belcastro, MathILy director and Lead Instructor
sarah-marie earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1997 after majoring in mathematics and astronomy at Haverford College. Among her research areas, she is most passionate about topological graph theory. sarah-marie has been faculty at several institutions, ranging from small colleges to large universities, and she's been a major believer in discovery-based learning since her teacher training at Michigan. In addition to teaching at the college level, sarah-marie teaches enrichment classes at the Art of Problem Solving. sarah-marie taught as a senior staff member at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics for 11 summers and co-directed that program for 4 summers. In summer 2012, she created and taught Mathematics Triple classes for UMass-Amherst; she is the inaugural director of MathILy and has taught there since 2013. She wrote the introductory textbook Discrete Mathematics with Ducks, which has much of the same tone students will find at MathILy. You might run into sarah-marie at HMMT or ARML (Penn State).
Dr. Thomas Hull,
Lead Instructor (2013--2021)
Tom earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1997 and specializes in the mathematics of origami, which has applications ranging from solar panels to automobile airbags to self-assembling polymers. He has earned tenure at one college and one university (so far) and has used more and more inquiry-based learning in college classes as he has advanced in his career. Tom taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics for 15 summers, and at MathILys 2013--21.
Dr. Hannah Alpert,
Lead Instructor (2016--2021),
Apprentice Instructor (2013, 2014, 2015)
Hannah earned her Ph.D. from MIT in 2016 and is now a tenure-track faculty member at Auburn University. She is currently working in geometry and authored/co-authored 6 mathematical research papers before starting graduate school. Hannah has taught at MathPath and at Mathcamp and at the Boston Math Circle and at every instance of MathILy; she used to describe her preferred mode of teaching as 'chaos,' but has since edited that description to 'real-time feedback,' realizing that actually she hates chaos.
Dr. Nate Harman, Lead Instructor (2018, 2020), Apprentice Instructor (2014, 2015)
Nate earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2017, ostensibly specializing in representation theory, and after a postdoc at the University of Chicago spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is not a college football player---or is he?! Nate has taught at MathILys 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2020, at the UMass-Amherst Mathematics Triple and at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, and has a personal relationship with Batman.
Dr. Emily Peters,
Lead Instructor (2017, 2018, 2020, 2021)
Emily earned her Ph.D. in math from Berkeley in 2009, where she studied operator algebras (like linear algebra, only more so), proof by pictures, and knots. After uncountably many* postdoctoral positions, she's now an assistant professor at Loyola University, Chicago. She is married to a fellow mathematician, and they have two kids, ages 10 and 6.5. Emily knits, weaves, sews, reads, and can do one pushup and the monkey bars. She taught at MathILys 2017 and 2018 and 2020 and 2021.
Dr. Adam Marcus,
Lead Instructor (2018)
Adam earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 2008 and is currently an assistant professor at EPFL (Switzerland). He has been proudly "social media free'' for nearly 10 years, which has allowed him to dedicate more time to his hobby of eating Icee-Pops.
Dr. Brian Freidin,
Lead Instructor (2018--2021), Apprentice Instructor (2015, 2016, 2017)
Brian earned his Ph.D. from Brown University studying differential geometry and is now a faculty member at Auburn University. He did research as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois through the Geometry Lab and the Center for Complex Systems Research. He has taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and MathILys 2015--2021.
Dr. Max Engelstein, Lead Instructor (2019, 2020, 2021), Apprentice Instructor (2013, 2015)
Max is tenure-track professor at the University of Minnesota. Previously he was an NSF postdoc at MIT, where he supervised a couple of former MathILy participants. He thinks about the interplay between harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory, the calculus of variations, and PDEs. Max has taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and at MathILys 2013, 2015, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Apprentice Instructor (2020, 2021)
Kye has been flirting with math for as long as he remembers. In high school, he once wrote a Python script to do his math homework for him (because, geez, how many more matrices do you want me to invert?). It wasn't until he attended MathILy in 2015 that he realized what math really was about. In 2017, he attended the IPhO in Indonesia and won a gold medal. He is now a mathematics and computer science major at Harvey Mudd College, where he does all sorts of cool-sounding things, such as digital electronics, Advent of Code, drumming, and wheelthrowing.
Corrine Yap, Apprentice Instructor (2015--2019, 2021), PRiME (2014)
Corrine is a mathematics graduate student at Rutgers University planning to specialize in discrete mathematics. She graduated in May 2016 from Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated on both mathematics and theatre. Although on a Ph.D track, she still hopes to pursue her acting and playwriting interests; her main project is a one-woman show about Sofia Kovalevskaya that incorporates math, music, movement, and foreign languages (see her website for production photos!).
Apprentice Instructor (2021)
Natasha studied mathematics (and computer science and education) at MIT and is now a graduate student at Rutgers University. She participated in MathILy 2014 and 2015 and MathILy-EST 2019 and was an Apprentice Instructor in 2021. When she is able to, Natasha enjoys fire spinning. At home, she can be found baking and even occasionally assembling IKEA furniture.
