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Mathcamp 2020 Staff

The summer staff at Virtual Mathcamp is made up of Faculty, Mentors, and Junior Counselors ("JCs").

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 sarongs to surveys to social media). JCs also help out with academics, TAing for classes and talking with campers about math. Each student is assigned a Mentor or JC as their residential advisor: RAs are the default point of contact on the staff for each of their advisees, and look out for their well-being on a day-to-day basis.

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

The 2020 Faculty and Academic Coordinators:

  • Pesto (Adam Hesterberg) is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in Harvard CS. He likes board games, kitties, puzzles, computational geometry, and computational complexity.
  • Apurva Nakade recently moved to the north of the wall and lives in the quaint little Canadian town of London, Ontario. He is a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario, working in homotopy theory. When not thinking about maths he enjoys running, yoga & meditation, reading & writing, hiking & backpacking, designing websites, and organizing stuff.
  • 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 solving and writing puzzles of all sorts.
  • Marisa Debowsky is the Executive Director of Mathcamp. Her mathematical interests include Topological Graph Theory and other combinatorial pursuits; outside of math, she enjoys singing, puzzles, and elaborate coffee brewing. She has been teaching 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.
  • Mia Smith has been coming to Mathcamp since 2010 and is currently a summer co-director. During the year, she is a mathematics faculty member at Proof School in San Francisco. Her mathematical interests include graph theory and combinatorial geometry. Outside of mathematics, she enjoys trail running, crossword puzzling, and drinking good coffee.
  • Mira Bernstein has been one of the main organizers of Mathcamp since 1997. After receiving her PhD in Algebraic Geometry in 1999, she taught for several years at Wellesley College. She left academia in 2008; since then, her work has focused on using quantitative methods to solve social problems – from exploring the effects of extending health insurance to low-income populations to using mathematics to fight gerrymandering. Her non-mathematical interests include languages, hiking, reading, meditation, and (just this year) learning to play accordion.
  • Misha Lavrov has been teaching at Mathcamp since 2014; outside Mathcamp, he is in the process of leaving the cold hinterlands of Illinois for the warm pastures of Georgia. Mathematically, he specializes in graph theory and Ramsey theory. Non-mathematically, he drinks many different kinds of tea, studies foreign languages, reads poetry, and bakes cookies.
  • Susan Durst has been teaching at Mathcamp since 2008. During the year, she is a mathematics faculty member at Proof School in San Francisco. Her mathematical interests include Ring Theory, Combinatorics, and Mathematical Logic. Her non-mathematical interests include dancing, music, cooking, and general silliness.
  • Tim Black is an Assistant Instructional Professor at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Chicago in 2019. His interests include computational complexity theory, coding theory, and discrete math, and their connections to group theory. He also enjoys volleyball, hiking, change ringing, and puzzles.
  • Yuval Wigderson has been around Mathcamp since 2009, and will be an academic coordinator this year. He is a PhD student at Stanford, studying extremal combinatorics. He can often be found solving crossword puzzles and drinking coffee.


  • Alan Chang just finished his PhD at UChicago and will soon begin a postdoc at Princeton. He studies geometric measure theory and harmonic analysis, and he likes piano, video game music, and playing video game music on the piano.
  • Ben Dees is a grad student at the Johns Hopkins University. Mathematically, he specializes in geometric analysis, but is always happy to learn new mathematical topics! Non-mathematically, he enjoys games, puzzles, and dance.
  • Dennis Chen is a first year grad student at UC Berkeley. This is his first year at Math Camp, and this summer he'll be a mentor. His mathematical interests are algebraic geometry, algebraic topology, and category theory. Non-mathematically, he enjoys swing dancing, reading, and playing video games.
  • Emily Gullerud is a grad student at the University of Minnesota. Mathematically, she enjoys anything related to algebra; non-mathematically, she enjoys traveling, drinking coffee, and trying new foods.
  • Eric Stubley is almost finished his phd at the University of Chicago. He works on problems in algebraic number theory, but really this means that he flips matrices around in unusual ways and plays games with p-adic power series. He currently reads a novel a week and goes on long walks in the early morning.
  • Katharine Adamyk is about to be a postdoc at Western University working in algebraic topology and its applications to data analysis. She generally likes activities that involve being outside or making things.
  • Kayla Wright is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Her mathematical interests include algebraic combinatorics, cluster algebras and dimer models. She enjoys cooking, dancing, and playing volleyball.
  • Linus Hamilton is a grad student at MIT studying algorithms in machine learning. Play his dodging game!
  • Neeraja Kulkarni is a grad student at Caltech studying harmonic analysis and some of its applications to PDEs. She enjoys reading and playing piano (at the moment, mainly Mozart).


  • Ania Łeń is in her third year at University of Warsaw studying math with some physics, economics and computer science. She enjoys travelling, organizing educational events and drinking coffee.
  • Jessica Liu is in her fourth year at the University of Toronto studying math and a bit of computer science. She enjoys drawing pictures and playing board games.
  • Joanna Boyland studies math and linguistics as a freshman at Harvard. She enjoys board games, sourdough, languages, dad-jokes, and avoiding forms of the verb 'to be'.
  • Kenrick Bjelland is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying mathematics and computer science. He enjoys playing mildly strategic board games.
  • Kinga Sztonyk is in her second year at Wrocław University of Science and Technology studying math. She enjoys learning languages, reading books and baking cookies.
  • Lizka Vaintrob is a senior at Columbia studying math and comparative literature and society. She likes to make art, to hike, and have to have tea with friends.
  • Maya Sankar is a senior at MIT studying math and computer science. She enjoys reading, playing music with friends, yarncraft, and having fun in the sun!
  • Milan Haiman is a freshman at MIT studying mathematics. He likes puzzles, board games, and combinatorics.

Generally Helpful:

  • Gloria Krusemeyer has been the Generally Helpful Person at Mathcamp for many years. Campers will see her running craft projects, organizing dancing events, and using her engineering-oriented brain to solve real-world problems.