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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

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Dr. Jim Conant

Dr. Conant is the Campus Director for AoPS Academy in Carmel Valley, CA. He received his B.A. in mathematics from Rutgers University in 1995, winning the John Bogart prize as the top graduating math major. He earned his PhD, also in mathematics, from UC San Diego in 2000, and became a postdoctoral associate at Cornell for the next 3 years. He has spent most of his career as a tenured professor at the University of Tennessee, where he has won awards for outstanding research. His work has been published in many internationally recognized high profile journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served multiple times on the Problem Writing Committee for the University of Tennessee High School Math Contest, and has graded for the USA Mathematical Olympiad. His true passion is teaching and he enjoys the challenge of developing problem solving skills in the next generations of young minds.

Dr. Jim Conant

Melissa Schulz

Melissa is the Language Arts Department Chair. She holds an M.A. in English from UC San Diego, and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine (where she studied abroad in Sweden, learning the delicate arts of eating caviar from a tube and pronouncing words with the letter å). At UCSD, she was a writing instructor in Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Making of the Modern World program. For the past several years, she has worked as a teacher and private tutor in San Diego, specializing in reading and writing instruction for gifted students. Aside from books and words, Melissa enjoys pulling weeds, practicing Spanish, playing piano, and petting her two cats.

Melissa Schulz

Ivy Chen

Ivy holds a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.Ed. in Secondary Mathematics Education from UC San Diego. Coming to the United States from Taiwan at the age of 10, she has a strong passion for mathematics. During her undergraduate years, she completed an honors thesis on elliptic curves and received departmental honors. While being a math instructor at AoPS, she's pursuing an M.S. in Computational Science, Mathematics and Engineering from UC San Diego. Ivy enjoys watching Disney movies, drinking boba, and walking her dog in the park in her spare time.

Ivy Chen

Dr. Dorothy Couchman

Dorothy holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Virginia and has been talking to people and asking questions about books and ideas since even before she learned to read. (Her very first student was her sock monkey, Monkey). On her return to California from the East Coast, she celebrated by throwing out all her wool socks. When she isn't teaching language arts, she enjoys making pickles, exploring the outdoors, and taking Scrabble just a little too seriously.

Dr. Dorothy Couchman

Kyle Guillet

Kyle joined AoPS full-time in 2012, and is a co-author of the Beast Academy books for students in grades 2-5. In 2009, he earned dual B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Biology as a Dean's Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, he joined Teach For America (TFA) to help close the achievement gap in low income communities. As part of the TFA corps, he worked in rural New Mexico where he taught 6th and 8th grade math, earning honors for achieving the top one-year gains in the state. He enjoys dancing poorly, and as a matter of principle will only buy prime rib if the number of ribs is actually prime.

Kyle Guillet

Jennifer Lane

Jennifer is a California-based playwright, novelist, and teaching artist originally from Troy, Michigan. She earned her MFA in Dramatic Writing from Columbia University and her BA with a focus in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. When Jenny isn't writing, talking about writing, or teaching writing-related courses, she enjoys going to the theater, playing board games, and crocheting amigurumi creatures. She rarely goes anywhere without a notebook and a novel.

Jennifer Lane

Faye Li

Faye joined AoPS as a math instructor in 2017. She earned a Bachelor's degree from Cooper Union in Electrical Engineering with a full scholarship for all 4 years and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While working full time for GE Aerospace, Faye also earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Binghamton University. Faye built a career in the Power Electronics industry for over ten years, including at Philips Electronics NV, where she had two patents granted in the area of high power electronics. She has coached her son’s robotics teams and led one to the FLL World Festival Competition in 2016, representing Southern California. She has been a private tutor in math for high schoolers and also uses the AoPS curriculum to teach both of her sons for the past three years. Faye has a passion for math and loves to solve math puzzles for fun.

Faye Li

Dr. Yating Liu

Yating Liu is the Operations Director of AoPS Academy. He earned his B.S. in Mathematics from Peking University, and received his M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Ohio State. Before joining AoPS, he was an assistant professor at Old Dominion University, where he researched designing mathematical tasks that nurture students' problem solving and mathematical reasoning capacities. In his free time, Yating enjoys hiking, playing ping pong, and swimming.

Dr. Yating Liu

Mackenzie Moriarty

Mackenzie is a born-and-raised San Diegan returning from teaching in NYC. She received her Bachelor’s in English from Loyola Marymount University, where she also minored in theatre. Mackenzie worked at La Jolla Playhouse after college then moved to NYC to pursue teaching. While there, she taught 2nd and 4th grade with Success Academy Charter Schools. She is now returning to San Diego to receive her California teaching credential in secondary English and elementary education from Point Loma Nazarene University. When she’s not teaching, she loves hiking with her husband and dog, knitting on the couch with her cat, Netflix marathons, and finding a good coffee shop with the perfect reading spot.

Mackenzie Moriarty

Dr. Meggie Morris

Meggie brings over a decade of experience in teaching and tutoring to AoPS Academy. She specializes in the humanities, teaching subjects ranging from reading comprehension and writing to foreign languages and history. Meggie holds a PhD and MA in Art History from New York University, as well as a BA in International Relations and History from the University of Richmond. In addition to her work as a humanities instructor, Meggie continues to work as an independent scholar and freelance writer and has published essays and chapters in both English and Spanish publications. She is excited to share her enthusiasm for language arts with the outstanding students of AoPS!

