About Us

Rodi Steinig

Founding Director

Rodi is an educator, author, and teacher trainer who has educated K-12 students in an inquiry-based approach for over twenty years. She received a B.S.in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her M.S.Ed. from Cabrini University. While Rodi finds joy in almost everything, she finds exceptional joy in pedagogy, communication about mathematics and pedagogy, and mathematics (current favorite math topic: isomorphic problems). Rodi has a great passion for sitting on the floor with a group of students in a collaborative spirit of inquiry.

Rodi’s first call to action was in high school, when her hand was the only one raised in class but her teacher refused to call on her. Again and again. “C’mon boys,” he goaded the rest of the class, “You can’t let a girl show you up!” The first paper she wrote in grad school was on the effect of this (and other demeaning) experiences and how she would do things differently as a teacher in each of those cases. Rodi is now thrilled to be in a position to Do Things Differently in everything she does.

Rodi also works for The Princeton Review as a classroom instructor, master tutor, teacher trainer, test-anxiety coach, and content developer. She was a homeschooling facilitator for 15 years, a preschool Teacher/Director before that, and in the business world before that. A Philadelphia resident, she holds a Pennsylvania State Teaching Certificate.

Rodi loves to talk to anyone about math education, but when she is not doing that, she goes boogie boarding at the Jersey shore as often as she can.

Rachel Steinig

Rachel Steinig (she/her) is an educator, advocate, author, and future human rights lawyer. She is working this summer as a Humanitarian Assistance Volunteer at La 72 Hogar-Refugio Para Personas Migrantes refugee shelter in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico. She recently graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science, a concentration in International Relations, and triple minors in Hispanic Studies, Modern Middle Eastern Studies, and Latin American and Latinx Studies. She is passionate about human rights, education access, making math fun, gender equity, and conflict resolution.

Rachel has been involved in Math Renaissance since its founding, as a student, then assistant leader, then Math Circle Leader, author, conference speaker, and academic tutor. She has experience working with children in various summer camps, Philadelphia public and private schools, and a refugee camp in Mexico. Her perspective as a recent middle- and high-school math student gives her a unique voice in her writing and advocacy. For her, math was a challenging subject in which she often struggled to find joy. This motivated her to destigmatize math and make joyful mathematics more accessible to all.

Starting in September 2021, she will begin working with the nonprofit Al Otro Lado, providing legal services to asylum seekers at the border in Tijuana. She is available to work with students in San Diego in person and elsewhere via Zoom. Rachel is also available for public speaking and consulting. She is fluent (speaking, reading, and writing) in Spanish


Joanna Steinig

Jo Steinig is a tutor, coach, and digital artist. She is a high-school senior at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA, USA. She has been involved in Math Renaissance since its founding as a student, assistant leader, problem tester, photographer, and videographer. Jo attended the Joint Math Meetings in Baltimore in 2014 and also – with Rodi and Rachel – visited Bob and Ellen Kaplan and the Boston Math Circle via a MSRI grant in 2013.

Jo has helped out the coaches with younger children at both the Ed Snyder Youth Hockey Foundation and Mt. Airy Girls’ Softball. She currently provides private skateboard instruction. Jo worked as a CIT (Counselor in Training) at the Mt. Airy Tot Lot and as a Student Assistant at the Baa Hózhó Summer Camp.

Jo worked with her dog Lexy at Y2K9s to become their youngest dog handler to pass the TDI Therapy Dog test; until Lexy’s retirement Jo and Lexy provided reading tutoring to elementary students through the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program at Upper Dublin Public Library, Lovett Library, and the Andorra Library. 

Acknowledgements

  • Mark Gonyea, provider of art for this website and the book Math Renaissance.
  • Mr. Wallace, Rodi’s high school guidance counselor. (Rodi grew up in an underserved community assuming she’d work as a cashier at Giant Eagle, our local supermarket, after high school. Mr. Wallace called her into his office one day in 11th grade and said “You need to go to college.”)
  • Prior funders of our program: the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, National Association of Math Circles, and National Security Agency, all of which have provided funds to launch our Math Circle and get it on solid footing in its early years.
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