Chennai and later worked as a programmer in Chennai. In 1989, Sundari graduated with a master's degree in mathematical statistics from Purdue University, in Indiana. After working in IT for multiple years, Sundari became a full-time mom and raised her son and daughter. Sundari was very active in TJ's PTA, helping its office-bearers in various ways. She has been a private math tutor since 2014. She is also a trained vocalist in South Indian Classical Music (also known as Carnatic music) and in her spare time, loves watching Pixar movies.

Jessica Abshire

Jessica Abshire

Jessica is an experienced teacher who has worked with young students and adult learners all over the world. Her degree is in elementary and middle school education, and she has extensive experience in the areas of special needs, early childhood, and learning disabilities. Jessica has taught in private and public schools in Indiana, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C., as well as in India and Kosovo, where she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English and mentoring fellow teachers. She graduated with her master’s degree in communication from Georgetown University and works as a Leadership Development Training Specialist for the Department of Homeland Security. Beyond the classroom, Jessica enjoys long runs, reading, and finding opportunities to interact with and learn about different cultures.

Marvin Castellon

Marvin Castellon

Marvin is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied mathematics specializing in algebraic geometry and algebraic topology. He discovered a love for teaching during his undergraduate studies where he assisted students in mathematics and physics. He enjoys programming mathematical visualization tools, primarily for hyperbolic tilings. When not doing math related activities, he enjoys playing guitar and watching horror movies.

Irayah Cooper

Irayah Cooper

Irayah has always had a profound love for reading and writing, having a particular affinity for grammar. This love prompted her to change her academic pursuits from STEM to English while pursuing her undergraduate studies at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. She then went on to get a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Reading/Writing/Literacy. Since then, she has worked as a reading intervention specialist in both Philadelphia and Washington DC. She also works as a writing coach for the capstone course at UPenn. When she is not teaching, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. Aside from working and school, Irayah enjoys spending time with her son and family. She is also an avid traveler, having visited 3 continents and have lived in 2.

Dr. Paul Cote

Dr. Paul Cote

Growing up, all Dr. Paul Cote wanted to do was talk, write, and think about his favorite books and movies. It drove his friends and family crazy. So he earned a doctorate in English and film studies from the University of Maryland, where he teaches and gets to talk and write about books and movies all the time! When he isn't teaching, Dr. Cote likes to spend time with his wife, listen to music, play video games, and hang out with his cat, Hobo. (The cat's fine with Dr. Cote talking about books and movies whenever he wants, just so long as he keeps giving her chin scritches and belly rubs).

Dr. Huaizhang Deng

Dr. Huaizhang Deng

Huaizhang earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Peking University and went on to earn a PhD in particle physics from Yale University. After his love of mathematics was sparked in middle school, in high school he participated in both the Physics and Mathematics Olympiads, taking fourth place in Physics and eighth place in Mathematics for his home province. After graduating from Yale, Huaizhang worked as part of the particle physics experiment at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory that received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015. Currently, he is a quantitative hedge fund manager who develops mathematically sophisticated investment strategies for pension funds and university endowments. Huaizhang is very proud that his mathematics knowledge helps ordinary pensioners enjoy their retirement and helps talented students fund their studies. He is excited to join AoPS Academy and hopes he can instill love and knowledge of mathematics to young students.

David Edelstein

David Edelstein

David holds degrees in computer science, mathematics, and privacy engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He's consulted for the UN, coded for Microsoft, and conducted a genuine parapsychology experiment. While working on his master's degree, he served as a teaching assistant, helping students from a range of backgrounds understand technical privacy concepts. Less officially, he cheerily shares his math knowledge with family, friends, and at times nearby strangers. In his spare time, he writes, cooks, and performs magic.

Dr. Hany Eldeib

Dr. Hany Eldeib

Dr. Eldeib has always loved mathematics. He has extensive experience teaching students of all ages, from younger children up to college students at George Mason University where he has taught many classes. He currently teaches mathematics and computer science at Bard High School Early College in Washington, D.C. Dr. Eldeib has his PhD in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. He has used his extensive knowledge of mathematics to train many of his clients in the satellite communications industry, while at the same time teaching college courses and tutoring his own very talented children.

