Board of Advisors
Arun Alagappan is the President and Founder of the Advantage Testing Foundation and of Advantage Testing, Inc. He is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and a graduate of Harvard Law School. At Princeton, he won the Class of 1869 Prize in Ethics. Mr. Alagappan sat on the Board of Editors of the Harvard International Law Journal, served as Law Clerk to Judge Dorothy Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and worked briefly at the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York City. He was a Teaching Fellow in Harvard's Department of Mathematics and was awarded a Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Teaching of Harvard Undergraduates from the Dean of the College. Mr. Alagappan serves on the Board of Trustees of Prep for Prep and as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America). The goals of these organizations are to nurture the academic and leadership potential of exceptional students of modest means and to increase the socioeconomic diversity of students at leading colleges and universities.
Ravi Boppana is the director of the Math Prize for Girls contest, sponsored by the Advantage Testing Foundation. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland, with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT. He was a professor of computer science at Rutgers University, where he was the recipient of the "Excellence in Teaching" award. Later he was a tenured professor of computer science at New York University, where he was the recipient of the "Golden Dozen" teaching award. He is currently a Research Affiliate at MIT's Math Department. He coached the New York State team at MathCounts Nationals. He co-authored a textbook on Prealgebra published by the Art of Problem Solving.
Ioana Dumitriu is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at San Diego. She is a summa cum laude graduate of New York University, receiving a B.A. in Mathematics. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at MIT. She was a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. She was the first-ever woman to be named a Putnam Fellow for being one of the top five scorers on the Putnam math exam. She was awarded the Leslie Fox Prize for being the top young numerical analyst. Her research area is numerical analysis and random matrices.
Maria Klawe is President of Harvey Mudd College. She received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Alberta. She was a researcher and manager at IBM Research. She was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, serving as Chair of the Computer Science Department and later as Dean of Science. After that, she was Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton. She is a Past President of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Sandor is a senior leader at Jane Street who has promoted math education, competition, and access for more than three decades. A Math Olympian in high school, Sandor founded the Mandelbrot Competition with Sam Vandervelde and Richard Rusczyk in 1990. In 1994, he and Richard went on to write and self-publish the seminal two-volume set The Art of Problem Solving, books that continue to have a revolutionary impact on math preparation for ambitious high school students.
Sandor graduated from Princeton University with academic honors in 1994 with a BA in Physics and a certificate in Applied Mathematics. He spent two years as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange before moving to a coordination position on an upstairs trading desk. In that role, he organized trading across a range of technology-focused stocks and index products. Seeing the market spiral upward and then crash spectacularly taught Sandor enduring lessons about markets, human psychology, and risk management.
Sandor joined Jane Street in 2001 and has since led a variety of operations and firmwide initiatives, including architecting the firm’s Equity desk, co-founding the Quantitative Research function, expanding recruitment efforts, and undertaking foundational work in developing the firm's risk philosophy. He currently works primarily with the Options desk in a management and business leadership role.
In the mid-2000s, Sandor co-founded the Art of Problem Solving Initiative (AoPSI), a nonprofit focused on bringing powerful resources to high-achieving students who have encountered barriers to success in mathematics. AoPSI's signature program, Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), serves talented students across the country starting with summer enrichment programs in 6th and 7th grade and continuing with support through high school and into college.
Richard Rusczyk is the President and Founder of the Art of Problem Solving. In high school, he was a winner of the USA Mathematical Olympiad. He graduated from Princeton University, where he was top five in his class. He worked as a bond trader at D.E. Shaw for four years. He has authored or co-authored seven math textbooks for gifted students. He was a co-creator of the Mandelbrot math competition and is one of the organizers of the USA Mathematical Talent Search. He serves as President of the Art of Problem Solving Foundation, which promotes mathematical problem solving among middle and high school students throughout the United States.
Michael Sipser is the Donner Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. He has been a professor of applied math at MIT since 1980. He was head of the MIT Math Department and dean of the MIT School of Science. He wrote a widely-used textbook on the Theory of Computation. His research area is computational complexity. He is a three-time recipient of the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award.
Gigliola Staffilani is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a summa cum laude graduate in Math from the University of Bologna. She received her Ph.D in Math from the University of Chicago. She was a professor at Stanford, Princeton, Brown, and Harvard before joining MIT in 2002. She was a co-organizer of the Women in Mathematics conference at MIT. Her research interests are partial differential equations and harmonic analysis.
Lauren K. Williams is a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, where she received her A.B. in Mathematics. She then completed Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge University, with Distinction. She later received her Ph.D. in Mathematics at MIT. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, which she used at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research area is algebraic combinatorics. In high school, she was invited to the Mathematical Olympiad Program and the Research Science Institute.
Melanie Matchett Wood is a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. She received her PhD in math at Princeton. She has set many firsts as a female mathematician. In high school, she was the first-ever girl from the United States to reach the International Math Olympiad, where she earned two silver medals. She received her bachelor's degree from Duke. While there, she was the first American woman to be named a Putnam Fellow for being one of the top five scorers on the Putnam math exam. She is the first female winner of the Morgan Prize for outstanding research in math by an undergraduate. She was a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University for one year. Her research is in algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry. She was named a Five-Year Fellow of the American Institute of Mathematics. She won the Waterman award, a prestigious honor for scientists and mathematicians under the age of 40.