Natasa Sirotic, BSc, BEd, MSc, PhD
Lecturer and Faculty Advisor, Faculty of Education - Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, UBC
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; Natasa 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
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.
Ksenia Fofanova, BSc
Ksenia has been involved in the Math Circles Program as an assistant and now as an instructor. She has completed her studies in Actuarial Science at SFU. While studying she worked as a teaching assistant for 4 semesters at SFU, marking exams and holding office hours for finance students. Ksenia believes that math is fun when you know how to do it, so she strives to facilitate a positive environment in order to provide students with the tools that they need to solve math problems.
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.
Diana Kovac, BSc
Diana is a graduate of the Math Cirlces program, and has been involved ever since, first as an instructor and now as an administrator. She has and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Amanda Turcato, BA, BEd
Amanda is a new member of our Math Circles Program. She 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.