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Our Team

Our specially trained math instructors will teach your child how to understand math in an individual setting; our unique approach enables us to explain concepts really well and lend a helping hand to every student. Our tutors foster a caring, encouraging environment that helps kids thrive and learn! Read below to learn more about our talented team:


Center DirectorTommy Najarian, Owner/Center Director

Tommy earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA, Tommy worked as a Mechanical Engineer and a Technologist in the Aerospace and Defense industry. While attending UCLA, Tommy developed a passion for teaching after tutoring underrepresented college students in the subjects of math and physics. His desire to teach and help the children in his community led him to open a Mathnasium Center.

When he is not working, Tommy enjoys keeping fit by playing basketball, practicing Yoga, and lifting weights. He also loves to travel and enjoys life with family and friends.


Malcolm Weldon, Lead Instructor

Has a degree in Mathematics & is currently pursuing to become a public high school teacher. When not working on math, I’m usually eating/cooking or spending time with my two huskies.

Favorite Number: -1 because it’s equal to e to the í pi & all 4 of these numbers in their own right are special, but to put all of them together is something really unique & awesome.

Favorite Math Joke: Why did I divide sin by tan? Just cos.

In five years, I will be: in a class room of my own while hopefully also working on my masters.

I love Mathnasium because: of the methodology. I love the way we make math make sense to our students. The world will be a better place with more mathematicians and scientists, I believe. So if we can get them started early who knows what we can inspire.


 Susan Deeb, Lead Instructor

Susan is currently a graduate student at San Diego State University. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Math with a minor in Physics from California State University, Fullerton. She is now pursuing a Master's Degree in Applied Math with a focus in Dynamical Systems and Chaos. In addition to being a Mathnasium instructor, she teaches Calculus as a Teaching Associate at SDSU. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies or spending time with friends and family.

Favorite Number: Pi - because it's special and unique.

Favorite Math Joke: Why do they never serve beer at a math party? Because you can't drink and derive!

In five years, I will be: traveling or pursuing a PhD in Math.

I love Mathnasium because: I love helping students discover that math can be fun!


Volunteer InstructorMary Popko, Lead Instructor

I just graduated from SDSU with a B.S. in Statistics! I have been tutoring since high school and love helping students to understand and appreciate how awesome math is!

Favorite Number: e, because it is seen everywhere in real life!

Favorite Math Joke: What did the acorn say when he grew up? Geometry

In five years, I will be: A math teacher!

I love Mathnasium because: the teaching methods at Mathnasium make sense to kids. I love seeing students grow to love math and become confident in their skills.

 


Alexis Anderson, Lead Instructor

Daughter of an educator, Alexis has always had a desire to help student learn about math, and make it make sense. She is attending San Diego State University and a Graduate Business student.

Favorite Number: 8 - In 2nd grade, I thought I failed a test, and randomly wrote an 8 on the back of it. I ended up recieving an A.

Favorite Math Joke:

In five years, I will be: Owning my own Mathnasium.

I love Mathnasium because: It not only builds math skills, but also builds confidence.


Mac Dreyer, Instructor

I am 20 years old, my favorite books are The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, the Sherlock Holmes stories, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Favorite Number: The golden ratio; phi. I love it because it is the most beautiful number in math. It shows that math is all around us!

Favorite Math Joke: The square root of negative one and pi are having an argument. Frustrated, the square root of negative one yells at pi, "PLEASE! Will you just be rational?!" Pi responds, "get real!"

In five years, I will be: Teaching math and loving life!

I love Mathnasium because: understanding the patterns in math is what makes it fun. Mathnasium lets students discover these patterns which will allow them to find the joy within the numbers.


Noah Krasner, Instructor

Ever since I was little, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, I've always loved math. Although I'm only a junior at Patrick Henry High School, I'm taking the most advanced math course offered. In my time since August 2016 at Mathnasium, I've learned so many things being a teacher and student all at the same time. I've learned the importance of individuality when it comes to teaching, letting the student forge their custom path to understanding even if it's different than what I've experienced. When it comes to things other than math I primarily enjoy playing bass clarinet and alto clarinet with my school's marching and concert bands and various honor bands, and I plan to minor in music when I go to college. As a potential major, I'm passionate about biology and chemistry -- but I'll never give up math!