Dr. David Elkin

Dr. David Elkin

David is a science, mathematics and English teacher who takes a personal interest in all of his students. After a career as a research physicist in nuclear energy and as an image analyst for the Hubble Space Telescope and other missions, he transitioned to teaching students on all levels. He has thirteen years of experience helping students advance in their course work and in their special areas of interest. Students have continually expressed appreciation to him for his role in their success, both for short-term support and long-term meaningful academic relationships. David studied mathematics and physics at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art (BS) and Theoretical Plasma Physics at Columbia University (MPhil and PhD) in New York City.

Dr. Roseanna Gossmann

Dr. Roseanna Gossmann

Dr. G has loved math her whole life, and participated in math clubs and math competitions when she was a kid. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from Tulane University, where she studied computational biofluid dynamics applied to a model of human birth. In addition to loving math, Dr. G is passionate about math education and has taught students from preschool through university at various math circles, public schools, colleges, and extracurricular programs. When not at AoPS, you can find Dr. G teaching math at NOVA Community College, homeschooling her own children, or hiking, camping, and road-tripping with her family and her dog. She recently decided that she needs more hobbies (because playing music, cooking, and reading just aren't enough) and she's settled on embroidery and geocaching.

Dorothy Gray Jr

Dorothy Gray Jr

Ms. Dee loves helping others learn. She enjoyed helping her siblings with their school work when they were younger. When she graduated from college, she decided to put her love of helping others to practice as a teacher. She travelled to Korea, Romania and Spain, to name a few places. Once she arrived to Germany she could not leave. She stayed and helped students with their English essays, practiced conversational English, and taught basics of the English language. When she returned to the United States of America, she taught in a public school located in Maryland. She is still teaching there, going on 4 years. Teaching moves her so much it moved her here to Art of Problem Solving, Vienna. Outside of teaching, Ms. Dee enjoys hikes with her favorite fur buddy Yorkie! At the end of their walks, they share their favorite food pizza!

Melissa Harding

Melissa Harding

Melissa is a 10-year educator who graduated from Meredith College with a BA in mathematics and a Middle Grades Teaching Licensure. She began teaching at AOPS Campus-Morrisville, NC in October 2018 and is excited to transition into the Vienna Campus. She has enjoyed working with AoPS students in all the Beast Academy classes from 2nd through 5th grades, along with Prealgebra as well. Her main goal is to inspire her students to increase their confidence and ability to think deeply and critically about the world and information that is always surrounding them. When not hanging with the coolest young mathematicians around, you can find her teaching Bible, math, and language arts at the Academy of Christian Education in Reston, VA. She loves spending time with her family, including her handsome 6-year old nephew. Dance is another one of Melissa’s passions, as it allows her to balance her brain by being creative, artistic, and expressive.

James Lewis Huss

James Lewis Huss

James Lewis Huss began his English career at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a BA in English Literature. He then earned his MA in English and graduate certificate in TESOL at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. James has taught English in the USA, China, Bolivia, and Taiwan. James is also a published poet, novelist, and playwright. In addition to teaching and writing, James is also a seasoned martial artist with more than 30 years of experience and black belt rankings in both karate and aikido. He has also spent over 10 years studying Tai Chi Chuan, and has practiced and/or taught martial arts in the US, China, Taiwan, Bolivia, the Philippines, and Japan.

Nicole Inge

Nicole Inge

Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and her MFA in poetry from George Mason University. She has several years of experience as an editor and writing tutor, was an intern with the Fall for the Book Festival, and currently works in content marketing. Nicole's poetry has also been published in several literary journals. She has been with AoPS since late 2018 and loves teaching creative writing because it allows students to be as weird and wonderful as they can. In her free time, she loves to read and write poems, explore antique stores, and collect moths.

