Our Sherpas

We have a unique approach to learning. We want kids to discover math for themselves, collegially, by working on an accessible mystery we put in front of them and letting them invent their way together, through error and correction, to insight and then proof. Our classes are not lead by instructors who lecture, but by leaders whose role is that of a Sherpa, pointing out possible paths and cliffs — but our kids do the climbing. 

Alan

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Alan is a life-long learner and lover of math. He had the pleasure of being a student of the Math Circle in the ‘90s and is happy to bring the same experience, opportunity and joy to a new generation of curious minds. Sometime after Math Circle he attended Swarthmore majoring in CS and minoring in Math. He is currently a Software Engineer at Google. He continues to believe people of all ages learn well through collaborative exploration.

Avital

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Avital is a life-long mathematician, software engineer, and math educator. From a very young age he has been enthralled with the mysteries of mathematics, and how to share that deep experience with everyone around him. After completing a masters degree at age 19 doing research in finite group theory, he shifted focus into software engineering, working as an early engineer at multiple start-up companies. In parallel, he founded The School of Mathematics in Brooklyn, where adults from all background met for Socratic discussions leading to mathematical discoveries. He currently lives in Amsterdam with his three children, and works as a machine learning researcher at Google. He currently leads on-line math discussions and helps with technical infrastructure for Global Math Circle. He believes that intimate on-line discussion groups can be an engine for exposing millions of people to the depths of the mathematical experience that's alive in each and every mind.

Bob

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Bob and Ellen began The Math Circle at Harvard in 1994. They have taught subjects ranging from Sanskrit to Gödel’s Theorem to students ranging in age from four to seventy. Together they have written The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero; The Art of the Infinite: The Pleasures of Mathematics; Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free; and Hidden Harmonies: The Lives and Times of the Pythagorean Theorem. Ellen is also the coauthor of Chances Are… Adventures in Probability, and Bozo Sapiens: Why to Err Is Human, co-written with their son Michael Kaplan.

Campo

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Campo is a Mathematician and Colombian professor. He is currently finishing his doctorate at the IMPA (Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro). He is very enthusiastic about the dissemination and teaching of mathematics at all levels. After finishing his bachelor and during his masters he has been working on number theory, especially with problems concerning the distribution of prime numbers. He is currently working on interconnecting Economics, Psychology and Mathematics. Campo has extensive experience as a university professor and currently teaches online for the Global Math Circle

Chris

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Chris earned a BS and MS in Mathematics from Stanford University and then worked for several years in Silicon Valley as a software developer. Later, he moved with his wife to Switzerland, where they co-founded and ran a small software company offering business analytics to hotels. Eighteen years later, Chris and his wife and their two daughters have repatriated to Cambridge, MA, where they are just beginning a new chapter of their life. From his life in Switzerland, Chris misses fondue and views of the Alps and walking across the Chapel Bridge near their home in Luzern. From his new life, Chris appreciates jogging along the Charles River, programming his revolutionary new education-technology software (top-secret!) and Math Circle.

Cynthia

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Cynthia is currently a middle school math teacher who loves math. She is dedicated to helping students understand the why of math and see math as a magical way of looking at the world. She spent over 30 years in Corporate America as an IT Project Manager before going into the classroom. Her love for people and a desire to help others thrive is her motivation for lifelong learning. Cynthia holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from North Carolina Central University. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.

Dyego

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Dyego is a Brazilian Mathematician and Educator. He has always been interested in the problem of teaching about hard and intricate subjects, and how to convey hard ideas in an accessible manner. He was a part of the Brazilian Math Circle, where he met Robert and Ellen Kaplan and learned how to lead a Math Circle both from their example and from personal experience. He has lead several Math Circles with Public School children in Brazil, and lead some discussions with Public School teachers on how to use Math Circle techniques in their classroom. He believes that education becomes more effective and enjoyable when it is based on the deep connections and friendship that forms while sharing a mutual goal, and believes that Math Circles are perfect tools for achieving that.

Farzad

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Farzad is a certified Canadian mathematics and physics teacher. He currently teaches at secondary school in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He loves the 'Aha!' moment that he gets when he solves challenging problems, especially those that have caused him great frustration. He enjoys working through problems that require alternative approaches and ignite thinking outside of the box. Farzad believes it is important to support students discovering mathematics together, with himself as a guide to help illuminate their thinking process and develop the skills that can guide them with problem solving. To this end, he likes to pose open problems that engage or link multiple areas of math and where students are involved in active investigation and collaboration to come up with conjectures or describe patterns they see.

Hilary

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Hilary is curious about the how and the why in math and in life. A teacher of mathematics among other subjects for a dozen or so years, she always wants to get to the root of how people think about a question as much if not more than what the ultimate answer is — the discovery, exploration, and thinking together are always the most fun! Her philosophy is that people of any age and any background can understand even the most complex concepts when given the opportunity to experiment with the right guidance. One of her favorite parts of getting to think about math with new people is to learn new approaches and see different perspectives. Outside of math and teaching related activities, Hilary could be found doing theater tech (before these unprecedented times) and reading a good book or comic.

