Partners & Sponsors:

University of Michigan Mathematics Department
Math and Science Center at Wayne RESA Center for Inquiry Based Learning
Math Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics
National Association of Math Circles
National Security Agency
American Institute of Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America

Leadership Team

Sarah Koch
Sarah Koch, aka PK2, is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research is in the area of complex dynamical systems; she spends lots of time trying to understand the infinitely complicated structure of beautiful fractals that emerge in her work. She has two PhDs in Mathematics, one from the Université de Provence in Marseille, and one from Cornell University. She received the Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award in 2016, and the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award in 2020. She was recently awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America, and she was appointed as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 2021. She is proud to be the Director of the Math Corps at U(M) and the organizer of the Math Mondays in Ypsi Program (which has temporarily been replaced with Super Saturdays). In addition to doing Math, she enjoys teaching, working with students, making kindness chains, and beating Professor DeBacker in the step contest.

Stephen DeBacker
As an undergraduate, Stephen DeBacker was inspired to pursue mathematics by renowned teaching masters Gerald Alexanderson and Paul Halmos. He survived graduate school thanks largely to the enthusiastic and effective mentoring of his thesis advisor, the legendary Paul J. Sally, Jr. He tries to pay forward some small part of his debt to these great teachers by working to inspire the next generation of scholars. Since arriving at the University of Michigan in 2002, he has served as director of the Michigan Math Circle, the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, and the Michigan Mathematics Undergraduate Program. He has also worked with elementary and secondary school teachers through the SESAME program (in both Chicago and Boston). In 2011 he was appointed as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and in 2012 he was named Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Michigan.