Dr. Meggie Morris

Tasha Moyer

In 2009, Tasha graduated with a math degree from Arizona State, where Barack Obama gave her commencement address. After college, she joined Teach For America and taught Algebra I and Algebra Readiness for two years at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, CA. She then moved to Oakland, CA to teach Precalc and AP Calc at KIPP King Collegiate High School. At King, she also served as Math Department Chair. In 2014, Tasha joined AoPS, where she has worn many hats. Now, she could not be more excited to be back in the classroom. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys exploring San Diego with her friends, running and doing yoga by the beach, and cuddling with her adorable cat Eli.

Tasha Moyer

Dr. Noah Prince

Noah Prince joined AoPS in 2016. Before that, he taught math and coached quizbowl at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Noah earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2008, having done his thesis research in graph theory. He also earned his B.S. from U of I in 2004. He has taught enrichment camps for mathematically-bent middle schoolers and graduate math classes at a local university, sometimes in the same day. He likes proofs that involve mathematical induction, and his favorite proof (that of the Erdos-Ginzburg-Ziv Theorem) uses two inductions in its base case. When not doing math, he plays with his three kids, reads novels, and eats lots of hummus.

Dr. Noah Prince

Shannon Rogers

Shannon joined AoPS in 2011 after earning her degree in Mathematics from UCLA. While at UCLA, Shannon also spent a great deal of time delving into education, especially at the elementary level. She completed extensive coursework in Education, spent hundreds of hours assisting in classrooms at the UCLA Lab School, and was a research assistant on studies with UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences. Shannon also spent two years teaching at the Los Angeles Math Circle (LAMC), and was the Lead Instructor for the LAMC's Junior Group in 2010. Now in San Diego, she frequently teaches student groups at the San Diego Math Circle and is an active participant in the San Diego Math Teachers' Circle. Shannon is co-author of AoPS's Beast Academy series of books for students in grades 2-5. She loves math jokes, sign language, Doctor Who, and all things combinatorics.

Shannon Rogers

Shelly Ruderman

Shelly joined AoPS in 2017. She received her bachelor's in math at SDSU and her masters at DePaul University. She has been teaching in the San Diego area for the past six years. She has taught math from elementary school to the community college level. She is currently working at several different community colleges. She is also looking forward to teaching students that are at the same level as her son!

Shelly Ruderman

Naoki Sato

Naoki joined AoPS in 2005 after a successful career in investment banking. He won first place in the 1993 Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, and represented Canada at the 1992 and 1993 International Mathematical Olympiads, winning a bronze and silver medal, respectively. He also served as deputy leader for the Canadian IMO team in 1997, 2002, and 2006. A native of Toronto, Canada, Naoki earned a Bachelor's in Mathematics from the University of Toronto, and a Master's in Mathematics from Yale University. His interests include cycling and wine tasting.

Naoki Sato

Dr. Theodore (Ted) Shifrin

Ted earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Berkeley in 1979 and then taught at MIT for two years and at The University of Georgia for 34 years. He has published textbooks in modern algebra, linear algebra, multivariable mathematics, and differential geometry, and 112 lectures from one of the last years of his multivariable mathematics course at UGA are available on YouTube. He is also quite active on Mathematics StackExchange. Since retiring and moving to San Diego, he has discovered how much he misses the fun of classroom teaching and is very excited to be joining the ranks of AoPS.

Dr. Theodore (Ted) Shifrin

Elizabeth Sweetman

Elizabeth holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s in English (minor in French) from the University of Virginia. Elizabeth is originally from Russia and has lived and worked in six countries – most recently as a language teacher in Cyprus, where she also volunteered as an instructor and cross-cultural facilitator with two higher education non-profits that work with refugees. When she is not teaching or writing, Elizabeth enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the West Coast with her husband, and perfecting her standing yoga poses.

Elizabeth Sweetman

James Sweetman

James holds a Bachelor's in English from the University of London and a Master's from the University of Oxford. As well as teaching English and History, James is a creative writer. His current project — a period drama set during the French Regency — combines his academic interests with a rollicking story about the first pan-European stock market boom and bust. When he's not teaching or writing, James enjoys reading and traveling; he has visited five continents, and, despite spending most of his life in England, is a confirmed Francophile.

James Sweetman

Lauren Villa

Lauren is a writer based in San Diego, California. Lauren grew up in Pinetop, Arizona and received her BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in poetry and nonfiction. After graduating from Hopkins, Lauren spent a year volunteering as a writing instructor at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley and is a Gates Millennium Scholar. Over the past several years she has worked as a program director for a San Francisco-based non-profit, a research assistant at UCSD’s Center for Gender Equity and Health, and more recently as a web content writer. She enjoys writing, traveling, film, drinking coffee, and hanging out with her dog Chimichanga.

Lauren Villa

Deven Ware

Deven joined AoPS in 2014. During this same year he earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics from UCLA. While there, he led the Intermediate Circle at the Los Angeles Math Circle and played with electron lasers for fun. Outside of school, he attended MathPath twice as a counselor and attended the UCLA Logic Summer School as a student. In his free time, Deven enjoys solving logic puzzles and pondering about interesting math problems. He also acknowledges the concerning fact that in this bio he has claimed attending school as one of his outside of school activities.

Deven Ware

Dr. Shin Yen

Shin has homeschooled her three children for the last 14 years and has taught math at all levels from arithmetic to calculus. She holds a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where she conducted research in Spiral Computed Tomography (CT) Image reconstruction and volumetric visualization of Spiral CT data. Shin is the founder of the Carmel Valley Math Circle where young math enthusiasts meet and learn to use AoPS problem solving techniques. She also designs curriculum that teaches students how to learn math by thinking about it as a creative process and not just a series of mechanical skills. Outside of teaching, she enjoys taking long walks with her family, gardening and quilting.

Dr. Shin Yen
"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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