Po-Shen Loh is a social entrepreneur, working across the spectrum of mathematics, education, and healthcare, all around the world. He is the founder of the free personalized learning platform expii.com, a social enterprise supported by his series of online math courses that reinvent the middle school math curriculum with a focus on creative thinking. He is also a math professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the national coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team. Upon the outbreak of COVID-19, he turned his mathematical attention to create NOVID, which became the first COVID-19 app demonstrably capable of measuring distance with the requisite accuracy for contact tracing, as well as the first app implementing the paradigm of pre-exposure notification (an different angle on contact tracing).
As an academic, Po-Shen has earned distinctions ranging from an International Mathematical Olympiad silver medal to the United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His scientific research considers a variety of questions that lie at the intersection of combinatorics (the study of discrete systems), probability theory, and computer science. As an educator, he was the coach of Carnegie Mellon University’s math team when it achieved its first-ever #1 rank among all North American universities, and the coach of the USA Math Olympiad team when it achieved its first-ever back-to-back #1-rank victories in 2015 and 2016, and then again in 2018 and 2019. His research and educational outreach takes him to cities across the world, reaching over 10,000 people each year through public lectures and events, and he has featured in or co-created videos totaling over 9 million YouTube views.
Po-Shen received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Caltech in 2004, graduating first in his class. He received a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2005, where he was supported by a Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship. He continued his studies at Princeton, supported by a Hertz Foundation Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, where he completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the end of 2009, and has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University ever since.