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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

Glen Dawson is the National Director of AoPS Academy. 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.

Management Staff

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Sean Russom - Campus Director

Sean is the AoPS Academy Regional Director for the Vienna, Gaithersburg, and Princeton campuses, as well as AoPS Academy Vienna's Campus Director. He is an experienced teacher of gifted children at both the middle- and high-school levels. Sean holds a degree in math from the University of North Carolina. In addition to having been a successful Mathcounts coach, he also designed the Algebra 1 curriculum for the high school where he used to teach in North Carolina. A talented manager and experienced teaching professional, Sean loves spending his spare time creating challenging math problems for advanced students.

Sean Russom - Campus Director

Dr. Roseanna Gossmann - Assistant Campus Director

Roseanna is the Assistant Director of AoPS Academy Vienna. She has a PhD in Mathematics from Tulane University in New Orleans, where she taught and tutored university students in math and statistics, and conducted mathematical research focusing on computational biofluid dynamics as part of a National Science Foundation Research Training Group. As an undergraduate, she studied mathematics, biology, and education, graduating summa cum laude from Mills College in Oakland, California. She is a passionate math educator and has taught high-school math and biology, guided young learners at various math circles, and facilitated STEM education events.

Dr. Roseanna Gossmann - Assistant Campus Director

Dr. Leigha McReynolds - Language Arts Department Chair

Leigha is the Language Arts Department Chair for AoPS Academy in Vienna, Virginia. She has a PhD in English literature from The George Washington University, and spends the academic year teaching first-year writing at American University and NOVA. She has also taught writing and literature for GWU. In the summers, Leigha is an administrator for an academic summer camp for students grades three through nine, whose courses in reading and writing she designed. Leigha also actively presents and publishes her research on Victorian novels, contemporary science fiction and fantasy, and the teaching of writing. In her spare time, she enjoys competitive ballroom dance.

Dr. Leigha McReynolds - Language Arts Department Chair

Dr. Tawnya Azar - Community Outreach Coordinator

Tawnya is the Community Outreach Coordinator at AoPS Academy Vienna. She received her PhD in literature at The George Washington University, where she studied the digital humanities and South Asian and diaspora literature. She has taught courses in composition and literature at the likes of Northern Virginia Community College, GWU, and Marymount University. When she isn't hard at work making sure that the D.C. Metro Area knows all about what makes AoPS Academy so great, Tawnya tutors high school students and bakes goodies for her family and friends.

Dr. Tawnya Azar - Community Outreach Coordinator

Instructors

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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 in Kosovo, where she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English and mentoring fellow teachers. Currently working on an MPS in public relations and corporate communications, Jessica also teaches in D.C. Outside of the classroom, Jessica speaks Albanian and enjoys long runs, reading, and learning about different cultures.

Jessica Abshire

Dr. Vargha Azad

Dr. Azad's mathematical talents led her to obtain a PhD in economics from George Washington University. She has taught at Johns Hopkins University and Potomac College, and also served as lead mathematics professor for Strayer University. Dr. Azad has taught mathematics, finance, statistics, and economics for over 20 years in the DC Metro Area, in addition to serving as a key financial advisor to the World Bank, where she has been involved in many important decisions impacting global finance.

Dr. Vargha Azad

Vanessa Baer

Vanessa is an attorney in northern Virginia, having earned her JD from George Mason University and her BA in philosophy from Dartmouth College. She tutors students from elementary school through college in liberal arts subjects from philosophy to writing and critical thinking. Vanessa is currently at work on a book designed to introduce formal logic and argumentation to elementary-school students. In her spare time, she plays competitive racquetball and renovates the 1800s farmhouse that she shares with her husband.

Vanessa Baer

Dr. Huaizhang Deng

Huaizhang attended Peking University, earning an undergraduate degree in physics. He later went on to earn a Ph.D. in particle physics from Yale University. Huaizhang's love of mathematics started in middle school, and in high school he participated in both the Physics and Mathematics Olympiad, taking 4th place in Physics and 8th place in Mathematics for his home province. After graduating from Yale, Huaizhang worked in a particle physics experiment called SNO which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015. Now he is a quantitative hedge fund manager whose work is to develop sophisticated mathematical investment strategies. Huaizhang's clients include pension funds and university endowments. He is very proud that his mathematics knowledge helps ordinary pensioners enjoy their retirement and helps talented students receive scholarships. Huaizhang is excited to join AoPS and hopes he can instill love and knowledge of mathematics to young students.

Dr. Huaizhang Deng

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. Dr. Eldeib has his PhD in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. 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, who both attended Harvard University.

Dr. Hany Eldeib

Dr. Colm Everard

Dr. Colm Everard earned a Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering as well as an undergraduate degree in statistics from University College Dublin in Ireland. He has experience teaching science and engineering at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Everard also has over a decade of industry experience working as an engineer and statistician.

Dr. Colm Everard

Monika Hossain

Monika Hossain is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in English concentrating in Literary Prose. In college, she was a writing center tutor where she helped students improve their writing skills and essay content. She is excited to begin working with AoPS!

Monika Hossain

Dr. 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.

Dr. Alessandra King

Mary Lee

Ms. Lee holds a BS in Applied Mathematics from George Washington University. She is currently working on her Masters degree in Mathematics Education. Ms. Lee is also a JUMP scholar (Joint Undergraduate Math and Physics) at George Washington. She has extensive experience teaching and tutoring mathematics for students from 2nd grade through college. She is also bilingual in both English and Korean.

