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

Faculty 2017

The following are the instructors who will teach for at least one week at MathPath 2017, 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 2017 for his 14th 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, and in 2017 he was named a 3M National Teaching Fellow (Canada).
Patricia Cahn
Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, Smith College

Patricia Cahn works in knot theory and its connection to 3- and 4-dimensional spaces. She currently teaches right around the corner at Smith College. In her spare time, she plays the double bass, and particularly enjoys playing orchestral music. This is her first year at MathPath.
Silva Chang
Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado 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 9th 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 and contest math courses.
Keith Conrad
Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Connecticut

Keith Conrad's primary mathematical interests are in number theory, which he started to learn as a student at the Ross program, where he has returned off and on since high school. Since arriving at the University of Connecticut he has regularly visited the PROMYS program, and in the last few years he has also taught courses at summer math programs in China and Russia. This will be his first year at MathPath.
Cornelia Van Cott
Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of San Francisco

This is Cornelia's second year at MathPath. Cornelia teaches at the University of San Francisco, where she's been for nine years. Her research is in the area of geometric topology, but she likes to investigate other topics, too! Outside of mathematics, she likes to read library books, go running, and visit family.
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 has just completed a term as 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 13th 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. In his free time, he plays percussion instruments and trombone, and occasionally does some composing and arranging. He also enjoys bicycling and Ultimate Frisbee. This will be Silas's 2nd time teaching at MathPath.
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 2 years, starting during MathPath 2015, it has gotten much worse. This summer he hopes to successfully attend the whole program, 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 to give any breakouts. He will need your help and understanding.
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 eleven years at Lakeside Middle School. At Lakeside, Granya also coaches the math team, preparing students for MATHCOUNTS, AMC, AIME, and USJMO exams. She is a recipient of the MAA's Edyth May Sliffe Award for distinguished teaching. During the summer, Granya has taught math classes for gifted middle school students at the University of Washington's Robinson Center, and this is her fourth year at MathPath. When not doing math, she enjoys reading, hiking, and making jam.
Julie Rana
MATHCEP Postdoc, University of Minnesota

Dr. Rana studies algebraic geometry, which is exactly what it sounds like: the interplay between algebra and geometry! She finds joy in seeing a student discover a new project, particularly if it involves polynomials or finite fields. In her free time, she likes to read, run, and do puzzles with her kids. She is excited to return for a few days to New England, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Harold Reiter
Professor of Mathematics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Harold Reiter has worked at math programs during each of the last 11 years including MathZoom, Awesome Math, MathPath, Texas Mathworks, Epsilon Camp, and Play Math in Michigan. He has also taught math in Bangalore, India; Bali, Indonesia; and Chengdu, China. Dr Reiter founded the Charlotte Math Club in 1987 and still volunteers there monthly. His new problem book with Yunzhi Zou, Sichuan University and Jon Kane is due out in summer 2017. His favorite topics are place value, exotic arithmetic, combinatorial games and KenKen.
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. 2017 will be his 8th year at MathPath.
James Sellers
Associate Head for Undergraduate Mathematics, Penn State University

James Sellers loves to talk about mathematics to anyone who wants to chat! He has enjoyed teaching at the college level for the last 30 years, most recently at his alma mater, Penn State University. Prior to that he taught at Cedarville University in Ohio. In 2008, James served as a Visiting Fellow of the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, and in 2012 he was a Fulbright scholar in Linz, Austria. He has delivered talks on five continents, and has published over 90 mathematics research articles. James has won numerous awards for both his teaching and his service. When he isn't working on a mathematics question, he loves to play softball and racquetball, and he would be very happy to tell you about his current level of Candy Crush!
Gabriel Sosa
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Amherst College

Gabriel Sosa was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. His participation in mathematical competitions led him to discover that Mathematician was an actual profession. He decided to make his passion for the subject into his professional career. Dr. Sosa worked as a middle/high school teacher, and as a mathematical olympiads coach, for eight years in Costa Rica before coming to the United States of America to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics. He enjoys working with undergraduates in a variety of mathematical research problems and puzzles. Dr. Sosa also enjoys music, reading, movies, and petting his cats.
Kip Sumner
Recently retired Teacher of Mathematics, Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway
Managing Director, MathPath

Kip recently retired gracefully from a lifetime of teaching, and is now a part-time tour guide at Old Trafford. This is his fifteenth year as Managing Director. 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 third week. He's also going to stand in for Al Lippert in presenting Al's famous Problems of the Day.

George R. Thomas
Founder of MathPath, Canada/USA Mathcamp, and Epsilon Camp
George R. Thomas is an independent mathematician with long experience teaching and mentoring in summer programs for students showing high promise in mathematics. He founded Canada/USA Mathcamp, MathPath and Epsilon Camp. Thomas's research has ranged over Semigroups and Extremal Graph Theory with forays in Analytical Number Theory. See Dr. Thomas' views on mathematics education in America's schools.
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 oversees school operations and directs the program in mathematics 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 2017 will be his twelfth year at MathPath.
April Verser
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Student Life Director, MathPath
April has been involved with MathPath since 2007, making this year her 11th appearance. During the school year, April works at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy as a Residential Counselor, helping students with homework and 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, became head counselor, and has been Student Life Director for three years. April loves interesting and elegant mathematics, as she has since middle school! Her favorite field of mathematics is Graph Theory. April also enjoys textile crafting and is a semi-professional freelance musician in the greater Chicago area.
Philip Yasskin
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Texas A&M University
Dr. Yasskin is very involved in outreach activities throughout his academic career. He is the co-founder and co-director of two nationally recognized programs: the TAMU Summer Educational Enrichment in Math (SEE-Math) for 6th-8th graders since 2002, and the TAMU Math Circle weekly during the school year for 5th-12th graders since 2011. Since 2011 he has served as the Program Director for the Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Math Circles for Students and Teachers. In 2014 he received the Raytheon, MathMovesU, Math Hero Award. He has also received 3 departmental awards for Teaching and Service and a college award for Teaching.
Paul Zeitz
Professor of Mathematics, University of San Francisco

Professor Zeitz specializes in mathematical problem solving. As a high school student, he was a member of the first USA team to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad, and, as a college professor, has helped to coach several USA teams, including the 1994 team that received a perfect score in Hong Kong. He has organized several math competitions in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of The Art and Craft of Problem Solving. He is one of the founders of Proof School, the nation's first secondary school for "math kids," and currently serves as the chairman of Proof School's board of trustees.
Page last updated June 18, 2017
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