FACToR (Facilitator of Academics and CriTiquer of wRiting, 2021)
Allen is a rising junior at MIT studying mathematics and computer science and also a MathILy 2016 and 2018 alum. In some of his free time, Allen likes reading, learning, exercising, playing poker, practicing card magic tricks, and working on projects to make event organizing easier. In the rest of his free time, Allen likes to overthink questions like How bad can climate change really get?, What makes a conversation meaningful?, and Is Josh a dingo?.
Apprentice Instructor (2019, 2020)
Emi is a graduate student at UC-Davis. As an undergraduate at Stony Brook University, Emi studied mathematics and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Mathematically, she is mostly interested in analysis, particularly geometric measure theory; non-mathematically, she likes knitting and the Great British Bake Off. She participated in MathILy 2013 and was an Apprentice Instructor at both MathILy and MathILy-Er in 2019, and at MathILy in 2020.
Apprentice Instructor (2019, 2020, 2021)
Nadav graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2018 with a double major in mathematics and computer science. He's now a graduate student at Indiana University after a stint as a software engineer. When he has free time, he often spends it thinking about graphs, games, topology, algebra or cryptography. When he has free time with a computer, he often writes computer proofs or studies models for computation. When he has free time and needs to move, he enjoys fencing, ultimate frisbee and getting lost in forests. He participated in MathILy in 2015 and was an Apprentice Instructor in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Connor Halleck-Dube, Apprentice Instructor (2019)
Connor is a graduating senior at Yale University studying mathematics. He'll be starting his PhD in the fall in algebra/algebraic geometry/number theory. He likes computers, fiction, strategy games, and most other nerdy things. In his free time, he has done theatrical sound engineering, and his favorite non-mathematics classes were "The Chinese Tradition" and "Control, Privacy, Security." The best mathematical vocabulary word is thrackle.
Gideon Leeper, Apprentice Instructor (2018)
Gideon is an undergraduate at the California Institute of Technology studying math. He participated in MathILy 2013 and 2014, and has since been a teaching assistant for a few courses at Caltech. He currently spends a lot of time trying to understand what computers can and can't do.
Josh Mundinger, Apprentice Instructor (2017--2021)
Josh is an graduate student at the University of Chicago. He loves to listen to and play the piano, and can often be found singing Beethoven to himself. He participated enthusiastically in MathILy 2013 and was an Apprentice Instructor for MathILys 2017--2021.
Connor Ahlbach, Apprentice Instructor (2018, 2019)
Connor got his Ph.D. from the University of Washington doing research in 2019 in algebraic combinatorics. He also enjoys teaching, especially linear algebra, and has ideas for improving the linear algebra curriculum. Outside of mathematics, he likes practicing aikido and playing Magic the Gathering. He has also seen every episode of the "The Simpsons" between Season 1 and Season 26, inclusive.
Apprentice Instructor (2019)
Shamil received his PhD from Brown University in 2019 and now is a postdoc at the University of British Columbia. His field of speciality is algebraic geometry, but he is always interested in exposing himself to other areas of mathematics. His favorite book in math is Proofs From The Book. He has recently developed passion for graph theory and combinatorics, and he looks forward to sharing what he has learned with the students. Outside of math, he enjoys running, playing soccer, and reading fiction (he is a big fan of Stephen King).
Miles Dillon Edwards, Apprentice Instructor (2014, 2020)
Miles has been an online instructor for the Art of Problem Solving since 2014, where students unofficially voted him Teacher of the Year in 2019. Miles earned a bachelor of science in cello and math from Indiana University, where he was a Goldwater scholar and a top-25 finisher in the Putnam Competition. Miles has published new proofs of Heron's formula and the law of cosines. He was last seen at MathILy as an AI in 2014, and he has also been on the summer staffs of PROMYS, the Research Science Institute (RSI), and Saudi RSI.
Dr. Daniel Studenmund, Lead Instructor (2014, 2017, 2020)
Daniel earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2014 and, following postdoctoral positions at the University of Utah and the University of Notre Dame, will start as an Assistant Professor at Binghamton University in the fall of 2020. He has has enjoyed teaching at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and MathILy, since math class is the second best way to experience the particular charms of summer on a college campus.
FRANK (Facilitates Rumination, Activating New Knowledge, 2020)
Frank is a rising sophomore at Princeton University, where he is a prospective math major. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano, writing, and playing card games with friends. He attended MathILy in 2018.
PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2021)
Johnna Farnham is a graduating senior at Western New England University who is studying mathematical sciences, with education and art minors. She has not attended MathILy in the past but wished she had known about the program when she could have attended as a participant when in high school. Johnna will be attending Tufts University in the fall to pursue a PhD in mathematics. Her areas of mathematical interest include graph theory, dynamical systems, and origami; however, she is inspired by any mathematics that contains visual component that appeal to her artistic side. In her free time, Johnna can be found cooking, baking, or painting.
PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2021)
Patrick graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a BS in Mathematics this spring, and will be continuing his studies as a graduate student at Loyola in the fall. When he is not being a math gremlin, he can be seen fighting gremlins in tabletop board games, singing some show tunes, or enjoying some arts and crafts.
Cory Saunders, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2020)
Cory graduated from Haverford College in 2017 with a degree in mathematics. After graduating, she received a teaching fellowship at a boarding school in Upstate New York. She currently teaches high school math in the Philadelphia area. She enjoys convincing people to start a journal, eating salmon, and learning trashy pop songs on the guitar.
Alex Nolte, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2019)
Alex is graduating this spring from Tufts university, where he studies math and computer science. He is starting a PhD at Rice in the fall and is interested in analysis, representation theory, and topology. Besides math, he likes cooking, reading, webcomics, hiking, history, and board games.
Mary Turner, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2019)
Mary is an undergraduate at St. John's (yes, the Great Books school) majoring in math. She loves to read and is fond of cats.
Namrata Basu, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2018)
Namrata is a Math major and Statistics minor at Bryn Mawr College. She has loved Math since she was four! If she's not doing college work or at her campus job, she can be found watching dog videos or cricket (the sport no one in America knows about).
Kimball Strong, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2018)
Kimball is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley majoring in math with a minor in computer science. When he's not doing math (and sometimes even when he is), he can be found singing or cooking (or both).
Jason Saied, Apprentice Instructor (2017)
Jason is a first-year mathematics Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. He is unsure about his intended research area, but is currently looking deeper into abstract algebra. In high school, Jason thought that math was boring and easy. He has since learned that it is neither of those things, which is what keeps him coming back for more. He has worked as a teaching assistant for various courses at Lafayette College, where he finished his undergraduate degree in May 2016. Jason also loves to read.
Anila Yadavalli, Apprentice Instructor (2018)
Anila is a fifth year Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University. She completed her B.S. in Mathematics at University of California, San Diego. She has taught a variety of courses at NCSU and has recently started implementing inquiry based activities after attending a workshop at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. When she's not in her office teaching and learning math, you can find her bouldering at her local climbing gym, cooking vegetarian food, or watching cake decorating videos.
Sara Canilang, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2017)
Sara is an undergraduate at Carleton College. Majoring in math and religion, she is excited to see how she can combine these two interests. She loves music and adventures, activities that include playing the viola, radio hosting, hiking, dancing, swimming, and tennis.
Emil G., Apprentice Instructor (2013, 2016)
Emil graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in Math and Computer Science and currently works as a software engineer at Apple in the San Francisco Bay Area. His hobbies include math, recreational programming, board games, longboarding, and listening to good music. He has taught at MathILy in 2013 and previously at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics.
Evangelie Zachos, Apprentice Instructor (2016)
Evangelie is a graduate student at Stanford, still pinning down her exact area of study (most likely some flavor of geometric analysis). She earned her undergraduate degree at Princeton and spent a year afterwards at the University of Bonn. She has previously taught at Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics.
Hallie Voulgaris, Apprentice Instructor (2016)
Hallie is an undergraduate at MIT studying math and music who hopes to eventually be able to combine these interests. One of her main hobbies is theater, both on and off the stage. She doesn't really know where this set of interests will lead her, but hopefully it's somewhere interesting.
Robert Quarles, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2016)
Rob graduated from Berry College in 2016 with a degree in mathematics and chemistry. He did research while at Berry in graph theory, knot theory, and electrochemistry. In the summer of 2015 he participated in the Director's Summer Program (NSA). Starting in August 2016, Rob will be a graduate assistant at LSU studying topology (perhaps specifically knot theory, he has time to decide). His non-math interests include swing dancing, board games, origami, and cooking.
Dr. Cynthia Vinzant, Lead Instructor (2015)
Cynthia went to Oberlin College and UC Berkeley, where she got her Ph.D. She enjoys a wide variety of mathematical areas ranging from algebraic geometry to combinatorial optimization. She just moved south to join the faculty of North Carolina State University and is consequently learning to fend off sharks, enjoy bbq, and use the pronoun y'all.
Apprentice Instructor (2015)
Lisa is a graduate student at the University of Texas studying low-dimensional topology. Her undergraduate research was in knot theory and discrete geometry. She taught at SIMUW in 2013.
Madison Stuart, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment) (2015)
Madison graduated from Smith College in 2008, where she majored in mathematics and German studies. Since then, she spent some time in grad school for library science, got married, and was acquired by two cats. During the academic year she is the MathILy Minion.
Reese Laviolette, Protector and Responder in the MathILy
Reese is an undergraduate mathematics major at Western New England University and has done research on the mathematics of paperfolding. He likes to run and play Ultimate Frisbee.
MathILy, MathILy-Er, and MathILy-EST are projects of the nonprofit organization Mathematical Staircase, Inc..