active teaching with sarah-marie

Dramatis Personae

Who are the people that make MathILy happen?

Mostly it's students (perhaps you?), but there are also instructors (former instructors here, and for current instructors see just a bit below).
We are assisted by the members of our Advisory Amalgam.
The program itself is a project of the nonprofit organization Mathematical Staircase, Inc. which has a board of directors.

Here is the 2019 lineup (so far):

dr. sarah-marie belcastro, MathILy director and Lead Instructor (contact sarah-marie)
sarah-marie earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1997 after majoring in mathematics and astronomy at Haverford College. Among her research areas, she is most passionate about topological graph theory. sarah-marie has been faculty at several institutions, ranging from small colleges to large universities, and she's been a major believer in discovery-based learning since her teacher training at Michigan. In addition to teaching at the college level, sarah-marie teaches enrichment classes at the Art of Problem Solving. sarah-marie taught as a senior staff member at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics for 11 summers and co-directed that program for 4 summers. In summer 2012, she created and taught Mathematics Triple classes for UMass-Amherst; she is the inaugural director of MathILy and has taught there since 2013. She wrote the introductory textbook Discrete Mathematics with Ducks, which has much of the same tone students will find at MathILy. You might run into sarah-marie at HMMT or ARML (Penn State).


Dr. Brian Freidin, Lead Instructor
Brian earned his Ph.D. from Brown University studying differential geometry. He did research as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois through the Geometry Lab and the Center for Complex Systems Research. He has taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and MathILys 2015--2018.

Dr. Hannah Alpert, Lead Instructor
Hannah earned her Ph.D. from MIT in 2016 and is now a postdoc at Ohio State University. She is currently working in geometry and authored/co-authored 6 mathematical research papers before starting graduate school. Hannah has taught at MathPath and at Mathcamp and at the Boston Math Circle and at every instance of MathILy; she describes her preferred mode of teaching as 'chaos.'


Dr. Thomas Hull, Lead Instructor
Tom earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1997 and specializes in the mathematics of origami, which has applications ranging from solar panels to automobile airbags to self-assembling polymers. He has earned tenure at one college and one university (so far) and has used more and more inquiry-based learning in college classes as he has advanced in his career. Tom taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics for 15 summers, and at MathILys 2013--18.

Dr. Emily Peters, Lead Instructor
Emily earned her Ph.D. in math from Berkeley in 2009, where she studied operator algebras (like linear algebra, only more so), proof by pictures, and knots. After uncountably many* postdoctoral positions, she's now an assistant professor at Loyola University, Chicago. She is married to a fellow mathematician, and they have two kids, ages 6 and 3. Emily knits, weaves, sews, reads, and can do one pushup and the monkey bars. She taught at MathILys 2017 and 2018.

*not really.


Max Engelstein, Lead Instructor
Max is finishing up his NSF postdoc at MIT, where he has supervised a couple of former MathILy participants, and is about to head to a permanent position at the University of Minnesota. He thinks about the interplay between harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory, the calculus of variations, and PDEs. Max has taught at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and at MathILys 2013 and 2015.

Corrine Yap, Apprentice Instructor
Corrine is a mathematics graduate student at Rutgers University planning to specialize in discrete mathematics. She graduated in May 2016 from Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated on both mathematics and theatre. Although on a Ph.D track, she still hopes to pursue her acting and playwriting interests; her main project is a one-woman show about Sofia Kovalevskaya that incorporates math, music, movement, and foreign languages (see her website for production photos!). She was the MathILy PRiME in 2014 and an Apprentice Instructor 2015--2018.


Josh Mundinger, Apprentice Instructor
Josh is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. He loves to listen to and play the piano, and can often be found singing Beethoven to himself. He participated enthusiastically in MathILy 2013 and was an Apprentice Instructor for MathILys 2017 and 2018.

Connor Ahlbach, Apprentice Instructor
Connor is a fifth-year Mathematics graduate student at the University of Washington doing research in algebraic combinatorics. He also enjoys teaching, especially linear algebra, and has ideas for improving the linear algebra curriculum. Outside of mathematics, he likes practicing aikido and playing Magic the Gathering. He has also seen every episode of the "The Simpsons" between Season 1 and Season 26, inclusive.


Emi Brawley, Apprentice Instructor
Emi is graduating this spring from Stony Brook University, where she is studying mathematics and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Mathematically, she is mostly interested in analysis, particularly geometric measure theory; non-mathematically, she likes knitting and the Great British Bake Off. She participated in MathILy 2013.

Nadav Kohen, Apprentice Instructor
Nadav graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2018 with a double major in mathematics and computer science. He currently works as a software engineer. When he has free time, he often spends it thinking about graphs, games, topology, algebra or cryptography. When he has free time with a computer, he often writes computer proofs or studies models for computation. When he has free time and needs to move, he enjoys fencing, ultimate frisbee and getting lost in forests. He participated in MathILy in 2015.


Shamil Asgarli, Apprentice Instructor
Shamil is a 5th year graduate student in mathematics at Brown University, and expects to receive his PhD in May 2019. His field of speciality is algebraic geometry, but he is always interested in exposing himself to other areas of mathematics. His favorite book in math is Proofs From The Book. He has recently developed passion for graph theory and combinatorics, and he looks forward to sharing what he has learned with the students. Outside of math, he enjoys running, playing soccer, and reading fiction (he is a big fan of Stephen King).

Connor Halleck-Dube, Apprentice Instructor
Connor is a graduating senior at Yale University studying mathematics. He'll be starting his PhD in the fall in algebra/algebraic geometry/number theory. He likes computers, fiction, strategy games, and most other nerdy things. In his free time, he has done theatrical sound engineering, and his favorite non-mathematics classes were "The Chinese Tradition" and "Control, Privacy, Security." The best mathematical vocabulary word is thrackle.

Alex Nolte, PRiME (Protector and Responder in the MathILy Environment)
Alex is graduating this spring from Tufts university, where he studies math and computer science. He is starting a PhD at Rice in the fall and is interested in analysis, representation theory, and topology. Besides math, he likes cooking, reading, webcomics, hiking, history, and board games.

MathILy, MathILy-Er, and MathILy-EST are projects of the nonprofit organization Mathematical Staircase, Inc..