People – 2021

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. Our community supports the campers, challenging to reach and stretch while still reminding them to be playful.

Our faculty and staff look forward to seeing the campers this summer.

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.

CHRISTIAN GESKE

Christian is a postdoctoral lecturer in mathematics at Northwestern University. He loves breaking down deep and complex mathematical theory into intuitive and accessible pieces. He believes that with the right balance of rigor and hand-waviness, university and research level mathematics can be made accessible to students of all ages.

He earned his PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying topology, and hopes to shed a little light on this visually beautiful topic this summer. 

JOHN HARTONO, Parent Program Coordinator

John is currently avoiding Half-Priced Books, because he can’t help himself from buying more math/science books each time he visits.  His best friend from Harvey Mudd knew about this plight and got him a book on his favorite mathematician, Leonhard Euler for his birthday.  C&! has been a life-changing experience for his family as he has found an inclusive community of folks who love the beauty in math.  In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, exploring nature trails, and listening to history podcasts.

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…

BURTON NEWMAN, Academic Director

Growing up, Burton always wondered what it’s like to be a mathematician 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 teaches and mentors accelerated math students all over the country.

YO’AV RIECK

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Yo’av crossed the globe to the University of Texas, Austin for graduate studies in Mathematics — specializing in low dimensional topology — following graduation from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology). 

For the past 20 years he has been studying and teaching math at the University of Arkansas. During the school year he teaches at the local Fayetteville Math Circle and in the summer he travels to Japan spending time with family and collaborating with math researchers.

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 differently things could be taught, how early deep ideas could be introduced, and how kids loved to be challenged. 

Over the last decade he has started a Seattle-area math circle, taught and served as academic director at Epsilon Camp and Campersand, and coached math competition teams.  In his day job he is a security researcher at Privacy Research, LLC, where he is using cryptography to change the way we login and identify ourselves online.  When not playing with math or writing code, Rolfe is outside running, hiking, or skiing with his family.

MARTIN J STRAUSS

Martin leads an outreach program on mathematical hat puzzles, using tinfoil hats to prevent cheating by ESP.

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 fairness, and sustainable energy.

In 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 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 completed a Mellon Fellowship at Michigan, learning to integrate the Arts into his University teaching. He has taught at Epsilon camp 2014–2016 and at Campersand in 2017, serving as kinesthetic mathematics specialist in ’15 -’17.