People – 2020

The environment and vibe of a community is based on the people who make it come alive. Campersand values and prioritizes its community because they are the ones who teach, model, and mentor our kids to think and reflect on their potential, while also reminding them to be playful.

Our faculty are looking forward to seeing the campers this summer.

MATTHEW CHO

Matthew is a math major at MIT.  He’s always been enamored by math, puzzles, and logical arguments.  His fondest childhood memories are from summer math camps.  He enjoys and has competed in MATHCOUNTS, AMC 10/12, AIME, USAMO, and the Putnam exam.  He still considers himself a kid and will always be a math kid at heart.

WENDY K. TAM CHO

Wendy is a Professor at the University of Illinois where she has appointments in Political Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Asian American Studies, Law, and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Mathematics is the tie that holds together her eclectic interests. She has loved math all her life, but really discovered its beauty when she started teaching math to her sons, who love math even more than she does! Her sons wanted to do math with other kids, so she began her own math circle and started teaching at math summer camps. Her mathematical 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.

ANITA CHOU, Camp Director

Anita, coming from an electrical engineering background, is deeply interested in math and science education. She holds a special interest in helping radically accelerated kids meet their needs. Towards that end she sits on the board of and is actively involved in several local gifted advocacy organizations. She is excited to be on the forefront of coordinating resources, local and afar, and working closely with families in staging Campersand 2018.

CHAIM GOODMAN-STRAUSS

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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.

Born 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.

TODD B. KRAUSE

Todd remains equally unskilled in a range of disciplines.  His parents forced him to go to college for a year, but that didn’t stop him from skipping out at the end to be in a rock band.  The fact that you’re reading about him here gives you a clue as to how that ended up.  Ironically in that first year he got hooked on mathematics, physics, and ancient languages, and he stuck with them all the way through his doctoral studies.

Though formally a mathematical physicist with research experience in nonlinear dynamics, Hamiltonian systems, and numerical simulations of black hole collisions, his day job finds him publishing free online lessons for ancient languages with the Linguistics Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.  You might’ve run across some of his box-office hits, lesson series on Old Church Slavonic, Gothic, and even Tocharian.  Yes, those are names of actual languages.  Best not to get him started…

TANAY MEHTA

Tanay is a doctoral student in theoretical computer science at Northeastern University. As a kid, he was enticed by mathematics’ ability to explain how the world works and the creativity required to solve puzzles. Tanay enjoys teaching, and  hopes to pass on the same type of guidance and passion that he received from others in the math community. When not doing math, Tanay enjoys discovering new music and exploring the city with his camera in hand.

BURTON NEWMAN, Academic Director

Growing up, Burton always wondered what it was like to be a mathematician working on a math problem and why such brilliant minds would dedicate themselves to this sort of activity. What do they see in it? What do they value? He decided the best way to answer these questions was to become a mathematician himself. He gained the most insight into these questions while working as a counselor for two summers at the Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS) at Boston University. There, he realized the importance of immersing oneself in whatever culture one is trying to understand. Today he spends his time working as a data scientist and playing with the newest toys in math ed tech.

ROLFE SCHMIDT

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Rolfe has been playing with math since he was young enough to be a camper, always looking forward to school breaks when he would have uninterrupted time with his books. It wasn’t until he began teaching mathematics to his sons that he realized how much fun the field had to offer. Seeing the benefits of a social community he created and modeled such a setting for his and other mathy kids. He founded a math circle in Seattle and directed and taught at several math camps. His math background is foundational to his research in distributed systems and cryptography at Zouggla, where he is founder and CTO. When not playing with math or writing code, Rolfe is outside running, hiking, or skiing with his family.