Reese Joiner

Reese Joiner

Reese grew up in Fairhope, Alabama, where he graduated high school with his IB Diploma in 2016. Here, he developed a love for math, writing, and education as a whole, often considering how he would teach his own classes one day. In 2020, he graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in social work and a minor in creative writing. The same year, he was awarded Outstanding Student of the Year by the faculty of UAB’s School of Social Work. Immediately out of college, he served two years as a middle school mathematics teacher in the Birmingham area under Teach for America. In his free time, Reese works as an editor for a hip hop writing blog.

Dr. Alessandra King

Dr. Alessandra King

Alessandra, an astrophysicist by training, with a doctorate in physics from the University of Milan, has taught physics and mathematics at the middle and high school levels on three continents—in Milano (Italy), Manila (Philippines), and the greater Washington area (USA) and in both the AP and IB systems. She has taught everything from pre-algebra to calculus 2 (equivalent to AP Calculus BC) at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD for eleven years. Alessandra likes to be engaged in professional associations such as NCTM. She is an editor for the NCTM journal “Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching” pre-K -12 and has published articles and blogs in various professional magazines such as MTMS, AMLE Magazine, JAIMS, The Australian Mathematics Teacher, Edutopia, and Mathematics in School. She greatly enjoyed collaborating with TED Ed on a couple of TED Ed lessons on the history of numerical systems and on banned numbers. Besides teaching, Alessandra likes to spend her time reading, hiking, watching good movies, knitting, and crocheting, and making in general.

Kelly Knox

Kelly Knox

Kelly Knox has a proven track record of over two decades in teaching, curriculum development, student mentoring, and art show curation. Knox is passionate about fostering creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong learning. Since 1998, Knox has taught college, high school and private academy courses for students ranging in age from 8 to 80. He is a very experienced and skilled Fine Arts, Humanities, and Theater professional with a master's degree in the humanities and a bachelor's degree in drama. Knox has demonstrated expertise in teaching, writing, painting, drawing, art history, theater writing and directing, as well as poetry writing and professional editing. Knox began his teaching career at two small colleges in Arizona and California, teaching art, the humanities, art history, acting and theater history. In 2017 he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he taught both academic and art courses briefly, at the Art Institute of Las Vegas. When the Art Institutes closed, he moved to the East Coast, where he currently teaches part-time at a small, private art school in Virginia, as well as teaching for AoPS Academy.

Raji Krishnan

Raji Krishnan

Raji Krishnan has an undergraduate degree in math and physics, and two master's degrees in communication engineering and computer engineering. After several years in software and systems engineering and many years working as a patent examiner, Raji has happily settled down as a math instructor to share her love of math and problem solving with students of all backgrounds. In the past, she has enjoyed working as a graduate student instructor teaching computer architecture and digital design; running a Math Olympiad club in her daughter’s elementary school; and coaching and volunteering in FIRST Robotics competitions. In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading, yoga, and long walks.

Dr. Sanggoo P. Lee

Dr. Sanggoo P. Lee

Math instructor Dr. Sanggoo Lee graduated from the University of Arizona with a PhD in physics. He has worked as a scientist and optical engineer in Japan, Korea, and the USA and has spent the past decade teaching and tutoring math and physics to students of different ages. Sanggoo is just as excited about math contests and mathematical problem solving as the bright students at AoPS Academy! When he isn’t teaching, Sanggoo loves to solve math and physics problems and watch educational TV shows.

Kate Main

Kate Main

Kate earned her bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications Arts and Sciences with concentrations in Rhetoric and Technical Writing from Penn State University. She also received her M.E.d. in Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary English Education from George Mason University. Kate’s work experience ranges from teaching high school to consultancy writing. In her free time, she loves hiking in the Shenandoah, blog writing, and reading fiction. She loves learning and critical thinking and hopes her students do too!

Keanya Mallory

Keanya Mallory

Ms. Mallory (or Ms. M) has been a middle school humanities teacher for 7 years now, and is currently a 6th grade ELA teacher in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor of science degree from Virginia State University. Her career has encompassed teaching in some capacity since 2006, but these past 7 years as an educator have been some of the best experiences in her professional career to date! As a member of a large family of educators, she has learned to fully immerse herself into learning any and everything, because that's what makes for an effective teacher. She loves to read and write! Her hope is to impart one of the same loves, or both, onto her students. She can't wait to work with the amazing kiddos of AoPS!

