Faculty in 2017

Chaim Goodman-Strauss

Chaim has never lost his childhood sense of mathematical wonder and playfulness, as you will see from the shelves in his office! He first learned of his future research speciality, aperiodic tiling, through the amazing and influential writings of Martin Gardner.

chaim.jpgBorn and raised in Austin, earning a Ph.D. from the University of Texas in knot theory, Chaim has been at the University of Arkansas since 1994.  With John H. Conway and Heidi Burgiel, he co-authored The Symmetries of Things. He produces large-scale sculptures  based on his mathematical interest in form. Since his student days, Goodman-Strauss has been intensively engaged in mathematical outreach to the broader community, starting the Saturday Morning Math Group for high school students (still continuing, at UT) and producing the Math Factor podcast and radio segment (2004-2012). He has several years experience working with highly accelerated children at summer math programs. His graphic work can be seen at mathbun.com.

Edmund Harriss

Since catching the bug for the power and beauty of mathematics Edmund has been as determined to communicate it to others asEOH.jpg to explore it. Most recently he has created two
colouring books that as well
as being fun to color in provide a solid overview of many aspects of modern research mathematics. He has also created mathematical toys such as Curvahedra (see image), to help people explore mathematical ideas through their hands and eyes as well as algebraic symbols. His research began at Imperial College in London playing with mathematics from a visual standpoint looking at the Penrose tiling and similar objects. Today this too has focused on communication, working on applications from the structure of 2d crystals (such as graphene) to robot control with architects and engineers.

Sofya Raskhodnikova

Sofya Raskhodnikova is an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State University. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics with computer science and her graduate degree in computer science from MIT. As a kid, she was fortunate to have amazing math teachers, to participate in math olympiads, and to attend a wonderful math camp. Her research area is design and analysis of algorithms, with focus on algorithms for big data and privacy-preserving algorithms. Sofya has taught math and algorithms to gifted kids of different ages: at Epsilon camp, at GEM seminars for middle schoolers, and at math circle. She has 3 kids of her own, ranging in age from 6 to 11, who love math and mathematical play.

Rolfe Schmidt

Rolfe’s favorite moments as a child include feeling the rush of power at his disposal when his dad taught him to solve systems of linear equations, furtively solving calculus problems in the back of his algebra class, and spending an entire winter vacation devouring Hirsch and Smale.   Now he is a homeschooling father of three so he gets to  play math, build computers, reconstruct PIE, annotate metric poetry, and more. He taught at Epsilon Camp for three years, and also founded and taught a Seattle Math Circle. Rolfe’s current research interests lie in distributed databases and security. When not playing math or writing code, he is probably out running, hiking, or skiing with his family.

Wendy K. Tam Cho

mayalizawendyWendy is a Professor at the University of Illinois where she has appointments in Political Science, Statistics, and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  She has found a wide range of areas where her mathematics training is foundational.  She has loved math all her life, but really discovered its beauty when she started teaching math to her boys, who love math even more than she does!  Her boys wanted to do math with other kids, so she began her own math circle and started teaching in math summer camps.  The journey has been immensely fulfilling and has taught her that sharing mathematical beauty (especially with children) is the surest and quickest way to multiply its appreciation and joy.

Martin J. Strauss

Martin J. Strauss is a Professor of Mathematics at The University of Michigan. His research interests are in the areas of randomized algorithms, data privacy, and sustainable energy.

MartinIn recent years, he has focused on mathematics outreach and enrichment, specializing in kinesthetic and manipulative activities. He has been a speaker and organizer at numerous Math Circle type events, for students ranging from age 6 and up as well as their teachers. He has completed a the Portal to the Public fellowship at the Detroit Zoo where he was the token mathematician among biologists learning to present science to the public, and he is currently a Mellon Fellow learning to integrate the Arts into his University teaching. He has taught at epsilon camp 2014–2016, serving as kinesthetic mathematics specialist in ’15 and ’16.