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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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Thomas Flood - Campus Director

Thomas is the Campus Director of AoPS Academy Bellevue. He began his career at AoPS as the Assistant Director of the Academy in Vienna, Virginia. He is an experienced teacher and tutor with a passion for education policy. After completing his MAEd from Wake Forest University, Thomas moved to Washington, DC, where he taught middle- and high-school math as well as math, science, and ELA at the University of the District of Columbia. As an undergraduate, he studied mathematics, economics, and gender studies at Furman University, where he was awarded the J. Carlyle Ellet Economics Prize as the top economics graduate of the year. His research in economics, education policy, and pedagogy has been published in Public and Municipal Finance and the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC).

Thomas Flood - Campus Director

Rebecca Sodervick - Assistant Campus Director

Rebecca is the Assistant Director of AoPS Academy Bellevue. She loves teaching math to students from elementary through college and once coached a state-qualifying MATHCOUNTS team. She holds an MS in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a BS in advanced mathematics from Michigan State University, where she supervised one of the math learning centers and spent her summers helping direct the math summer camp. Working with colleagues from China's Xi'an Jiaotong and Beihang Universities, she also organized the Discovering America Exchange Program. For fun, Rebecca likes being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her playful dogs, Dexter and Jill.

Rebecca Sodervick - Assistant Campus Director

Instructors

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Melissa Riley

Melissa is a driven math educator. She received her BA in mathematics and Spanish language and literature from the University of Mississippi, where she also competed as a member of the school’s math team. After stints as a math teacher in Quito, Ecuador and Oxford, Mississippi, she moved to Seattle, where she teaches high-school math and helps coach her school's math team.

Melissa Riley

Dr. Zachary Kissinger

Zach has a BA in Literature from the University of California, San Diego and an MA and PhD in English from the University of California, Davis. He's taught high school and college-level students around San Diego and Sacramento over the past 8 years, both as a professional tutor/mentor and as an instructor at the University of California, and is looking forward to working with young students at AoPS Academy who are passionate about the English language and literary studies. Having recently moved to Seattle, Zach is enjoying the sights and experiences of the PNW!

Dr. Zachary Kissinger

Dr. Steven Ziskind

Steve received his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, both in mathematics. He then taught at Wayne State University in Detroit for 5 years. For over 30 years until retirement, he worked for Boeing, designing avionics algorithms and software. He is now an adjunct professor in the Bellevue College math department, as well as a volunteer in their Math Lab. He has had a lifelong fascination with mathematics, and loves to share his passion with others.

Dr. Steven Ziskind

Danny Lau

Danny graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Towards the second half of his 20-year career as a software engineer, Danny began to dabble in coaching teams for math competitions at his children's schools. Since then, he has dived in head first by preparing over 200 students in the past 9 years for local and nationwide competitions, earning dozens of awards. For several years he chaired the math competitions program at Somerset Elementary School in Bellevue and then most recently at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish. He has now branched out beyond competitions by tutoring nearly 100 middle school and high school students on their math class as well as for standardized tests.

Danny Lau

Alexa Kapor-Mater

Alexa has a BA in mathematics from Reed College, an MA in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MEd in elementary Montessori education from the University of Hartford. She is an experienced Montessori teacher and has also taught mathematics at the undergraduate and graduate level, including as part of the Math for Teaching program at Harvard University. All in all, she's taught and tutored mathematics students ranging in age from 6 to 60. A native of Portland, Oregon, she has lived in Sweden, Canada, Boston, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. However, she will always consider the Pacific Northwest home.

Alexa Kapor-Mater
"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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