Artof Problem Solving

We launched in 2003 and expanded from contest preparation to a full math curriculum.

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Our online community has over 300,000 members, about half of whom are international.

Our online learning system for middle school is nearing 100 million trials.

RH: How many students do you serve, and who are they?

RR: This year, we expect over 15,000 in our online school and over 3,000 in our in-person learning centers.

But many students keep coming back far past the age where they can say “no” to their parents. We have strong word-of-mouth in the communities we serve.

One mother recently told me that when she needs to get her son’s attention, she takes his Ao PS book away from him, and parents proudly send us pictures of their children’s creations celebrating their favorite Beast Academy characters from our elementary school curriculum. If you have a math-focused child and start asking around online for suggestions for her, you’ll hear about us.Between classes, they read textbooks, watch videos, collaborate with instructors and other students in our online community, and tackle sets of difficult problems.Some of the problems require writing complete solutions on which students receive feedback on the accuracy and presentation of their work. RR: We have those modern elements — gamification, video, and our real-time classes are interactive because all the students can “talk” at any time.We weave these together in our online school, though each can be used individually — and several are free.In the online school — which most students take in addition to their regular math classes — students meet weekly for a 75- to 120-minute conversation with instructors.Students who work through our curriculum usually find themselves extremely well-prepared for their regular school classes. RR: Some of our instructors are university professors or high-school teachers.They’re also far less likely to be shell-shocked when they take math or science classes in college, which is where we first see the gap between literacy- and mastery-focused educations as legions of students leave STEM-related majors. Some are grad students at schools like MIT, Harvard, and Stanford.RR: It depends on which slice of Ao PS the student is using.Students learn in many different ways, so we deliver our materials through a variety of media: textbooks, an adaptive learning system, videos, and an online community.Those students may have notched high scores on their AP exams, but they hadn’t ever operated at the level they were asked to in their first university math and science classes, or at the level they’d need for internationally competitive careers. Some are professionals in software development or the financial industry.RH: Can you talk a bit about the teaching side of all this? Some are on a break from their careers as they raise families.


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