Mathcamp 2017 Staff

The summer staff at camp is made up of Faculty, Mentors, Junior Counselors ("JCs"), and the Camp Nurse. In addition, we bring several Visiting Speakers each week who give guest lectures and courses.

Faculty at Mathcamp are professors and professionals in mathematics and related fields; Mentors are graduate students in mathematics and computer science. The Faculty and Mentors teach classes at camp, picking the course topics freely from among their favorite kinds of math. They also supervise projects, and serve as academic advisors, helping students choose their classes and work towards their mathematical goals for camp.

JCs, all of them camp alumni, are undergraduates who run the non-academic side of camp (from field trips to first aid to frisbee games). Mentors and JCs live in the dorms with students, and each student is assigned a Mentor or JC as their residential advisor: RAs live on the same hall as their advisees and look out for them on a day-to-day basis.

Like campers, the staff often return year after year to Mathcamp!

The 2017 Faculty and Academic Coordinators:

  • Don Laackman is an Academic Coordinator for Mathcamp 2017. He is a fifth-year grad student at UCLA. His mathematical interests include Algebraic Groups and Algebraic Invariants. His non-mathematical interests include board games and cooking.
  • Kevin Carde has been teaching at Mathcamp since 2011. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2014 and is now the Assistant Director of Mathcamp. His interests include combinatorics (especially algebraic) and puzzles of all sorts (especially cryptic crosswords).
  • Marisa Debowsky is the Executive Director of Mathcamp, and has been teaching math (mostly Graph Theory) and playing with campers (mostly singing) at Mathcamp since 2006.
  • Mark Krusemeyer is a Professor of Mathematics at Carleton College. His mathematical interests include algebra, combinatorics, number theory, and problem solving. His non-mathematical interests include recorder playing, hiking/scrambling, duplicate bridge, and table tennis. He has been a faculty member at Mathcamp since 1997.
  • Noah Schweber is an Academic Coordinator for Mathcamp 2017. He is a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he works on Computability Theory and Set Theory. His non-mathematical interests include unicycling, frisbee, terrible puns, and foot juggling. At camp, he prefers the nickname "Steve."
  • Susan Durst is a summer co-director of Mathcamp, and on the faculty at Proof School. Her mathematical interests include Ring Theory, Combinatorics, and Mathematical Logic. Her non-mathematical interests include dancing, music, cooking, and general silliness. She has been teaching at Mathcamp since 2008, and this summer, will celebrate her Mathcamp birthday: 365 days at camp!.


  • Aaron Landesman is a grad student at Stanford studying algebraic geometry and arithmetic geometry. He enjoys puzzles, games, and talking to campers.
  • Apurva Nakade is a grad student at JHU studying algebraic topology. His hobbies include reading, climbing and dancing.
  • Beatriz Navarro-Lameda is a grad student at the University of Toronto studying probability and dynamical systems. She likes cooking and nail art.
  • Lara Du is a grad student at the University of Michigan studying analytic number theory. When she ventures outside the math department, she likes to go to cat cafes.
  • Linus Hamilton is a grad student at MIT studying machine learning. He makes games, for example,
  • Misha Lavrov is a grad student at Carnegie Mellon studying Ramsey theory and random graphs. He likes the poem "Defiance" by Ezra Pound.
  • Sam Gutekunst is a grad student at Cornell studying combinatorial optimization. He likes climbing and running around outside.
  • Tim Black is a grad student at UChicago studying combinatorics and complexity. He is into hiking, improv comedy, and volleyball.
  • Yuval Wigderson is a grad student at Stanford University, studying combinatorics and topology. He reads books and drinks lots of coffee.


  • Alyssa Li is a freshman at MIT studying mechanical engineering and design. She loves dancing, singing, and bad jokes.
  • Angela Wu is a senior at the University of Toronto studying math. She likes playing with dogs and handwriting letters.
  • Elizabeth Chang-Davidson is a sophomore at MIT studying mechanical engineering and math. She enjoys reading scifi and fantasy, cooking way too much food, and building crazy things.
  • Ina Flood is a freshman at Harvey Mudd studying physics and math. She loves all sorts of dancing and exciting weather.
  • Jalex Stark is a research assistant at Caltech studying quantum computer science. They also enjoy contact juggling and other manipulation of props. Visit Jalex's website:
  • Kenrick Bjelland is a freshman at the University of Minnesota studying math, computer science, and classics. He enjoys American football and Latin poetry.
  • Lotta Blumberg is a junior at MIT studying electrical engineering and physics. They enjoy wordplay, dancing, and designing/playing silly games.
  • Vivian Kuperberg is a senior at Cornell studying math. She enjoys all kinds of dancing and many kinds of puzzles.

Camp Nurse:

  • Anne Kinne is a nursing instructor at Highline College. This is Anne's fourth summer at Mathcamp. She loves crafts, gardening, travel, camping, and playing pool.