Our staff is built to teach each student individually, to develop the skills they need to thrive in mathematics, and to foster a love of learning.

James Cawthorne, Ph.D.

Center Director
James grew up in Virginia (the state) and has lived/worked in 9different cities across 7 states. He has attended and earned degrees from North Carolina State (BS in Pulp and Paper Technology & BS in Chemical Engineering), Western Michigan (MS in Paper and Printing Engineering & Ph.D.-ABD in Paper and Imaging Science), and Purdue University (Ph.D. in Engineering Education). My educational focus is the alignment between content, assessment, and pedagogy and the creation of a positive learning environment for students. When not at Mathnasium James likes to do advanced Sudoku, read, and cook. A little-known fact about James is that he once made a boat (10ft long by 3 ft wide) out of cardboard and glue. Then he had to test it on a real lake by sitting in it and paddling for a period of time.

Tim Pilquist

Assistant Center Director
Tim is a student at the U of M studying Chemistry and Horticulture, which he hopes to use to help maintain earth’s ecological habitats. He lives in St. Louis Park and enjoys hiking, climbing, and just being outdoors in the parks. Tim says “Math is awesome! I use it every day; when I’m cooking, shopping, or just driving.” His favorite part of working at Mathnasium is seeing how students’ faces light up when they hit the point of understanding and revelation on a concept they’ve struggled with previously.


Ian is a high school student and former Mathnasium student. They enjoy both the complexities of both learning and teaching math with Mathnasium being an integral part of both. Ian doesn’t yet have concrete post-high school plans but knows that math will be both important and helpful for whatever they decide to do.




Michael was born and raised in northern Virginia, and attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Student Ministry, Michael moved to Las Vegas, NV, where he taught a range of subjects, including Pre-Algebra and Algebra1, to both Middle and High School students for six years. Most recently, he moved to Minneapolis to attend graduate school at Bethel College and Seminary. When he is not studying or instructing at Mathnasium, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and their newborn baby girl.


Zac graduated from Coe College in 2020 where he majored in Computer Science. Soon after, he found himself working in the realm of math tutoring and education, where he enjoys getting to know students and helping them to succeed in their education. Zac plans to resume his education in the fall, aiming for a full-fledged teacher licensure. In his free time, Zac enjoys experimenting with creative endeavors like cartooning and creative writing.


Zeke is a high school student and former Mathnasium student. He enjoys running.


Lisa is a Professor of Math at North Hennepin CC. She joins the staff to assist with teaching higher level high school math.


Christy is a former instructor with Math Corps.





Our Mathnasium Mission

Teach children math so they understand it, master it, and love it. Math can change their lives, and they can change the world.

What I love about Mathnasium is the ability to teach problem-solving skills and make math make sense, while also making a student smile.
Amber W., Mathnasium Instructor

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