Advanced Summer Program for students age 11-14
who show high promise and love mathematics

Faculty 2016

The following are the instructors who will teach for at least one week at MathPath 2016, listed in alphabetical order.
Glen Van Brummelen
Quest University, British Columbia, Canada

Distinguished mathematical historian, with special expertise in Islamic mathematics and astronomy, and past president of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Professor Van Brummelen returns in 2016 for his 13th year at MathPath. He is author of The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth: The Early History of Trigonometry. His book, Heavenly Mathematics: The Forgotten Art of Spherical Trigonometry, is based partly on his MathPath breakouts. In 2016 Professor Van Brummelen won the Mathematical Association of America's Haimo distinguished teaching award.
Silva Chang
Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado at Boulder
Director, Colorado Math Circle
In addition to teaching at CU Boulder, Ms. Chang enjoys leading the Colorado Math Circle and coaching the Colorado ARML Team. Previously she coached a MATHCOUNTS team for five years and won the state championship each year. This will be Ms. Chang's 8th summer at MathPath. She first visited when her son was a participant and her daughter a counselor here. A former software developer, Ms. Chang will be teaching Mathematica, mathematical origami, and contest math courses.
David Clark
Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University, Michigan

David studies combinatorics—the art and science of counting in interesting ways. He loves to create hands-on activities that help students learn about mathematics. In particular, he finds ways to create games that reveal deep results about modern communications. David is also crazy about playing games with finite geometries. This is his 4th consecutive year at MathPath. Beyond mathematics, David is an avid hiker, backpacker, biker, and boardgamer.
Matthew DeLong
Professor of Mathematics, Taylor University, Indiana
Professor DeLong has won two national teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America (2005 Alder Award, 2012 Haimo Award). He has taught summer mathematics courses for high ability high school and middle school students several times. He has also been a successful mathematical contest coach at both the college and elementary school levels. His mathematical interests are primarily in knot theory and number theory. In addition, he enjoys performing and directing choral music and musical theatre. This will be Professor DeLong's third summer at MathPath.
Thomas Drucker
Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
An expert in the history and philosophy of mathematics, Drucker has contributed to and edited books and journals on the use of history in the classroom. He speaks about this and related issues in Europe and North America. He is currently Chair of the Philosophy of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America. In addition, he plays a mean table tennis game, and is the man to beat when students are competing in the tournaments he organizes. Professor Drucker returns for his 12th summer at MathPath.
Silas Johnson
Postdoctoral Lecturer, Northwestern University

Silas is a number theorist and an avid teacher of mathematics. He has previously worked as the head counselor for SUMaC and as a teaching assistant for Stanford's EPGY Summer Institutes. He's also an enthusiastic coach, writer, and organizer for math competitions for students of all ages. Silas grew up in the Twin Cities and is excited to return to his hometown for MathPath 2016. In his free time, he plays percussion instruments and trombone, and occasionally does some composing and arranging. He also enjoys bicycling and Ultimate Frisbee.
Sinan Kanbir
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Dr. Kanbir is excited about his second summer at MathPath. His main research is on teaching and learning of middle school algebra and also loves working with future mathematics teachers. He has been working with mathematically promising students over a decade. He inspirationally identified and coached several cohorts of gifted middle school students who later participated national level mathematics olympiads and the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). He is a board member of the MATHCON national contest. He likes to try multiple versions of cool geometric and algebraic proofs that strengthen middle school students' mathematics reasoning. This summer he will teach AMC 12 and AIME level breakout sessions.

Alan Lippert
Mathematics Teacher and Math Team Coach, retired first from IBM and then from Lakeside Middle School, Seattle, WA

Academic Director of MathPath 2003-2005, with long experience in training highly gifted middle school students for MATHCOUNTS competitions, and with national and regional winners to his credit, Mr. Lippert now gives practice courses and advice for national and regional MATHCOUNTS competitions. But at MathPath he is probably most famous for his daily Problem of the Day and for the great puzzles he gives out as prizes. Also new this year he will concentrate his courses on puzzle math, like Kendoku and KenKen. Can you imagine a KenKen puzzle with imaginary numbers? After dinner you can usually find him on the pickleball court.
Stephen Maurer
Professor of Mathematics, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA
Executive Director, MathPath

Professor Maurer is a long-ago Chair of the American Mathematics Competitions (in the 1980s!), co-author of "Discrete Algorithmic Mathematics" and "Contest Problem Book IV", and an expert on mathematical writing, in which he will lead the students at MathPath through discussion of their solutions to the Qualifying Test. At MathPath, for many years he taught courses on mathematical induction, on combinatorics, and on something he named Linear Set Geometry. Among his various hobbies is zip codes. He used to be able, if you told him where you lived, to tell you your zip code within 5.
   Unfortunately, he has Parkinson's Disease, and in the last year, starting during last year's camp, it has gotten much worse. This summer he hopes to successfully attend the whole camp, give his writing plenaries, and continue all the behind-the-scenes work an Executive Director must do for MathPath to run, but he does not expect he can also manage to give breakouts. He will need your help and understanding.
Isil Nal
Quail Valley Middle School, Houston TX

Mrs. Nal is a nationally well known mathematics teacher focused on contest math. She has taught at Quail Valley GT Academy and Harmony School of Excellence. As a math coach, Mrs. Nal taught State and National MATHCOUNTS participants, USA(J)MO qualifiers and MOSP attendees. She was the coach of the TX MATHCOUNTS Team that placed 1st at Nationals in 2016 (with all 4 members ranked top 12 in the nation), 3rd at Nationals in 2011 and 7th at Nationals in 2015. She is currently coaching Quail Valley GT Academy MATHCOUNTS Team who won the 2014-2016 Greater Houston Chapter and 2015-2016 Texas State MATHCOUNTS. She is a recipient of the MAA's Edyth May Sliffe Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Raytheon MathMovesU Heroes Award.
Osman Nal
Associate Professor of Finance, North American University, Houston, TX

Professor Nal has a deep passion for teaching math and its applications. He has special interest in utilizing games and experiments to explain fundamental ideas and concepts in math, economics and finance. He's also been helping high school students prepare for math Olympiads over the years. Some of his former students went on to become MOSP attendees and JMO winners recently. He was a mathematics major as an undergraduate in Turkey. Dr. Nal also creates his own videos with solutions to USAMO and other math problems in his YouTube channel ( The Channel is growing every day with over a hundred videos that can be used as a resource for those starting their journey to Olympiad problem solving.
Granya O'Neill
Schlaepfer Endowed Chair in Mathematics, Lakeside School, Seattle, WA
Ever since childhood, Granya O'Neill has loved math and logic puzzles, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Scientific American each month so that she could pore over Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games column. She has taught math to students of all ages, but particularly enjoys working with middle school students, as she has done for the past ten years at Lakeside Middle School. At Lakeside, she also coaches the math team, preparing students for MATHCOUNTS, AMC, AIME, and USJMO exams. Granya has also taught summer math classes for gifted middle school students at the University of Washington's Robinson Center. When not doing math, she enjoys reading, hiking, and making jam.
Tom Roby
Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Connecticut
Tom Roby is an associate professor of math at UConn, with interests in combinatorics, algebra, and math education. He's been on staff at many summer programs over the years, including the Ross Program (where he was first a student), HCSSiM, and PROMYS (where he was the founding head counselor). He has co-authored a number of textbook series for K-12 published by Harcourt and Holt. He enjoys especially helping others to see the beauty of mathematical ideas and to understand why, not just how procedures and algorithms work. Combinatorics is the perfect field for him, with its rich mixture of concrete objects and high-falutin' abstractions. In his spare time, Tom is an avid folk dancer, sings in a Bulgarian folk music ensemble, and studies ancient Japanese poetry.
Jonathan Rogness
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

Professor Rogness loves to make complex mathematical ideas accessible to students of all ages. He is well known for his beautiful mathematical visualizations, including an award-winning video, Möbius Transformations Revealed, which went viral online and has been viewed by nearly two million people. Rogness is the Director of the University of Minnesota's Mathematics Center for Educational Programs, which runs one of the nation's premier accelerated mathematics programs for middle school students. 2016 will be his 7th year at MathPath.
Kip Sumner
Teacher of Mathematics, Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway after three years in Guangzhou, China
This is his thirteenth year as Camp Director, which he enjoys as a change of pace from the classroom. Kip has always been delighted to merely be involved in the movable feast of the MathPath environment, imbibing neat mathematics on the side from the annual assembly of gifted expositors. This year he will have the opportunity to share his interest in some of the theorems and strategies that lurk about Graph Theory, especially appertaining to Ramsey Numbers and Hamiltonian Cycles. His breakout session will probably happen during the fourth week.

George R. Thomas
Founder of MathPath, Canada/USA Mathcamp, and Epsilon Camp
After a short stint of seven years teaching college in South Carolina, Thomas has worked with summer programs he founded. He has taught at these programs since 1993 and is in his 15th year at MathPath. Every week he will give a breakout on another type of geometry, most of them non-Euclidean. He has published journal articles in Extremal Graph Theory and is also a soccer player and an inventor.
Sam Vandervelde
Dean of Math and Head of Proof School, San Francisco
Dr. Vandervelde delights in presenting beautiful mathematics in an engaging manner to students of all ages. He is an experienced problem solver and problem writer. He currently directs the program in math and science at Proof School, a new independent school for kids who love math in the San Francisco Bay Area. Aside from math, he enjoys playing pickleball, spending time outdoors, and eating Thai food. Summer 2016 will be his eleventh year at MathPath.
April Verser
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

April has been involved with MathPath since 2007, making this year her 10th appearance! During the school year, April works at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy as a Residential Counselor, helping students with homework, as well as the daily struggles of being gifted young people highly interested in STEM fields. She is also a Math Team Coach at the Academy, working with students who choose to spend their free time doing even more mathematics and math competitions. At MathPath, April began as a counselor, evolved into the role of head counselor, and now Student Life Director. April has loved interesting and elegant mathematics since she was in middle school! Her favorite field of mathematics is graph theory, and she delights in teaching it at MathPath!!
Page last updated June 13, 2016
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