Go Big. Start Here: A Guest Blog by Gareth Aye

 

MathLeap is a web-based platform that reimagines math assessments for students and teachers.

It all started with a campus job I had grading physics problem sets as a Middlebury College undergraduate. I graded hundreds of assignments every week totaling thousands of assignments over my college career, and I never found the time to give students the detailed feedback they needed. It was the best I could do to write a big red X where they messed up.

I remembered my grading dilemma from college and had an inkling that I could automate grading for certain math and science problems with symbolic computation. I started in June by building an equation solver that finds all of the shortest solutions to elementary algebra problems. That was a bit of an “aha” moment for me. It’s far from a given that what you’re doing is going to work when you’re building something that doesn’t already exist, so it’s important to celebrate the times when you feel clarity.

Math and physical sciences teachers are tasked with equipping our children with skills like logical reasoning, problem decomposition, and pattern matching that their generation will need to solve huge problems. However, we expect too much from our teachers without giving them the support they need, so that’s why I created MathLeap.

MathLeap is preparing to launch a private beta in algebra and pre-algebra classes in Knox County schools. We’re interviewing tons of teachers, building out the platform, and formulating a plan to scale to other subjects and school districts. Every week we find more evidence that suggests that what we’re doing is going to work.

One of my favorite quotes from George Bernard Shaw is:  You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’

So if you’re thinking of doing something new and different, but you don’t have all of the details worked out, know that you’re in good company and take a leap of faith.

 

– Gareth Aye, MathLeap Co-Founder and 2015 CodeWorks Cohort