Favorite Number: τ (tau), because it's twice as cool as π.

Favorite Math Joke: Did you hear the one about the statistician? Probably.

In five years, I will be: finishing up my college education.

I love mathnasium because: Mathnasium provides students with a safe environment to learn. It serves as a haven from social pressure and grades and focuses solely on making the student a better and brighter mathematician, something that's rewarding for both instructor and student.


Michael Krief, Instructor

I am currently attending UCSD and pursuing a bachelor's degree in Physics and Philosophy. I have been tutoring in STEM for about 5 years and I am passionate about being a communicator of science and mathematics. I hope to attend graduate school and one day work on the problem of human consciousness as a theorist. During my free time I like to learn new things, relax, and drink coffee while conversing/debating ideas.

Favorite Number: My favorite number is 47. If memory serves me right, I began my favoritism for the number around the time I was in high school. However, interestingly it had connections to other family members and the favoritism was amplified.

Favorite Math Joke: Decimals have a point, Calculus has its limits.

In five years, I will be: in graduate school.

I love Mathnasium because: we get to work with the literal future of mankind and instill in them the power to understand the world through the most objective of tools.


Volunteer InstructorHeather Wedow, Instructor

 

 

 


Volunteer InstructorJohn Jacobsen, Instructor

I'm currently a Junior at SDSU who has just switched majors from Computer Engineering to Computer Science. I look forward to having the algorithms and logical thinking that we learn in math apply to a future career. I strive to be living proof that yes, you will actually use this stuff at some point.

Favorite Number: My favorite number is 711 simply because of the rhyme it has when said like the convenience store.

Favorite Math Joke: People say a world without sin is ideal. I disagree, there's only so many trig problems you can solve with cos and tan.

In five years, I will be: working as a programmer for some big company.

I love Mathnasium because: it's incredibly rewarding being able to bond with and help the same familiar faces over and over again, especially considering how well-mannered most of the children that we receive are.


Volunteer InstructorAram Sepulvida, Instructor

 Aram is currently studying Mathematics with a Single Subject Teaching emphasis at San Diego State University. In his free time, he likes to spend time with friends, and likes to work on cars.

Favorite Number: 4 - It's just a nice single digit number.

Favorite Math Joke: Why should the number 288 never be mentioned? It's two gross.

In five years, I will be: teaching high school math.

I love Mathnasium because: I enjoy interacting with the students, as well as helping them understand new math concepts.


Dartanyon Shivers, Instructor

Tested in one of the lowest levels of mathematics at my community college. Spent the next 7 years pursuing my Bachelors in Applied Mathematics. Math has never come easy to me, however I've embraced every challenge it has thrown at me. In spite of my struggles with mathematics, past and present, I've maintained an appreciation for the way it makes me think and admired its beauty. My hopes are to inspire individuals who struggle with mathematics or believe mathematics isn't for them to see that they are very capable of grasping mathematical ideas and maybe even find their own love and appreciation for the subject.

Favorite Number: 13, because it is the day of the month that I was born.

In five years, I will be: teaching at a community college and engaging in youth programs that inspire kids to pursue an education in STEM.

I love Mathnasium because: it is an environment where individuals, regardless of their knowledge or strength in mathematics, can come and improve their understanding of mathematical ideas as well as learn new ones.


Arbi Leka, Instructor

I'm going to graduate from Patrick Henry High School in 2018 as an Honors student and have taken a variety of courses such as AP Calculus AB and BC, as well as AP statistics online, and I enjoy playing water polo, rock climbing, and taking walks around the mountains of San Diego.

Favorite Number: 343 since it's seven cubed, which are the two most common numbers in the world.

Favorite Math Joke: Why did the chicken cross the mobius strip? To get to the same side.

In five years, I will be: Working on a master's degree after getting a bachelor's in applied mathematics so that I can become a calculus teacher at the community college or high school level.

I love Mathnasium because: It provides me with a deeper understanding of my own math skills, I get to meet a variety of people, students and instructors alike, and lets me teach the kids everyday, which is what I would like to do when I graduate from college.


Richard Aubert IV, Instructor

I am a freshman studying Electrical Engineering at SDSU. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and have a younger sister and brother back home whom I miss very much. In high school, I spent half of my time playing the Saxophone in the marching band and jazz band, and the other half was spent playing Basketball. With a degree in electrical engineering, I hope to improve on our use of solar panels and other alternate energy sources.

