UC Irvine Math CEO Profile

UCI Math CEO is a free mathematics enrichment program developed by faculty at UC Irvine to serve the underprivileged community of Santa Ana, California while developing future teachers of mathematics. About 25 times every year, a group of more than 100 middle schoolers come to UC Irvine to meet college students, work on fun and challenging mathematics experiences guided by several faculty, graduate and undergraduate mentors and learn about college and STEM careers from experts.


Our program introduces kids to critical and mathematical thinking at a young age while providing a road-map to a college education in STEM and hope for a brighter future. To increase the quality of teaching, we provide weekly training in mentoring and mathematics education to our mentors, and develop educational materials which are freely available for teachers throughout the world.

Founded in 2014, UCI Math CEO has quickly grown to be one of the largest mathematical circles in the country that specifically target under-served youth and provides teaching development in the process. We are committed to serve our community and provide lasting experiences that can have a long-lasting impact.



Inspire and support the interest in mathematics of middle school students from nearby communities who might not otherwise have access to math enrichment activities.

Impart the mathematical foundations and critical thinking skills required for students to successfully pursue a college education and a career in STEM areas.

Instilll the desire in these young achievers and their families for a college education and share college access information and financial aid opportunities.



College Preparation

Annually, Math CEO shares information about college entrance requirements and financial aid attainment with families during evening meetings at the middle schools their children attend. Field trips are organized for students and parents to visit the UC Irvine campus to experience campus life and to directly interact with UCI students and faculty.


Essential Goal

To encourage students in underserved communities in Southern California to pursue a college degree in STEM fields through a solid educational foundation and adequate planning for college entrance and financial requirements.


Li-Sheng Tseng is an Associate Professor in Mathematics at UC Irvine and does research in geometry/topology and physics.
Aghavni Simonyan is a Coordinator for Math CEO. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mathematics at UC Irvine in 2017. Her research interests lie in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Biology. Aghavni has a lifelong passion for mathematics, and she inspires her students to love math and helps them reach their full potential.
Alessandra Pantano is the Director of the UC Irvine Math Circle. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 2004 and is currently a Lecturer SOE in the UC Irvine Department of Mathematics.
Andres Forero is an Academic Coordinator of Math CEO. He is a passionate and creative teacher and loves to use different resources to guide students in learning. His hometown is Bogota, Colombia. He obtained his PhD in UC Irvine in 2015. His research area is Inner Model Theory, a branch of Set Theory in which models of set are built in a very specific way.