About Natural Math

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Natural Math is a community for families, math circles, and other learning groups. Join us to:

  • Take or design an online course
  • Read or author books
  • Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with our math adventures
  • Read or author posts on our blog
  • Post on our question and answer forum

We are interested in creating rich, multi-sensory experiences for our children early on. We want to introduce them to the complex and exciting world around them. Everything can be a learning tool, a rich toy, and a conversation starter.

  • Snowflakes are examples of fractals and an invitation to explore symmetry.
  • Sliced fruit illustrates integrals and derivatives.
  • Floor tiles form beautiful tessellations.

Contact us to participate, volunteer, and make at Natural Math.

5 Year Olds Can Learn Calculus

At SparkCON conference Dr. Maria Droujkova presented a passionate fast-paced intro to the big WHYs behind Natural Math.

Natural Math crew

Founder and director, Natural Math – Dr. Maria Droujkova is a parent, curriculum developer, and mathematics education consultant. Maria brings together leaders in mathematics education, researchers, developers, parents, and teachers for projects and discussions of family mathematics, early algebra, individualized instruction, math games, and math clubs.

Moebius Noodles (Natural Math, 2013)

Avoid Hard Work (Natural Math, 2016)

Director and author – Shelley Nash is the homeschooling mom of seven amazing and challenging kids ages 13 to 1. For over 20 years, she has been driven by an insatiable desire to understand learning, education, education’s role in our society and personal development, and the role of technology in learning. Shelley graduated Suma Cum Laude from Utah State University. She is passionate about letting children own their education and learning, and about discovering the elements that inspire learning in all of us. Shelley is the co-creator and owner of Monarch Webwork and Academy, an online membership-based community for family learning. Shelley’s site
Technology specialist – Dmitri Droujkov works in requirements and development management, programming, and design for educational software and platforms. Dmitri’s interests include integration of all aspects of the development cycle, agile development methodologies, and facilitation of distributed development by web based collaboration tools and development tools. Through design of smart tech tools, Dmitri supports and enables deep innovation in STEM education. Dmitri’s site
Founder, Moebius Noodles project – Yelena McManaman is a blogger, education consultant, and developer, focusing on young children. Yelena homeschools her son and organizes classes and events for kids. Online, Yelena helps other parents collaborate around advanced math for young children. Yelena’s blog

Moebius Noodles (Natural Math, 2013)

Avoid Hard Work (Natural Math, 2016)

Rodi SteinigAuthor – Rodi Steinig wants to awaken children’s inner mathematicians, to shepherd the unfolding of their abstract reasoning, and to disabuse them of the notion that math is about memorizing a bunch of facts and algorithms. She has led the Talking Stick Math Circle since 2011. She is a National Association of Math Circles Mentor, a prolific math blogger, and a homeschooling parent. Rodi has B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a M. Ed. from Cabrini College. Her initial math circle training was through the gentle guidance of Bob and Ellen Kaplan. Her current field of interest is the philosophy of mathematics.

Math Renaissance (Natural Math, 2017)

Rachel SteinigAuthor – Rachel Steinig is a college student with a multitude of diverse math experiences. She wants kids to know what math really is and she wants adults to know what kids experience, in hopes of improving math education for everyone. Rachel has grown up on math circles as a participant, planner, and leader, and is passionate about learning math through inquiry. She is involved in body-positivity activism, peace work, and youth advocacy in government.

Math Renaissance (Natural Math, 2017)

James TantonAuthor – James Tanton is a mathematician and writer deeply interested in bridging the gap between the mathematics experienced by school students and the creative mathematics practiced and explored by mathematicians. He worked as a college professor for a decade, as a high-school teacher for a decade, and is now the Mathematician at Large for the Mathematical Association of America in Washington D.C.

Avoid Hard Work (Natural Math, 2016)

Artist – Ever Salazar is a professor of mathematics and a mathematical artist. His illustrations, posters, and animated videos express gentle humor, well-structured visualizations of mathematical systems, and deep compassion for learning and learners. Ever’s channel
Editor – Carol Cross has worked in professional and home-based education for nearly 30 years. Carol is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, majoring in philosophy and minoring in government, and earned a Masters in Education from George Washington University. Carol has taught classes in almost every discipline, for students ranging from preschoolers to college and adult education. She worked professionally in curriculum development and technology-assisted education until the birth of her son, when she became a part-time educational consultant and a full-time homeschooling mom. Carol’s site
Editor – Sue VanHattum has been teaching math at the community college level for over twenty years, and recently branched out to teach math at her son’s freeschool. She created the Richmond Math Salon, a monthly event she hosted at her home, gathering kids and their parents together to play with math. She blogs about math and math education. Sue is a single parent, raising one son. Sue’s blog

Playing with Math (Natural Math, 2015)

Author – Malke Rosenfeld  is a percussive dance teaching artist, math explorer, curriculum designer, editor, and writer. Her interdisciplinary inquiry focuses on the intersections between percussive dance and mathematics and how to best illustrate these connections for students. In her Math in Your Feet program, percussive dance becomes the platform for a robust choreographic inquiry into mathematical thinking , practices, and topics. Malke’s site

Socks Are Like Pants, Cats Are Like Dogs (Natural Math, 2016)

