Provides school-year-long small-group Math tutoring (help and challenge as needed) to under-served grade school students, with the goal of engaging and exciting them about Mathematics and its use in STEM fields. Started in Fall 2020.


CyMath is a mathematics tutoring program that provides school-year long weekly small-group Math support to grade school students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in STEM through the entire school year. The tutors are graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, most of whom volunteer their time. As it grows, it may also include undergraduate student tutors. Because of the cumulative nature of mathematics education, if there is knowledge missing in students’ learning in early grades, it is difficult to address it in high school and very difficult to do so if the student is already in college. Starting the interventions in Grade 3, and following the students through the school years, allows tutors to fill in the learning gap while it is still quite small. The eventual goal is to ensure that these students pursue, and thrive in, math-intensive majors in college.


CyMath 3.0

Directed by

-          Prof. Namrata Vaswani (Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering)

-          Prof Xuan Hien Nguyen (Dept of Mathematics)


CyMath 3.0 is run as a partnership between Iowa State University (ISU) and the Ames Community School District (ACSD). In its pilot phase in Fall 2023, it will start as an in-person program with tutoring being held after school at one elementary school in Ames. Eventually we will expand to also include Saturday morning sessions at ISU.



Tutor recruitment

-          Time commitment: roughly 2 hours per week

-          Committed grad student volunteers or recent graduates from Math, Stat, or EECS (EE, CprE, or Comp Sci) with a passion for Math

-          No prior teaching or volunteer experience required

-          International and domestic students are welcome

-          To Sign-up

Add your name here: or email





CyMath 2.0: Spring 2023, ran for DMPS Virtual Campus, through Science Bound

-          Ran study tables every other Wednesday

-          Reached only 4 students who were high schoolers were interested. Unable to reach more students (remote option is a bad idea these days)

-          Coordinated by

o   Prof. Namrata Vaswani (Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering)

o   Prof Xuan Hien Nguyen (Dept of Mathematics)


1.      Yingchao Zhou (Stat Ph.D. student)

2.      Seounghun (Hun) Son (ECE Ph.D. student)

3.      Yan-Han Chen (Stat Ph.D. student)

4.      Ruoyu Meng (ECE Ph.D. student)

5.      Sarah McCarty (Math Ph.D. student)

6.      Silpa Babu (ECE Ph.D. student)

7.      Shana Moothedath (ECE professor)

8.      Xuan Hien Nguyen (Math professor)


CyMath 1.0: Fall 2020 to Spring 2022, ran for Moulton Elementary within Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS), remotely

-          As of Spring 2022:

o   Tutors are graduate student volunteer (mostly)

o   Tutors teach a group of 3-4 students via Teams once-a-week for 40-45 minutes (any day of the week 1:40-2:20pm)

o   Currently working with: 3rd and 4th grade students from Moulton Elementary of DMPS (Des Moines Public Schools)

o   Tutors are grad student volunteers from Math, EE or CprE

o   10-12 tutors, 35 kids in 2021-22 year

o   5 tutors, 14 kids in 2020-21 year

-          To support all Math learners, CyMath focuses on both

o   Math-help and

o   Math-challenge: provide extra and more challenging work to students for whom the regular school work is not challenging enough

-          Quotes from 3rd grade Moulton kids and tutors:


Coordinated by:

-          Prof. Namrata Vaswani (Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering)

-          Prof Christa Jackson (School of Education) in 2020-21, but she moved

-          Prof. Mollie Appelgate (School of Education), in 2021-22

-          Shari Miller (ISU 4U Promise)

Volunteer Tutors for all or part of 2020-22

1.      Dr. Payas Awadhutkar (former ECE Ph.D. student)

2.      Abby Martin (Math Ph.D. student)

3.      Zac Brennan (Math Ph.D. student)

4.      Anindya Das (ECE Ph.D. student – now graduated)

5.      Seounghun (Hun) Son (ECE Ph.D. student)

6.      Ronak Tali (ECE Ph.D. student)

7.      Kostas (ECE Ph.D. student – now graduated)

8.      Dr. Li Tang (former ECE Ph.D. student)

9.      Anayse Miller (Math postbac student – now graduated)

10.  Sarah McCarty (Math Ph.D. student)

11.  Aditya Ramamoorthy (ECE professor)

12.  Pavan Aduri (CS professor)

13.  Adithya Kulkarni (CS Ph.D. student)

14.  Soumya Indela (ECE postdoc – now teaching professors at ASU)

15.  Praneeth Narayanamurthy (ECE Ph.D. student – now graduated)

16.  Abigail Burnett (Math Postbac student – now graduated)



More Details


CyMath was started in Fall 2020 as a Math tutoring project for grade-school students. Prof. Namrata Vaswani of ECpE started/runs it with help from School of Education colleagues (Prof. Christa Jackson who now moved out of ISU, Prof. Mollie Appelgate, and Shari Miller who is the program coordinator for ISU 4U Promise). Its eventual goal is to significantly improve the diversity of the student population in computing-based majors, most of which require a solid grasp of Mathematics concepts. Graduate student volunteers from Engineering and Mathematics provide school-year-long virtual small-group Mathematics support and challenge (extension) to a subset of students from under-resourced schools. Currently, this serves about 35 students from 3rd and 4th grade students from one Des Moines school, Moulton Elementary. The overall longer-term goal is to keep mentoring the same group of students until they graduate from high school, while also expanding the group of students that is served.