Jessica

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Jessica is a mathematician & musician pursuing concurrent degrees at the New England Conservatory (M.M. in Flute Performance) and Harvard University (B.A. in Mathematics & Music). An internationally recognized flutist, she is passionate about truth-seeking and problem-solving. She is also an advocate for inclusivity in education and serves on the Board for Harvard’s Gender Inclusivity in Math (GIIM), where she helped establish a department-wide mathematics mentorship program. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, and playing with her dogs Buddy and Roxie.

Masake

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Masaké was once nicknamed "Math-Saké" by a student, due to her enthusiasm for mathematics. She holds a B.A from Howard University and an M.A.T with a major in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She's completed several fellowships in mathematics and in education and when she it not teaching, she loves to travel. She's lived in or visited over 20 countries across 4 continents and she believes in learning and laughing without borders.

Melinda

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Melinda is a recent mathematics PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She currently teaches as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the mathematics department at the University of Arizona. In her spare time she devices ways to share the process of research-level mathematics with populations who typically wouldn't have access to such an experience, whether it be through the calculus of baking brownies or playing a mathematician's connect-the-dots. Her goal is to help others to both develop intuition for what a mathematician does and to appreciate the creative side of mathematical discovery.

Michelle

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Michelle is a dynamic and dedicated mathematics teacher. She is fiercely committed to helping students understand and discuss the why's behind the how's of mathematics, and with purposeful intent encourages students to approach mathematics with an open mind and a flexible point of view. When she earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics, she never thought she'd become a teacher, but now, after 20 years in the field, she cannot imagine doing anything else! Michelle currently lives in Rome, Italy, where she teaches mathematics to middle and high school students, as well as teaching online for the Global Math Circle.

Mike

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Michael is an EdTech professional with a background in Mathematics and IT. He is the co-founder of Edutab.africa and has worked with the African Maths Initiative-Kenya and IDEMS International, UK. He has helped set up and run Moodle for learning institutions and online assessment in mathematics using System for Teaching and Assessment using Computer algebra Kernel (STACK). He is currently involved in training a team of Moodle experts across Africa in an effort to mitigate Covid-19 challenges in education. Mike is passionate about using the prevailing technology and skills to reduce the negative perception towards mathematical sciences.

Sam

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Sam was a Math Circle student from 1996 to 2004, and taught offline Math Circle classes in Boston from 2002 to 2009. After studying math in college and grad school, he now works as a "quantitative analyst" (data scientist) at a hedge fund in New York City. He enjoys playing chess, bridge, and go, and currently lives with his wife in lower Manhattan.

Sharon

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Sharon loves questions. When they are fruitful and well-posed, they sow many seeds in her brain. Creative and critical thinking make them grow; inspiring discussions allow them to bloom. That is why she fosters a cooperative learning process. Sharon is no stranger to cooperation; she earned her PhD in economics on the topic of mutual cooperation from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). She applies these principles throughout her professional life, for example when leading a math circle. Living in Switzerland, her circles generally take place within a European time zone.

Taylor

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Taylor was lucky enough to have the Math Circle play a major role in his math learning as a young homeschooler, and he is delighted to have the chance to pass forward his joy and excitement for the subject through the Global Math Circle. He is a recent graduate of Carleton College, where he received a B.A. in Mathematics, although he identifies first and foremost as a student of the liberal arts. He is a life-long lover of learning, and his interests range from math to language to Tai chi to religion. He currently lives near Boston MA. In his free time he enjoys folk dancing, making up writing systems, playing music, and exploring algorithmic art.

Theresa

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Theresa is a high school math teacher. She treasures her faith and her family, and she loves quilts, music, and coffee with hazelnut creamer. After many years of valuing math for what it DOES, she has reached the point of appreciating math for what it IS – a rich landscape of amazing connections with something to offer everyone from the casual observer to the most serious theoretician. She can frequently be found exploring some part of the terrain in the company of others, whether at the kitchen table, in a traditional classroom or, most recently, within a Math Circle.

Tifin

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Tifin is a middle school math and science teacher who is interested in making math the favorite subject of every student in her class. She has taught in Vermont in the US, and at international schools in Kazakhstan, Tunisia, and Zurich. She developed curriculum for LearnZillion, where she created engaging lessons that allow students to develop their own understanding of the concepts through creative thinking and problem solving. Currently, Tifin is focusing on collecting data about teaching practices associated with student motivation and performance. She is working toward a masters degree in Mathematics Teaching from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. She consults with the mathematics department in schools in Bangladesh, Switzerland, Italy, and Senegal, where she works with teachers to help them teach mathematics in a way that challenges and inspires students to see mathematics as inspiring instead of intimidating.

 
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