Artist – Mark Gonyea is a comic creator and graphic artist. Since 2000 Mark has been creating a series of silent comic posters called Story Posters. Mark has also worked as a graphic artist during that same time, created a web-comic called Mr.Oblivious, and published a series of kids books specifically about graphic design. Mark’s motto is: Complicated Doesn’t Make it Good. Mark’s site
Content specialist – Marina Kopylova loves math; she sees the world in very mathematical ways. She has twenty-five years of experience teaching mathematics, in several countries and to different people. She worked as a university instructor, volunteered with struggling kids at local schools, tutored for test preparation, and led activities at a summer camp for gifted children.
Author and experience designer – Irina Malkin Ondík is a PhD in physics, a science education consultant, mother of three and a huge fan of Science Centers. She loves experimenting with didactic methods, mathematical terms, conductive materials, and all kinds of things in-between. Since 1997, she has been involved in math and science outreach activities for various audiences. Recently she has started a local program of science for families.  Irina’s Twitter
Author – Gordon Hamilton (Masters of Mathematics, PhD in Mathematical Biology) is a board game and puzzle designer. He founded MathPickle.com in 2010 to inject new ideas into the classroom. There is nothing he enjoys more than stumping students and having them stump him. MathPickle’s primary objective is to get thirteen curricular unsolved problems into classrooms worldwide – one for each grade K-12. A conference in November 2013 established the thirteen unsolved problems. Gordon is a single father living with his two huggable children (aged five & eight) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Socks Are Like Pants, Cats Are Like Dogs (Natural Math, 2016)

Author – Mark Saul is the director of the Center for Mathematical Talent at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. He grew up in the Bronx, got his BA from Columbia University and PhD from New York University. He then spent 35 years in and around New York, teaching mathematics in classrooms from grades 3 through 12. He is a 1984 recipient of the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching. Saul has served as President of the American Regions Mathematics League, mathematics field editor of Quantum (the English-language version of the Russian journal Kvant), a board member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and a member of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board for the National Research Council. His publications include numerous articles and books. Mark’s site.
Camp Logic (Natural Math, 2015)
Author – Sian Zelbo holds a degree in law from the University of Texas and an MA in math education from Teachers College Columbia University. Sian was a practicing lawyer when she decided to return to school to explore her latent interest in mathematics. Sian is the associate director of the Center for Mathematical Talent at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. She also teaches math at the Speyer Legacy School in New York City and works with various other schools as a math education consultant. Sian’s interest is in helping young people discover and develop their own interest and ability in mathematics through extracurricular activities that focus on mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Sian’s blog.

Camp Logic (Natural Math, 2015)

Author – Julia Brodsky writes: My 6 year old daughter was interested in math, so I began looking for math circles for her, and found none in our area. I wrote to National Association of Math Circles and asked them whether they have any materials for young children. Their reply was: “No, but if you develop something, please share with us!” That’s how it all started. My teaching experience includes homeschooling two of my kids, raising a special needs child, several years of private and public school teaching experience, as well as teaching college students and NASA astronauts. But I love teaching young kids the best! Julia’s site.

Bright, Brave, Open Minds (Natural Math, 2016)

Sally BishopExperience designer – Sally Bishop has loved math her entire life. A self-described introvert, she has an innate ability to recognize patterns in nature, ideas and people. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for math with people of all ages, both online and in-person, and is a talented editor with a knack for the big picture and details.  Sally started helping others see the inherent beauty of math in homeschool math cooperatives, where she embraces math learning that is empowering and fun. In her spare time, she reads widely and creates handmade books, often with a dog asleep across her shoulders and a cat in her lap.
Writer – Kaitlin Porter is a student, writer, and autodidact. As a lifetime unschooler, Kaitlin takes part in discussions concerning learning and educational systems. With Moebius Noodles, she hopes to expand on alternative ways of learning and teaching mathematics.
Marketing specialist – Kathy Cordeiro’s career in the technology and education sectors centers on innovation, problem solving, and team collaboration. Her degree in Communications coupled with an MBA allows her to create customized training for her customers and partners. Kathy leads math circles and is a creative parent of two teens.
Author – Kalid Azad is an extremely curious person who loves sharing insights with others. While studying Computer Science at Princeton University Kalid started a site to explain concepts as he would have liked to learn them. BetterExplained is a continuation of that idea. It has been referenced in Science Magazine, along with the blogs for the New York Times, The Atlantic, O’Reilly Radar, Scientific American, and the National Academy of Sciences. The book Math, Better Explained is a well-received Amazon bestseller. Kalid’s site.
Authors – D. Cooper Patterson, Rebecca Patterson, and Anna-Marie Robertson have varied backgrounds from electrical engineering and solving complex computer problems to K-12 math and language education to business and online math education. Joining together during an online graduate course in 2010 entitled “Teaching Math in a Virtual World” through Boise State, Cooper introduced both Rebecca and Anna-Marie to ‘subQuan’ (ordered organized subitizing). The subsequent journey has been incredible as we continue to discover new ways to look at numbers. Choose an avatar and come play with numbers in their various bases while watching the patterns take shape! Innovation Pavillion
Editor and experience designer – Ray Droujkov is a curiosity rover investigating the world and exploring creative methods of human communication, such as writing, games, circus arts, and code.
Teaching specialist – Erin K. Song is an educator with over seventeen years experience in corporate and school settings in the US and Republic of Korea. Erin graduated NCSU with a B.S. in Education, and pursued post-graduate study in Christian Education at the Union-Presbyterian School in Richmond, VA, where she was the Student Government Assembly International Representative Chair. Erin is the non-stop multitasking mom of a delightful 7-year-old gentleman in training named Eli. Her work as an educator integrates her broad experiences and interests in art, writing, philosophy, poetry, management, fundraising, public speaking, social sciences, and interpersonal communications. Erin’s Facebook.