We like math. We think it's fun, interesting and worthwhile. We want to share this with anybody and everybody who is interested.
MathHappens is founded by Phil and Lauren Siegel. The current board includes Phil and Lauren as well as their sons, Matt Siegel and Alex Siegel. Georgia Thomsen as Director of Partnerships coordinates support for the MathHappens Foundation nationwide. Matthew Hertel, currently a PhD candidate in the STEM Education Program at University of Texas manages MathHappens public outreach spaces and the staff at two locations in Austin, TX. Elizabeth Wrightsman edits our newspaper "math ad" program and is currently pursuing a Phd in Mathematics Education. She is particularly interested in non- western and informal/untold history of Mathematics. Kelli Miller is Director of Finance. Melissa Wilkinson is our Director of Operations. Jordan Varat is owner of Varat Enterprises and our Laser Operator and Instructor.

Lauren Siegel

Lauren is co-Founder and Executive Director of MathHappens. She has an undergraduate math degree from University of Chicago. She later completed the UTeach Credential Program at University of Texas at Austin. She served as Head of Math at Ace Academy for five years. Lauren is principal co-author of the article: Teaching Algebra Concepts by Modeling Telescope Optics, she designed the MathHappens conic section models that have been distributed to over 3,500 educators. Lauren directs new programs, and manages and mentors staff. She also serves in a board position for the Austin Museum Partnership.

Philip Siegel

Phil is co-founder of MathHappens and serves on the board. He is also co-founder of TritiumPartners in Austin, TX. Phil took degrees in both math and chemistry as an undergraduate at University of Chicago. Phil attributes his success in his business career to his facility with numbers and understanding of mathematics.

Matt Siegel

Matt serves on the board of MathHappens. He studied Chemical Engineering at Washington University at St. Louis and recently completed a Professional Master's degree in Mineral Exploration at Colorado School of Mines.

Alex Siegel

Alex is also a boardmember for MathHappens. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and is currently residing and working in Northern California.

Georgia Thomsen

Georgia has been an active member in Central Texas' non-profit and startup community for over eighteen years. Georgia helped launch The Acton School of Business in 2004 and grew the MBA for entrepreneurs from business plan to nationally ranked program in less than five years. She served as their Executive Director from 2004-2010. In addition, Georgia served as the Chief Operations Officer at Capital Factory, one of the largest startup incubators in Texas and was the Chief Programs Officer at Notley, an investment engine for nonprofits. With over a decade of experience working with philanthropic organizations like American Youth Works, Junior League and Girls on the Run, Georgia is an expert in scalability and sustainability for growing non-profits.

Kelli Miller

Kelli is a business professional assisting in building company infrastructure using her accounting, finance, and human resource competencies. She has over 13 years of experience in financial planning and analysis experience in the start-up community. She has made generous contributions leading non-profit community organizations such as HP Arts, Highland Park Booster Club and the West Dallas Collective Impact Education Initiative. She served as director and assistant treasurer for a public software company in Dallas. Kelli holds a BBA in financial planning from Baylor University..

Melissa Wilkinson

Melissa Wilkinson is directing operations for MathHappens Foundation. She graduated from University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and later earned a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. Melissa taught both Mathematics and Engineering and worked tutoring students at the Foothill College STEM Center.   Melissa enjoys spending time with her family her dogs and logic puzzles.

Jordan Varat

Jordan Varat is our laser expert at Mathhappens.  She works with staff in our workshop as well as leading larger projects at other maker spaces like MakeATX and Asmbly in Austin, TX.  Jordan earned a double degree in Political Science and Fashion Merchandising from Texas Christian University in 2021.  Her professional website is Varat Enterprises.

Matthew Hertel

Matthew Hertel has been  Coordinator of the MathHappens Math Room at the Austin Nature and Science Center since June 2022. Matt has given presentations to preservice teachers, designed models, mentored UTeach Interns and represented MathHappens at conferences.  In 2023 he took the lead on managing, mentoring and advising new staff from Breakthrough Austin and Texas State University as part of our expansion to a new space inside Millenium Youth Entertainment Complex.  He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Matthew has had the opportunity to tutor multiple levels of college mathematics and worked as a teaching assistant in a Project-Based Learning Physics Classroom, where he discovered his passion for supporting students in their learning endeavors. He is currently a PhD student in the STEM Education program at The University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth Wrightsman

Elizabeth Wrightsman is currently working on Special Projects for MathHappens Foundation. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. While working to complete her degree, Elizabeth had the opportunity to tutor various levels of mathematics at Austin Community College, where she discovered her love of teaching and sharing mathematics with the community. Currently, she is working on her PhD in Mathematics Education at Texas State University where she is employed as a Graduate Research Assistant. Elizabeth’s primary research interest is equity in mathematics education and investigating ways to make math more accessible to all. Elizabeth enjoys filling her free time with yoga, video games and geocaching.

Ishtar Rosario Medina

Ishtar Rosario-Medina is our lead partner in Albuquerque. She has over five years of teaching and leadership experience in multiple K–12 settings. She graduated from the University of New Mexico summa cum laude with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with minors in TESOL and Spanish.  Working in education, helping improve knowledge and language acquisition, and removing the boundaries that exist around STEM for people of color are some of her biggest passions. After seeing the need for more STEM resources in the community, she decided to work toward permanently making these activities a part of Albuquerque, NM through a program she named Puzzle Fiesta.  The MathHappens sponsored math room concept fits very well into this vision and she organizes, monitors, mentors and supports that space.  More information about  Puzzle Fiesta is available here.