The founding team at Querium has extensive experience building and leading successful startup companies in education, software, and product development.
Kent Fuka, Founder & CEO
As the founder of Querium, Kent Fuka brings a passion for education and educational technology; both of his parents were teachers and his only sister is a College instructor. Kent was also an early employee and senior manager of three successful VC-backed startup companies including Tivoli Systems in Austin. As a co-founder of Texas VC firm CenterPoint Ventures in 1996, Kent was instrumental in managing investments in Texas-based high tech companies from CenterPoint’s $450M investment portfolio. One investment was in Austin-based e-Learning company Thinkwell, where Kent has been the active Chairman of the Board since 1999. Kent’s career background is in development of complex software.
Kent Fuka LinkedIn
Patti Smith, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer
Patti is the former VP of Marketing at DreamBox Learning, the intelligent adaptive learning company. Previously, Patti was VP of K-12 Math & Science Strategy at schoolbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Austin. Patti was the first Director of Marketing at Thinkwell, where she oversaw their product launch and customer growth from zero to 300 colleges and universities. Patti was also a former area director at Kaplan Test Prep centers where she held P&L responsibility for multiple centers across Texas.
Patti Smith LinkedIn
Jim Van Riper, VP Product Development
Jim brings more than 25 years of software product development, management, marketing and customer support experience to Querium. Having built honed his skills at Informix and Remedy, Jim most recently served as VP of R&D at Troux Technologies, Serena Software and Tivre.
Jim Van Riper LinkedIn
Elaine Kant, Chief Scientist
Elaine has 35 years of AI research and development experience. She is the Founder and CEO of SciComp Inc. and has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford and a BS in Mathematics from MIT. She was the PI of the NIST-ATP grant that helped fund her current company, which developed an AI system for scientific computing. She was elected Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Elaine was previously a professor at Carnegie-Mellon and is the co-inventor of two patents.
Elaine Kant Profile
James Werner, Chief Revenue Officer
James joins Querium following a 25+ year career in sales, most recently as EVP of Higher Education at DecisionDesk. Across his career James has coached and counseled hundreds of salespeople, created successful new product launches, and enhanced strategic thinking of organizations of all sizes including startups.
Evan Baatarjav, A.I. Engineer
Evan is passionate about building software that has users’ interests in mind. He has researched and written software in the context of how privacy is affected in online social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. His work on this topic was published in IEEE proceedings and he also received the 2013 Toulouse Dissertation Award. His expertise includes Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, and Artificial Intelligence. His two years of teaching subjects like Computer Networks, Systems Programming, Computer Organization, and Operating Systems have given him first-hand experience in helping students succeed. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Texas.
Evan Baartarjav LinkedIn
Jennifer Bullard, Senior Producer
Jennifer has 15+ years of project management experience in the video game industry, shipping over 20 titles on time and under budget. She has worked on franchises such as The Sims, Call of Duty, Heroes of Might & Magic, and other smaller titles throughout her career. Currently Jennifer is the Chapter Chair of IGDA-Austin and is on the Board of Advisers for several Austin colleges.
Jennifer Bullard LinkedIn
Colin Lowry, Producer-Editor
Colin Lowry produces, manages, consults and edits large media projects for Querium and others. Recent work includes the installation of 54 video oral histories for the World War II Museum in New Orleans and the integration of 69 math help videos for Querium’s mobile test prep product.
Colin Lowry LinkedIn
Sara Pearce, Programmer & Curriculum Developer
Sara began her career as a teaching assistant/instructor for the University of Minnesota Gifted and Talented Math Program where she discovered her love of project-based learning and curriculum design. From there she went on to teach math for nine years in high schools and community colleges in Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Chicago. In that time, Sara taught every math course from Pre-Algebra through Calculus BC, and spent endless hours debating math curriculum vertical alignment with anyone who would listen. Leveraging her love of everything tech and logical, Sara then transitioned into software development, working as a programmer for Apricot Software from Social Solutions in Austin, TX.
Sara Pearce LinkedIn
Maria Robinson, Mathematics Curriculum Developer
Maria is passionate about creating environments in which students can truly learn and understand mathematics. During her teaching post-doc at the University of Arizona, she collaborated with leaders in math education to spread teaching and testing methods which focus on deep conceptual understanding rather than rote calculations. Later at Seattle University and most recently at Querium, she continues to use these methods to meet students where they are and guide them to greater knowledge of mathematics.
Maria Robinson LinkedIn
Ursula Wolz, A.I. Developer
Ursula is CEO of RiverSound Solutions, a software development and consulting company with a mission to empower users to become creators with computing technology. She had a 20-year career as a faculty member at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in the Computer Science Department. As a founder of the Interactive Multimedia program at TCNJ, she received awards from Microsoft and the National Science Foundation to develop curriculum and software appropriate for learners ranging from middle school to college in interdisciplinary computing. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University, a Masters in Computing in Education from Columbia Teachers College, and a B.S. from MIT.
Lauren Fuka, Mathematics Question Editor
Lauren lives in Tucson, AZ and has a master’s degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. When she’s not flexing her math muscles by writing and editing questions for Querium MathBooster, she enjoys her day job as a Museum Specialist at the Arizona State Museum.
Lauren Fuka LinkedIn
Patty C Hill, Math Department Chair
BS in mathematics from UT Austin. A math teacher at Kealing Middle School for 16 years, teaching 7th & 8th grade math, Math in the Arts, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 in Kealing’s Magnet Program. I’ve designed my own curriculum for each of those classes and wrote my own Algebra 1 textbook. I’m also Kealing’s Quiz Bowl coach. My teams have won 2 national championships and 4 state titles. I’m a strong advocate for the flipped math classroom. I give presentations about what the flipped classroom at conferences and at Austin area schools. I also run workshops to train teachers how to record lessons and flip their classroom. I’m currently working on “The Math Teacher’s Guide to Flipping.” I am one of the co-founders of the Math Teachers’ Circle of Austin and have won the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Jr. High Teaching, National Quiz Bowl Awards Middle School Coach of the Year, and the William Dahlgren Teacher of Excellence Award from the SAMPE Foundation.
Jerri LaMirand, Director of Math & Science, Eanes ISD
With 26 years in math education, Jerri LaMirand is currently serving as Director of Math & Science for grades, K-12 in Eanes ISD in Austin, Texas. She currently serves on the boards for the Austin Area Council for Teachers of Mathematics and the Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Jerri is recognized for forming a consortium of math leaders in Central Texas to analyze the new math standards and create documents to support teachers, coaches and math supervisors. These documents have now been posted in livebinders.com for all teachers and leaders in Texas to use. Jerri LaMirand can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerri LaMirand LinkedIn
Cathy Yenca, Mathematics Teacher
Cathy Yenca – known online as “Mathy Cathy” – currently teaches in Austin, Texas in a one-to-one iPad classroom. She holds a Master of Science in Education in the area of Classroom Technology. Honored to be part of the Querium video team, Cathy hopes her teaching techniques and personality encourage students to feel well prepared for the TSI Math Assessment. Virtually visit her 21st-century mathematics classroom at mathycathy.com/blog.
Cathy Yenca’s Blog