About Us

At Math Factor-e, we believe that excellence is an attitude and the pursuit of excellence is a journey. Coaches in Math factor-e inspire the students to actively explore and bring out their dormant creative problem solving skills, help them refine their approach to solutions and evaluate and appreciate the power of graceful solutions. Our students want to learn and we want to teach them.  We spend time developing interesting and meaningful materials that engage the students' interests.  Our coaches instill the excitement to discover the beauty of learning.


Program Director & Coach: Shobha Sankar

Shobha Sankar is the founder of Math factor-e. She believes young minds can take any challenge if the inner spark is ignited. Quality of education begins there. With that in mind, she worked alongside a group of parents to bring Mathcounts to schools in IPSD-204. Same year she lead the Gregory middle school team to second place in Mathcounts State level competitionin 2011.  Shobha Sankar holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and has 20 years of technology experience in telecommunications. As an engineer she believes the problem solving skills can be cultivated with right amount of challenge and encouragement. Being a problem solver requires certain persistence, an open mind and a systematic approach.  This is a life learning skill they develop through their problem solving sessions. While encouraging every student to expand their horizons, inspiring more girls to break the barrier in Math competitions continues to be her special interest. 


Director & Coach : Mina Low - English & Language Arts Program

Mina Low designs and teaches the language arts classes at Math Factor-e. She received both her Bachelor of Education degree and Master of Reading Writing and Literacy degree at UIC. She is additionally endorsed in gifted education. Her classroom experience ranges from teaching in the inner city of Chicago to teaching in the Project Arrow program in Naperville’s district 204.  Educating and molding young minds as they grow in their abilities to write and think critically through reading and analysis is her passion. When Mina is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

Coach : John Choi - Test Prep Courses

John Choi attended Steeple Run, Kennedy JHS, and Naperville North HS where he garnered multiple national, state, and local academic awards including National Merit and Illinois State Scholar awards. He was accepted into the University of Illinois at Chicago's GPPA-Medicine program, an eight-year program that conditionally grants acceptance into UIC's Medical School. After recognizing his passion to connect with people at a deeper emotional level, John switched career paths to pursue a master's degree in Counseling from Trinity International University. Mr. Choi tries to make learning fun and brings over 15 years of tutoring + teaching experience to Math Factor-e, including SAT/ACT/SSAT/PSAT test prep. John is also passionate about walking with families and students through the college application process; he's excited to partner with families to help students achieve their maximum potential. 

Coach: Piyali Sarkar (Math)

Piyali Sarkar currently teaches Math in Math Factor – e. She is responsible for guiding and assisting students to improve their problem solving capabilities by creating an inquiry based and encouraging environment. By showing the students that their thoughts and opinions are valued, she effectively engages the students in her class . Piyali holds a Masters degree in City Planning from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. When she is not teaching,she loves to spend time with her husband and daughter. She enjoys listening to Indian music and helps out at Bharat Sevashram, a disaster relief group in Chicago.





Flex Program Mentors

Aakash is in 12th grade at Neuqua Valley High School. He is passionate about mathematics of all forms. He is currently in the Neuqua Valley Math Team. He is also a member of Neuqua Valley Science Olympiad. He has been a very active participant in our Competitive Math Circles and has taught Honors Pre-Calculus and Honors Biology at Math-Factor E. He loves helping and educating others.  He also enjoys Pokemon. 

Navam is currently a Senior in Neuqua Valley high school. He has been an active player in Math competitions and Math Factor-e competitive Math circles since 6th grade. Navam believes mentoring  is a great way to start learning how to teach and that this would slowly build up experience in teaching and understanding mathematics. He is currently is in Math Team at Neuqua Valley. In addition to Math Navam is passionate about JSA (Junior State of America)and Science Olympiad at Neuqua.  His hobbies include reading and playing the viola.

Callie Vitro is a Senior at Waubonsie Valley High School. She has always been passionate about all of her classes, and her goal is to help others excel so that they can feel the same way. Callie hopes to share the knowledge she has in reading and math with children at Math Factor-e, so they realize how rewarding of an experience learning can be. She would love to use her experiences to help others grow and recognize their capabilities. She is involved in music, where she plays percussion, Waubonsie's Youth and Government program, Best Buddies, and Varsity soccer

Pooja Patel is a junior in Neuqua Valley High School. Growing up, math has been her favorite subject in school. In sixth grade, Pooja started competitive math classes with Mrs. Sankar and has taken part in many math contests in middle school and continues to do so in high school. She is now a mentor in the Flex Practice Program. Pooja loves working with young learners. At school, she is a key player in Math Team. She is also very active in Business Professionals of America (BPA), and Model United Nations. Pooja’s hobbies include dancing and running. She has an interest in baking, as well. In her free time, she also loves spending time with her family and friends.

Tarun Rajesh is a junior at Metea Valley High School. He enjoys math and science, and participates in Science Olympiad and Scholastic Bowl in school. He is passionate about art, painting and drawing. Along with art, Tarun enjoys music and plays the piano and violin. He also enjoys working with children, making sure that they are confident not only in themselves, but also in their work.

Currently a sophomore at Neuqua Valley High School, Rishelle Manda grew up as an active participant in many math competitions, and continues to share her love for math through the Flex Practice Program. She takes pride in helping others grow and hopes to spread her math-based knowledge. She believes that a true understanding of mathematics can lead to a future filled with wonderful opportunities, and that if one sets their mind to anything with full determination and true grit, they will not stray from the path to success. Along with mentoring Rishelle is a passionate competitive dancer and belongs to the Neuqua Valley Speech Team and Orchesis Dance Company. Her other hobbies include baking, singing, and spending time with friends and family every chance she gets.

Urvi Awasthi is a sophomore at Illinois Math & Science Academy (IMSA). As a part of her school's math team, Urvi enjoys solving puzzling math problems and helping others, too.  At Math-Factor-e, Urvi hopes to share her passion for math with others, and help students realize their own potential. Outside of school, Urvi enjoys programming, and participates in her school's and library's coding club. Urvi also enjoys music; her hobbies include playing the violin as a part of her school's Concert Strings, and playing the piano. 

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