Favorite Number: 32, Because that was my basketball jersey number throughout high school.

Favorite Math Joke: Why do mathematicians like parks? Because of all the natural logs.

In five years, I will be: drowning in student loans!

I love Mathnasium because: of the knowledge I myself have gained from being exposed to different ways of looking at numbers, and every day I wish I was enrolled in the program when I was beginning to learn math!


Matt Blutinger, Instructor

I am a 3rd year student at San Diego State University and I am very passionate about teaching math. I am studying to be a high school math teacher and my hobbies are watching sports and spending time with my friends.

Favorite Number: My favorite number is 8 because my favorite hockey player Teemu Selanne wore it while he played for my favorite team, the Anaheim Ducks.

Favorite Math Joke: If you're cold, go stand in a corner. They're 90 degrees!

In five years, I will be: a high school math teacher.

I love Mathnasium because: Mathnasium is a great place for students and instructors. Every day I teach new math concepts to students and while they learn, I learn more about teaching and how students understand concepts.


Christian Pratt, Instructor

I attend Miramar and Mesa Community Colleges, majoring in mechanical engineering. In my spare time I like to play and listen to music, read, be active and hang out with family and friends.

Favorite Number: 3, because it was my sports number my whole life.

Favorite Math Joke: What is the difference between a diameter and a radius? A radius.

In five years, I will be: Working at SpaceX or NASA.

I love Mathnasium because: the entire curriculum emphasizes understanding rather than memorization


Leopold Yi, Instructor

I love the ocean and my favorite hobby is drawing.

Favorite Number: 10, because it is both a perfect and popular number.

In five years, I will be: working with ocean life.

I love Mathnasium because: I get to work with one of my favorite subjects. 


Cortney West, Instructor

I am currently a Junior at SDSU studying to be a teacher with a focus in Math. Some of my hobbies include hiking, playing piano, crocheting, and growing my own fruit.

Favorite Number: The best number is 8, not only does it bring me luck, but knock it on it's side and it becomes infinity.

Favorite Math Joke: Why is Six afraid of Seven? Because Seven Eight Nine.

In five years, I will be: Teaching Mathematics in a San Diego middle school.

I love Mathnasium because: I always have fun. The program is as amazing as our students!


David Peck, Instructor

I got a degree from UCSD in structural engineering and I'm planning to work building parts for aircraft. I really enjoy math and I want everyone to have the chance to see the true wonder of it. When I have free time I read as many books as I can get my hands on.

Favorite Number: 1/Infinity, I can't define it.

Favorite Math Joke: Why is Six afraid of Seven? Because Seven Eight Nine.

In five years, I will be: Even smarter.

I love Mathnasium because: Who doesn't love math?


Juan Morales, Instructor

I graduated from UCLA with a BS in Electrical Engineering. I love watching super hero movies. My favorite sport is baseball - I am a big fan of the San Diego Padres.

Favorite Number: 10 - because it is such and easy number to work with and looks very 'orderly'.

Favorite Math Joke: Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7, 8, 9.

In five years, I will be: Working as an Engineer or Software Developer

I love Mathnasium because: I get to help a lot of students in my favorite subject. I also get to learn a lot about the students in the process!


Katie Reddy, Instructor

I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and now I am currently enjoying my senior year of high school here in San Diego. In my free time I enjoy swimming, cooking, and listening to classic rock.

Favorite Number: 19- it's a good number (and the day I was born)

Favorite Math Joke: Math... the only place where someone can buy 64 watermelons and no one wonders why.

In five years, I will be: Graduated from college with a degree in mathematics

I love Mathnasium because: Being able to help students of all ages get excited about my favorite subject is extremely fulfilling. Every single person I meet here has the potential to succeed and the motivation to do so which is what makes my job so fun!


Mariam Guirguis, Instructor

I graduated from UCSD with a B.S. in Psychology and an MEd/Teaching Credential. I always love to learn new things and enjoy reading, writing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends in my free time.

Favorite Number: 3- for too many reasons

Favorite Math Joke: Why shouldn't you argue with a decimal? Decimals always have a point.

In five years, I will be: Exactly where I need to be

I love Mathnasium because: I love working with kids and helping them to grow, learn, and succeed.