Natasa Sirotic, BSc, BEd, MSc, PhD

Co-Founder, Secretary

Dr. Natasa Sirotic was an engineer in Slovenia who became a math teacher in order to fulfill her mission: "Give, and you feed for a day. Teach, and you feed for a lifetime." In her classes high expectations are blended with guidance and encouragement; Dr. Sirotic believes that finding a correct answer is just as important as having fun in working on the problem. She is also active in the field of mathematics education research, and has instructed courses at UBC and SFU for preservice elementary and secondary mathematics teachers. She completed her docoral studies in mathematics education at SFU, with a dissertation focusing on practice-based professional development of in-service secondary mathematics teachers.

Klaus Hoechsmann, PhD, Professor Emeritus, UBC

Co-Founder, President

Using the principles he teaches, "mathematics, like singing, is for everyone – not only the three tenors", Klaus Hoechsmann inspires teachers to love and understand mathematics. He is a devoted scholar of mathematics who went from research mathematician to a trainer of math teachers, to play-wright and public disseminator of mathematics. He is co-founder of the elementary grades math contest (ELMACON) and the author of the PIMS math-posters that were seen on busses throughout the year 2000.

Diana Kovac, BSc

Vice President

Diana is a graduate of the Math Cirlces program, and has been involved ever since, first as an instructor and now as Vice President. She has an Actuarial Mathematics degree from SFU and is working toward becoming an actuary. Having a strong math background has definitely helped her in her studies and she works hard to pass that math knowledge and confidence on to her students. She enjoys attending conferences and workshops on math education to continuously improve herself as a teacher.

Luna Nuhic, BA


Luna takes on multiple duties at Math Potentials, acting as administrator, coordinator, and substitute teacher. She recently completed a BA at SFU with a minor in mathematics, and is entering the PDP Education program this January. When she is not answering your emails, she is tutoring, cooking, or playing music.

Ali Seyedfarshi, BSc, MSc, BEd


After graduating from high school in Iran, Ali Seyedfarshi travelled to UK for higher education. He completed General Certificate of Education in London and attended Thames University to complete his degree in Engineering.  Ali continued his education obtaining his M.Sc. degree in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. In 1990, Ali Immigrated to Canada, and ever since then pursued his old passion in teaching. He worked at Collingwood for 16 years teaching AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics. In 2005 Ali was awarded teacher fellowship from prestigious University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Ali continued his teaching career at Southpointe Academy in Delta, BC.

Ali is very passionate about teaching and he says he finds himself at home in Math Potentials, where our younger generations are offered the ultimate challenge in education, specifically in Mathematics education.

Amanda Turcato, BA, BEd


Amanda graduated at Brock University in Ontario with an Integrated Studies degree in Mathematics and Education. Amanda has a passion for the outdoors and mathematics. After graduating, she worked as a TOC at Southpointe Academy. She now works as an associate teacher at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver and is an IB private tutor. Amanda is eager to inspire children in mathematics through hands-on activities and through a collaborative working environment. When Amanda is not teaching, she finds herself in the wilderness exploring new places and making new memories.

Bianca Ungurean, BSc, BEd, MEd


Bianca has completed a 5 year Degree in Mathematics in Romania, where she also taught for five years before moving to Canada. In 1999 she came to Vancouver where she obtained her teaching degree (2001) and Master Degree (2004) from Simon Fraser University. Throughout her teaching career, Bianca has taught full time at various public secondary schools. Bianca currently teaches grades 8-12 including Calculus. Occasionally, she tutors IB kids in the SL and HL streams. Outside school, Bianca enjoys cooking for her family, reading and hiking.

Calin A. Lucus, MFSc, BEd, MSc, PhD


Calin is a certified mathematics teacher in the Province of British Columbia, as well as in his home country of Romania. He currently teaches mathematics to students ranging from Kindergarten to University. His passion for learning and teaching of mathematics shapes his lifelong engagement with this field, from the time he was a high school student himself through his accomplishment in earning his doctorate in the field for Mathematics Education, to his present day engagements as a Head of Mathematics Department at Sullivan Heights Secondary School and instructor at Math Potentials. Calin is involved in training students for a wide range of mathematics contests, and he promotes competitive mathematics. As a student in middle and high school he participated in numerous mathematics contests, from regional level competitions to national level Olympiads. In High School he used to publish for “Gazeta Matematica”, a Romanian journal for mathematics teachers and students.Outside of mathematics, Calin used to swim competitively, and played professional water polo. Currently he is a Canadian National Level Referee.

Hee jin Hyun, BEd


Hee jin Hyun is a new member of the Math Circles Program. She has a degree in Mathematics from UBC, and  just completed her B.Ed. Program at UBC. She is currently working as a TOC in the Coquitlam District and as a private tutor. She would like to reinvent the image of a Mathematics classroom through the use of innovative teaching methodologies and varied assessment. Her goal is to encourage students to take an active and engaging role in their learning by facilitating opportunities for inquiry, collaboration and reflection. Outside of teaching, she loves camping and travelling around the world.

Jelena Pecelj, BSc, BEd, MEd


Jelena graduated with B.Sc. in Math from SFU, then continued at San Jose State University, where she obtained teaching certificate. She taught in California for several years before moving back to Vancouver to teach a mixture of Pre-IB math, IB math and regular math courses. Throughout her 16 years of teaching, she has taken graduate courses in math and math education at San Jose State University and has completed M.Ed. Program at SFU. Jelena enjoys the elegance and beauty of math and hopes that her students will appreciate it as well.

Kaili Vesik, BSc, BEd, MMT


Kaili studied Mathematics, Computer Science, and Education at the University of British Columbia, and recently completed the Master of Mathematics for Teachers program at the University of Waterloo. Since 2008 she has been teaching math, accounting, and dance at secondary schools in Burnaby and Squamish, and is currently teaching math and computer science in Burnaby. Kaili loves discovering and discussing connections between not only mathematical ideas, but also mathematics and other fields. Sharing her passion for mathematics is an important component of her teaching practice. In addition to her mathematical pursuits, Kaili loves to run, ski, hike, sew, dance, and sing.

Mario Sirotic, BSc

Teacher & Instructor of the Online Homework Tutorials

Having completed the Math Circles program himself, Mario has a unique perspective on the program which allows him to communicate with and teach his students effectively. Mario recently earned his Bachelors Degree in Mining Engineering from UBC and is working towards becoming a mining engineer.

Mike Shen, BSE, MSc, MBA, PhD


Mike is a new member of the Math Circles Program. His background is in electrical engineering, and had worked at the university level as instructor and in the student affairs. Mike is currently working towards his teaching certificate to fulfill his childhood dream of teaching math at the secondary school level. In his spare time, he volunteers as community basketball coach in south Surrey.

Sachiko Noguchi, BSc, BEd


Sachiko believes that math is as beautiful as music. However, to cultivate the ability to appreciate the beauty of math we need to learn the subject. She hopes that her classroom is filled with the joy of learning math. She takes on different roles as a math teacher, such as a TOC in private schools, a private tutor, a facilitator in workshops, and a classroom teacher. For her professional development she is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo.