# 2017 Faculty

## Faculty

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.

Danielle Champney is an assistant professor of mathematics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, after completing undergraduate and masters degrees in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. Danielle's primary research interests are twofold: the study of how students connect their understanding of mathematics, physics, and engineering at all grades and ages; and the study of how students use visual images when problem solving and learning new topics in calculus. She is also active in cultivating middle-high school/undergraduate partnerships with Cal Poly and partner schools, with an emphasis on building mentorship opportunities between college and pre-collegiate students, and works with students and teachers of all ages to promote active learning in math classes from grades K through 16+.

Harold Reiter returns for his sixth time at Epsilon Camp. Reiter is Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For more than 30 years, he has contributed problems to math competitions including the American Math Competitions and MATHCOUNTS. He has served as chair of the AMC committee and as a MATHCOUNTS judge. In the last 12 years, he has taught at math camps for high school and middle school students in the United States; Bangalore, India; Bali, Indonesia; and Chengdu, China.

Michael Starbird is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. He has received University-wide, statewide, and national teaching awards including the MAA’s Haimo Award. He has produced DVD courses in the Great Courses Series on calculus, statistics, probability, geometry, and the joy of thinking, and a MOOC entitled *Effective Thinking Through Mathematics*. His co-authored books include MAA published Inquiry Based Learning textbooks *Number Theory Through Inquiry *with co-authors David Marshall and Edward Odell and *Distilling Ideas: An Introduction to Mathematical Thinking* with co-author Brian Katz; and with co-author Edward Burger *The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking* and *The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking.*

Sian Zelbo will coordinate the instruction of the 7-8 age group at Epsilon. Sian Zelbo is a freelance math education consultant, writer, and teacher in New York City. Sian worked for four years as the Associate Director of the Center for Mathematical Talent at NYU, worked as the school math specialist at two New York City independent schools, and co-wrote and illustrated a book of logic activities for young people called *Camp Logic*. Sian has also spent many years running math circles and coaching teams for math competitions. Sian also develops extracurricular math activities to challenge young people, many of which can be found in her blog, 1001 Math Problems at www.1001mathproblems.com.

Lora Saarnio is a math specialist for Grades 1-4 at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, serving gifted and talented students. Lora is also Director of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (www.jrmf.org). She recently won the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship, a national teaching award from Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

Katherine Socha teaches mathematics at The Park School of Baltimore. Her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin was in partial differential equations; her master’s paper focused on topology and Boolean algebra; and her undergraduate thesis wandered through category theory. Katherine (called Dr. chaoS by some of her students, who delight in the anagram) received the Mathematical Association of America’s Alder Award for distinguished teaching and Ford Award for expository excellence for her article Circles in Circles: Creating a Mathematical Model of Surface Water Waves. After becoming a tenured professor of mathematics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Katherine spent four years supporting career high school mathematics teachers at Math for America before returning to the challenges and satisfactions of teaching in her own classrooms.

## Assistant Faculty

A former counselor and assistant faculty member at Epsilon Camp, James Farre is in the process of completing his graduate work in geometric topology at the University of Utah. His research explores the rich interplay between surface theory, three-dimensional hyperbolic geometry, volume, and topological spaces. James is a former dancer who trained in classical ballet and modern dance.

Thomas Goller is expecting to receive his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Utah in May 2017. His research is in algebraic geometry, a field that studies geometric spaces using rings of polynomials. Thomas received a University Teaching Assistantship for 2016-17, which he is using to design and teach an undergraduate course in graph theory.

A retired middle school mathematics teacher, Kris Warloe has been an Edith Mae Sycliffe Awardee (1997), Woodrow Wilson Fellow (1991), Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Teaching Math and Science (1992) recipient, MathCounts Question Writing Committee math problem writer, NCTM lesson writer, textbook reviewer, and State math assessment reviewer. He holds an M.Ed with Secondary Math Endorsement from Oregon State University.

## Visiting Speakers

Arthur T. Benjamin is an American mathematician who specializes in combinatorics. Since 1989, he has been a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, where he is the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics.

He is known for mental math capabilities and "Mathemagics" performances in front of live audiences. His mathematical abilities have been highlighted in newspaper and magazine articles, at TED Talks and on the Colbert Report.

Paul Zeitz is Professor of Mathematics at University of San Francisco. He was a member of the first US team to the International Math Olympiad, and coached several US teams. He wrote *The Art and Craft of Problem Solving* in 1999, and produced a 12-hour video course for the Teaching Company in 2009 with the same title. Prof. Zeitz is the co-founder of Proof School in San Francisco, the nation's first full-fledged secondary school for "kids who love math."

Mark Saul has touched the lives of thousands of mathematically gifted students through his work as a teacher and author. In his current position as Executive Director of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, he works to bring interesting, enjoyable, and high-level mathematical content to students of every background. He has served as Director of the American Mathematics Competitions for the Mathematical Association of America, as President of the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML), Director of the Research Science Institute at MIT, as Director of the Center for Mathematical Talent at NYU's Courant Institute, and as associate editor of *Quantum*, *The Mathematics Teacher*, and the *AMS Notices*. His work with the International Mathematical Olympiad has continued since 1981, when he first served as coordinator. He has been a program officer for the National Science Foundation and a consultant in gifted education to the John Templeton Foundation. Saul has authored, edited or translated eight books and written numerous articles bringing advanced mathematics to wide audiences.

Professor of Mathematics, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, Dr. Zou has published on variational inequality and its extensions. He is also the founder of the Chengdu Mathematics Circle and director of China’s Dipont competition math project.

Jonathan Weinstein is Associate Professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in a branch of mathematics called “game theory” and its applications to economics. His work investigates “robustness” – that is, how small changes in a game, or in players’ perceptions of a game, may affect outcomes. This includes analyzing the importance of “higher-order beliefs”: what “I think you think I think,” etc. It matters more than you think. (At least, he thinks so.)

Jonathan won a gold medal at the 1994 International Math Olympiad and was the national winner of the 1991 Mathcounts competition. While his research focuses on games which model economic interactions, he is also an avid player of games in the more colloquial sense: he has placed second in national Contract Bridge tournaments.