Carnegie Mellon professor Po-Shen Loh believes that anything is possible, even reinventing learning or rethinking the paradigm for pandemic control. He founded Expii, a social enterprise that improves lives through education and healthcare, which began as an innovative learning platform where students have the power to choose how they learn. Today, Expii is the umbrella organization which houses his various initiatives.
Prof. Loh created a new infrastructure for online learning that shatters assumptions about what “Zoom school” looks and feels like. It combines the most engaging features from popular live video streaming platforms such as Instagram Live and Twitch, together with an original curriculum which teaches middle school students how to think creatively about math. Simultaneously, it professionally guides brilliant high school math students to develop exceptional communication skills.
Prof. Loh has been a math professor at Carnegie Mellon University since 2010, and the National Coach of the winning USA International Mathematical Olympiad team since 2014. Through travel, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity, he uncovers math in unexpected places in our everyday lives. His unconventional attitude informs his holistic approach to education and drives him to teach students of all levels, backgrounds, and ages.
Prof. Loh's academic career focuses on original discovery in the areas of combinatorics, probability theory, and computer science. He has published numerous papers in academic journals and was recognized by the 2019 United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Prof. Loh pioneered the network radar paradigm for pandemic control, which is fundamentally different from the strategies used by all other smartphone pandemic apps. The NOVID app was the first to empower the app user to directly avoid infection themselves. In contrast, all other apps primarily aimed to prevent the app user from infecting other people after the app user was already suspected of infection. This is a new approach for disease control which is driven by self-interest. This invention ended up making national press in several countries.
Before developing his live video teaching platform, Prof. Loh created an original curriculum with a fresh approach to teaching advanced creative mathematical thinking to middle school students through carefully produced videos. The Daily Challenge is a fun and systematic tour of middle school competition math.
Everyone is unique. To broaden the variety of styles of math and science lessons freely available on the Internet, Prof. Loh founded the free website expii.com. Today, it defines many math and science terms (often including scientific fact), providing multiple styles of explanations for each concept.
While teaching online, Prof. Loh observed that big Zoom meetings (especially classrooms) were disengaged. He designed and developed a free system for anyone to turn their online lectures into lively interactions. The key was to create the first easy-to-use system that lets you moderate Zoom chat, and delete messages.
In Summer 2021, Prof. Loh conducted the largest outdoor solo math tour in history, visiting 40 cities over 7 weeks, holding free events in public parks. He is continuing this tradition, and may soon be speaking in a city near you.