Organization

The Young Socratics is an educational program in Math and Science geared towards middle and high school students. We believe that by covering the great ideas in math and science using a historical perspective, and by giving students the right kind of challenging problems from the history of math and science, games and puzzles, contests and real-world applications, we can infect the students with a love for learning. We hold classes in the South Bay Area (Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View) and we also have courses available online.

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Team

Omkar Deshpande

Omkar started The Young Socratics to try a different approach to teaching the regular middle and high school curriculum, which would not be compartmentalized, feel burdensome or boring, or devoid of joy and meaning. During the six years he spent at Stanford University towards his MS and Ph.D in computer science, he also attended classes and talks by professors in widely different disciplines (especially the humanities), and did interdisciplinary research spanning computer science, genetics and cultural anthropology. He came to believe that discipline boundaries, though convenient for specialists, prevent one from appreciating the interconnected nature of all human knowledge. He firmly believes in blending the teaching of math and science with the humanities (with a special emphasis on history and philosophy), without sacrificing the development of practical problem-solving skills. He earned his BS in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and worked as a Principal Engineer at WalmartLabs (formerly Kosmix).


Vivek Kaul

After working extensively in academic and industrial settings across multiple disciplines, Vivek co-founded The Young Socratics to work on the vision of providing fundamental science and mathematics education integrated with their historical and philosophical context. According to him, education consists of laying out a series of paths for the students to discover and create new pathways on their own. Sadly such educational exposure is hardly provided to most students before graduate school and by that time many lose their interest. Therefore, he believes that the foundation for such education should be laid pretty early and that motivated him to work with middle school and high school students. Vivek has M.S degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mathematics respectively and a PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech. He obtained his B.S in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and worked at Facebook as a Data Scientist.


Himanshu Asnani

"The best learning takes place while you are having fun”. For Himanshu, fun means a playground of involvement, absorption and creativity. Having himself gone through the rigor of academics, research, teaching, mentorship and industrial experience in both India and US, from Olympiads to higher education at IIT and Stanford, to R&D work at Ericsson, Himanshu believes that most recipes of our modern education system lack those much needed ingredients - of involvement, absorption and creativity. And as this alienation begins early on, it mars not only the interest levels on the part of the students but also their aptitude towards problem solving even at undergraduate and graduate levels. Himanshu attributes this to the compartmentalization of the course curriculum and the non-contextual presentation of the material, especially in math and sciences at the middle and the high school level, which he strives to work towards with his co-founding The Young Socratics. He is the recipient of the 2014 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award and 2005 International Chemistry Olympiad Bronze Medal and received his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He earned his B.S in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and has earlier worked with Ericsson R&D, Silicon Valley as a Network Architect.


Venkatesh Chembrolu

Venkatesh's interests lie in exploring innovative methods for teaching and evaluating students -- one that revolves around explaining concepts and their applications in relation to the history of their discoveries. He believes that such an approach will naturally result in enhancing one's problem solving skills, but will not limit students to only excel at that. Such an approach will awaken a student's genuine interest in Math, Science and Philosophy. After all, best quality learning takes place not in a "test preparation" environment, but in an environment where sincere inquiry into the nature of the world around us is encouraged. Venkatesh's hobby has been to tutor middle and high school kids in Math and Science and he intends to further explore his interest in education at The Young Socratics. He also holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Bombay and a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University. He is currently a Recording Head Designer at HGST.



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