Mary Lee

Ed Mull

Mr. Mull has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. He served as a Professor at Virginia Tech and has worked for many years in the IT and Communications field. Ed's expertise as a college level instructor is supplemented by his vast experience teaching and training many professionals in the IT industry.

Ed Mull

Zach Powers

Zach Powers is the author of Gravity Changes, an award-winning collection of short fiction, and his stories, essays, and articles have appeared in publications throughout the country. He holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing and previously served as an Adjunct Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. He also volunteered for four years as a Writing Fellow with Deep Center, leading after-school writing workshops in public middle and high schools in the Savannah, Georgia area.

Zach Powers

Dr. Michelle Quigley

Dr. Quigley's 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 college undergraduates. From her experience with Astrophysics with NASA and her research on Neuroscience at the University of Texas to her experience as a mother of four children, Dr. Quigley has a breadth of knowledge and experience that is an asset to her in the classroom.

Dr. Michelle Quigley

Shahzad Rajput

Shahzad has over 10 years of teaching and research experience. His area of expertise includes using computers for understanding and analyzing text. After earning his B.C.S at the FAST Institute of Computer Science, Pakistan, where he had a merit scholarship, Shahzad earned his M.S. in Computer Science at the National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Pakistan. Shahzad 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 maximizing the student’s career options. Shahzad's hobbies include playing strategy games and cricket.

Shahzad Rajput

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

Karen Smith

Karen is an experienced high school English teacher who has spent the last nine years teaching overseas in Jordan, Hong Kong, and China. She has a bachelor's degree in English and Inclusive Education from Athabasca University in Canada. While teaching overseas, Karen earned an International Counseling certification from the Teacher Training Institute. Karen has extensive experience working with students in a one on one setting as well as training school faculty in areas of differentiation and special needs. Now that Karen has returned to the United States, she is enjoying exploring the DC area, getting back to teaching fitness classes and spending time with her family.

Karen Smith

Amanda Stack

Amanda is currently an MFA creative nonfiction candidate and graduate teaching assistant at George Mason University. She has taught English composition at GMU for one year and will continue to do so in the upcoming fall semester. Her MFA thesis focuses on epilepsy with a blend of research and personal narrative. Her research targets stigma and misunderstandings of epileptics throughout history while the personal narrative focuses on inheritance, infertility, and independence. Previously, Amanda has worked as a writing tutor at GMU and Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York. She received her associate's degree from Finger Lakes Community College and her bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University. Amanda hopes to teach writing for the rest of her life.

Amanda Stack

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

Julia Tungli

After taking a year off to start a family, Julia is excited to re-enter the world of math education with AoPS. She started her journey earning her Bachelors in Mathematics (2001) and Masters in Mathematics Education (2005), both from Rutgers University. Along the way, she has taught math and technology in grades K-12, with a four-year detour in the middle to develop content for math teachers and students at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Her passion is in helping unfold the intrigue and beauty of mathematics for students of all ages. Outside of the classroom, she dabbles in origami and meanders along hiking trails.

Julia Tungli

Dr. Aman Ullah

Dr. Ullah earned his PhD in Computational Biophysics from Ohio University. He utilizes his impressive math skills as a postdoctoral fellow at George Mason University, where he recently accepted a tenure track position towards full Professor. He has also worked as an Assistant Professor at Northern Virginia Community College before accepting his recent position at George Mason. His work on cardiac functioning has led to cutting edge research developing novel computational algorithms for efficiently solving the large-scale stochastic models used to study the heart. His work involves extensive use of Markov models, reaction diffusion equations, bifurcation theory, and numerous other nonlinear dynamics tools.

Dr. Aman Ullah

Erin Vander Wall

Erin is the Campus Administrator for AoPS Academy Vienna. Erin is finishing her PhD in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century British literature at The George Washington University, where she has taught writing since 2012. She has also taught literature and writing at Eastern Michigan University. When she isn't keeping AoPS Academy Vienna running smoothly, Erin researches and writes about natural disasters, the gothic, and monsters.

Erin Vander Wall

Dr. Abraham Varghese

Abraham is a recent PhD graduate in applied mathematics from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in electronics and communication engineering, he briefly worked as a software engineer for Texas Instruments. He is a proponent of AoPS textbooks and has advocated AoPS way of learning math to some of his personal tutoring clients. He loves teaching math, physics, and other engineering subjects. In addition to doing research, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and son, playing soccer, hiking, involvement with his church community, wrestling with past olympiad problems and chatting new start-up ideas with his best buddy.

Dr. Abraham Varghese

Dr. Ting Zhang

Dr. Ting Zhang holds a Masters in Finance from Johns Hopkins and a PhD in Regional Economics and Policy from George Mason. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Economics at that University of Baltimore and Associate Director of the Jacob France Institute. Dr. Zhang is often invited to speak at colleges and businesses, and she has also had her research published in various academic journals. Dr. Zhang has a strong passion for working with children and has experienced first-hand the power of AoPS curriculum—her own child attends AoPS Academy!

Dr. Ting Zhang
"AoPS Academy is truly a wonderful place to learn advanced concepts in math. The academy has highly qualified instructors who not only help kids learn rigorous math concepts in great depth, but also inspire them to achieve the lofty heights that they are capable of. The instructors are truly an inspiration for my children due to their thoughtful mentoring. Thank you for everything you do for our kids."
-Praveen T.
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