Dr. Raj ShahI have had an affinity for math for as long as I can remember. My love of math led me to earn a Ph.D. in Physics in 1999. From there, I worked for Intel Corp. in research and development. In 2008, I quit my job at Intel and founded Math Plus Academy, an after-school STEM enrichment program for kids from 5 – 14 years old.

My mission is to introduce kids and adults to the wonders of mathematics. In addition to Math Plus Academy, I also contribute my time and energy to the Columbus Math Teachers’ Circle, the Julia Robinson Math Festival, and I am a charter member of The Global Math Project.

I believe EVERYONE can enjoy math, develop strong number sense, and become a perseverant problem solver.

Do What You Love and Make a Difference

In January of 2008, it became abundantly clear to me that if we didn’t fundamentally change the way we educate and inspire kids, this country was going to fall too far behind to catch up with the rest of the world. I could see that the education my kids were getting, by itself, was not going to be enough to ensure their success in a global, hyper-connected world. So, I quit my job to pursue my passion — getting kids excited about math and teaching them to THINK rather than just memorize. I get up every single day eager to make what we do better and more valuable for the families that we serve.

The World Is Changing Faster Than Ever

I’ve talked to hundreds of parents, educators and business people. I’ve read books and done significant research and here’s what has become abundantly clear to me:

  1. The world is changing faster than ever. That goes for technology, connectivity and access to information. The promise of faithfully going to school, getting a routine job and working in that job for a lifetime are fading fast (if they aren’t gone already).
  2. Meanwhile, despite all that change, the way we educate our children remains fundamentally unchanged.

The result is that many parents, rightfully, fear their children won’t have the skills to succeed in the world that awaits. We are seeing this already as employers look overseas to fill jobs and not just the blue collar jobs; companies find excellent white collar talent all over the world and most of these people are willing to work harder for less money.

Developing Attitudes and Skills for Success

There are several skills and attitudes everyone will need to not just survive, but thrive. Things like:

  • The capability to think and not just memorize
  • The ability to solve difficult problems
  • The confidence to persevere
  • The passion to focus on purposeful goals

The problem is, a traditional education can only provide a subset of these core skills. And sadly, while the world continues to change, the way we educate kids remains fundamentally unchanged.

That’s Where Math Plus Academy Fits In

Our mission is to work with parents to ensure their child has a strong foundation in mathematics that helps develop those critical thinking and problem solving skills. On that foundation, we understand that we must build each child’s confidence so they can persevere when difficult challenges arise. And finally, we hope to ignite their passion so they can live the life of their dreams.

Simply stated, our mission is to cultivate a love of mathematics within every student.
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