About Us

Our Story

Paul and Sam met as graduate students at Rutgers University, where they studied descriptive set theory (they have published several research papers together). Meanwhile Paul and Sam became involved in the experimental School of Mathematics in Brooklyn, where math was done in a purely Socratic style, and later were inspired to launch Math Circles in their areas. Recently, Paul and Sam teamed up with Japheth Wood to write a book for math circle facilitators. In 2021, Sam and Paul wanted to help others see the beauty that they saw in math, and launched the Pure Math Academy.

Our Teachers

Paul Ellis received his PhD from Rutgers University, held a postdoc at University of Connecticuit, and is currently a professor of mathematics at Manhattanville College. Paul runs the Westchester Area Math Circle. In 2018 and 2019 he was the head math teacher at the Math League Summer Tournament in Beijing. Contact: paul@puremathacademy.com

Sam Coskey received his PhD from Rutgers University (under the same advisor as Paul), held postdocs at CUNY and the Fields Institute, and is currently a professor of mathematics at Boise State University. From 2014–2020 he ran the Boise Math Circle. Contact: scoskey@gmail.com

Japheth Wood received his PhD from Berkeley, and has held positions at Pontificia Universidad in Chile, Vanderbilt, Louisville, and Chatham University. He is currently a professor of mathematics at Bard College. Japheth has directed the New York Math Circle, the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Math, and currently directs the Bard Math Circle and heads the Upstate New York Math Team.

Sikimeti Ma'u received her PhD from Rutgers University (with Paul and Sam). She was postdoc working in the trendy area of symplectic topology, based mostly in Berkeley. She then moved to Italy where she teaches math in Verona and Venice.

Greg Strom grew up in Pennsylvania and studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Chicago. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, and his primary research interests are in various fields of philosophy, especially philosophy of action and the relationship between philosophy of action and ethical theory. Greg also really loves to teach—he has been teaching at several universities since 2004, including the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Sydney, and Carnegie Mellon University. He also teaches at Math-M-Addicts.

Nick Rauh received his PhD from UT-Austin. He is the Vice President of Content and Product Management at the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF). He was the Chief of Mathematics at the National Museum of Mathematics. Nick and Paul worked together at the Math League Summer Tournament in Beijing.