Oly Medlicott

Oly Medlicott

With a love of math, Oly launched into a data analytics career as a Sales Engineer over 25 years ago. Living and working across 4 continents, Oly found her heart in Virginia. Always devoted to kids, teens and families in her spare time, she used to practice and coach Aikido, The Art of Peace Martial Arts for over 10 years. While very busy chasing her 4yo son, Oly is grateful to have a break from office hours and share her love of math with the best kids in Virginia at AoPS Academy.

Vanita Murali

Vanita Murali

Math instructor Vanita Murali holds a master's degree in astrophysics from the University of Delhi, in India. After a 25-year career in IT, she has embraced her passion for teaching. Vanita has taught and tutored math, physics, and chemistry to students from elementary through high school, and works as a substitute teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. Outside the classroom, Vanita loves to bike, hike, kayak, play board games, and watch movies. She also enjoys playing with her pug, Anya, and making beds and blankets for local animal shelters.

Eduardo Perez-Reyes

Eduardo Perez-Reyes

Eddie Perez spent way too much time as a child watching movies and video games, and as a result, found he had no choice but to channel all that knowledge into the pursuit of a media studies (and history) bachelor's degree at the College of William and Mary, as well as a media studies master's degree at Penn State. He also plays guitar, though not very well. He is thrilled to be working at AoPS.

Carling Ramsdell

Carling Ramsdell

Carling earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing and publishing & editing from Susquehanna University and a master's degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. She is the cofounder of a literary “mugazine” called THE LIT MUG and, in her free time, writes strange short fiction about magic and legend. When not writing or teaching, she usually spends her time reading Arthurian stories and keeping up her 7+ year streak on Duolingo. (She’s learning French, Dutch, Danish, Esperanto, and Swedish though is not fluent in any of them—yet.)

Dr. Tim Sang

Dr. Tim Sang

Tim has been working with kids from elementary to high school levels on their math learning journey. While working towards his Ph.D., he was a course instructor and teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses in applied mathematics and engineering. He is passionate about teaching mathematics and helping students improve critical thinking skills. Tim earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia, and he also holds a master’s degree in computer science. Beyond the classroom, Tim enjoys coding and hiking.

Cezar Serban

Cezar Serban

Cezar received his BS in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University in 2004. Having participated in math competitions throughout middle and high school, he 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 classes and community as a student, a grader, and a 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 ten-year-old son.

Nikolett Stang

Nikolett Stang

Niki earned her two master’s degrees in English and German language and literature at the University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities, in her home country, Hungary. She has been teaching students of all age groups in Virginia since 2015, nurturing their love for reading and writing, and guiding them in improving their skills to become the best Language Arts Wizards they possibly can be. She is elated to be working together with the team at AoPS Academy in Vienna, where she can embark with learners on a mutual journey of fun discoveries, exciting book reviews, engaging compositions, and splendid opportunities facilitating personal growth. Nothing makes her happier than seeing that wonderful “Eureka!” moment sparkling in the eyes of her students.

Kaden Wlosko

Kaden Wlosko

Kaden Wlosko is a former tutor and medical scribe with a bachelor's in psychology and biology, hoping to go to medical school for psychiatry. They have an individualized, open teaching style that emphasizes different learning styles, and they work to make lessons relatable with real-life examples and references. They were particularly drawn to AoPS's discussion-based lesson structure. They have a passion for teaching as much as learning, and they find it deeply satisfying and joyful to watch students have that first, "I've got it!" moment.

Dr. Yijia Zhao

Dr. Yijia Zhao

Yijia has always enjoyed thinking about math and is excited to share her love of logical reasoning and problem solving with students of all ages. She holds a BS in mathematics and computer science and a MS in applied mathematics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD in systems engineering from University of Virginia. Her academic interests include discrete optimization, game theory, and decentralized control. In her spare time, she is an avid reader, photographer and globetrotter.

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