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

Faculty 2018

The following are the instructors who taught for at least one week at MathPath 2019, listed in alphabetical order.
Feryal Alayont
Grand Valley State University
Feryal Alayont studies discrete math and scholarship of teaching. She focuses on active learning, experimentation, and creative thinking when she teaches mathematics at any level. She has co-written an open source Linear Algebra textbook and a Discrete Math course pack that use guided discovery-based learning principles. She enjoys working with students on mathematics research projects, or projects in which students develop mathematical games. Outside of mathematics, she enjoys road tripping and photography.
Patrick Bennett
Western Michigan University
Patrick is a professor at Western Michigan University, where he studies and teaches combinatorics and graph theory. Usually his work involves randomness and probability, either studying what properties a random object is likely to have or what is likely to happen in a random experiment. Interestingly, although we think of random objects as being "average," in some ways random objects are extreme! Patrick spends most of his time trying to formally prove that. He also helps organize local math competitions and coach local students ranging from elementary school kids to undergraduates in Kalamazoo. In his free time he likes to eat pizza and watch Netflix shows about animals.
Arthur Berg
Associate Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, Penn State University
Arthur did his graduate training in mathematics but with a focus on statistics, and currently he teaches and does research in biostatistics and bioinformatics. He is quite proud to have used some sophisticated mathematical concepts, such as the Riemann zeta function, generalized functions, and group representations in some of his statistics papers. Outside of math and statistics, Arthur loves to play all kinds of sports, and he is an organist and choir director at a Lutheran church. This will be Arthur’s first year at MathPath.
Glen Van Brummelen
Quest University, British Columbia, Canada

Distinguished mathematical historian, with special expertise in ancient and medieval mathematics and astronomy, and past president of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Professor Van Brummelen returns in 2018 for his 15th 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).
Jane Butterfield
Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Professor Butterfield studies graph theory and math education. She has successfully talked about graph theory and combinatorics to many different types of audiences and age ranges. Her PhD research was in extremal graph theory, but she also enjoys topological graph theory, Ramsey games, and pursuit games on graphs. While a graduate student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, she received three teaching awards, including the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She spent two years teaching calculus to talented high school students for the Math Center for Educational Programs at the University of Minnesota, and is now an Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. At UVic, she manages the Math & Stats Assistance Centre—because of the US & Canadian spelling differences, this means she has worked for both a Center and a Centre! This is her fourth year at MathPath.
Owen Byer
Professor of Mathematics, Eastern Mennonite University

This will be Owen's sixth year at MathPath, and like the rest of the faculty, he is a lover of beautiful mathematics. He just finished writing a Discrete Math book, Journey into Discrete Mathematics, recently published by the MAA. It contains some of his favorite problems, which he'll share with Mathpath students upon request. Owen has previously taught breakouts at Mathpath on Inversions, Affine Transformations, Probability, and History of Mathematics. His favorite hobbies include playing basketball, board games, and bridge.
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. In 2018, he won the Mathematical Association of America's national Alder Award for teaching. This is his sixth year at MathPath. Beyond mathematics, David is an avid hiker, backpacker, biker, and boardgamer.
Matthew DeLong
Professor of Mathematics, Marian University, Indianapolis

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. 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 sixth 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 served as Chair of the Philosophy of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America, as well as of the Wisconsin section of the MAA. He has also received the Wisconsin section's Distinguished Teaching Award. 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 14th summer at MathPath.
John Golden
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Grand Valley State Univeristy

John went from a PhD in mathematics to working and teaching in mathematics education. He loves math play, especially math games (games for learning math and mathematical games) and mathematical art. He blogs at and Current research interests include how to teach future teachers to use technology, and math education courses in the school. This is his first year teaching for MathPath.
Silas Johnson
Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis

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 third time teaching at MathPath.
Deborah Kent
Drake University

Prof Kent is on faculty at Drake University, where she enjoys teaching a wide range of mathematics courses and the occasional class in her speciality, the history of mathematics. She's always on the lookout for a colorful classroom narrative or a chance to incorporate 3D printing in class. Her current research passion is 19th–century solar eclipse expeditions. (Mark your calendars for 2024!) Prof. Kent won an MAA Halmos–Ford award for expository writing and Technology Association of Iowa Academic Innovation and Leadership Award in 2017. She was selected as Drake A&S Professor of the Year in 2018. Prof. Kent is excited to draw on material from her recent AMS Game Theory book in her first MathPath experience!
Melissa Lynn
Gustavus Adolphus College

Melissa Lynn is passionate about teaching students that math is exciting, fun, creative, and all-around awesome! She has taught advanced middle and high school students in UMTYMP at the University of Minnesota, and is excited to return for her second year at MathPath. Her areas of research are algebraic geometry and number theory, and she also has a strong interest in algorithms and programming. Most of all, she likes finding new and interesting ways to approach math problems. Outside of math, she enjoys playing and coaching ultimate frisbee.
Asia Matthews
Quest University, British Columbia, Canada

Asia has been teaching at Quest University in Canada since 2014. Her primary professional interest is mathematics education, specifically problem design, creativity and communication. She is also interested in discrete mathematics, especially combinatorics, the geometry of paper folding, and the history of mathematics. She has been involved in a number of mathematics outreach programs for elementary and high school students and their families. She finds joy in teaching people what it is to think mathematically and to develop and communicate their own mathematical ideas. This will be her second year at MathPath.
Lara Pudwell
Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Valparaiso University

Professor Pudwell studies enumerative combinatorics, which means she loves to count! Her work usually involves counting permutations with special properties. She is a winner of a national teaching award from the Mathematical Association of America (the 2014 Alder Award). For the past decade, most of her summers have been spent directing the Valparaiso Experience in Research by Undergraduate Mathematicians program, and she really enjoys working on new problems with students. Away from math she enjoys reading, travel, and drinking good tea. She is excited for her first year at MathPath.
Jonathan Rogness
Director of the Math Center for Educational Programs and UMTYMP, 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. 2019 will be his tenth year at MathPath.
Darin Stephenson
Hope College

Darin is new to MathPath this summer. He is an avid board gamer, amateur musician, disc golfer, and hiker. He is completing his 22nd year as a math professor at Hope College, where he has directed undergraduate student research projects in ring theory, geometry, probability, graph theory, and machine learning. His student researchers have won awards including the Janet L. Andersen Award and the Pi Mu Epsilon Speaker Award (both for presentations given at MathFest) and the Pi Mu Epsilon Andree Award (given for outstanding research papers in the PME Journal). In the past, he has served as Chair of the Hope College Mathematics Department and Chair of the Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America.

George Thomas
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' 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
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 2019 will be his fourteenth year at MathPath.
April Verser
Program Director, MathPath
April has been involved with MathPath since 2007, making this year her 13th appearance. April loves interesting and elegant mathematics, as she has since middle school! Her favorite field of mathematics is Graph Theory, though she also enjoys probability, counting, and any mathematics that related to games or crafts. April is a Math Team Coach at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, working with high school students who choose to compete in competitions such as HMMT, ARML, AIME/USAMO, Illinois State High School Competitions, and more. This year, she also started the IMSA Math Circle - a group that brings interesting speakers and math topics to IMSA students that they may not otherwise become exposed to. Outside of the math community, April enjoys textile crafting and is a professional freelance musician with experience in several states across the country (she's even played in Carnegie Hall - twice!).
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 December 13, 2019
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