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Earth’s interior, and wildfire management in populated areas. “When it comes to unsolved problems, we don’t know if the answers are just around the corner or light years away,” Conrey said. AIM now hosts dozens of workshops each year to tackle some of these problems. It also connects educators with the professional community. Conrey’s oldest daughter Brianna Donaldson heads up AIM’s Math Teacher Circles program, which connects middle school teachers with professional mathematicians to work on problems together, while sharing best practices. The program is well on the way to its goal to establish 300 self-sustaining circles across the country. According to Brianna, “My father tends to bring out the best, most creative side of people. I have learned a great deal from working with him. He taught me how to think critically and have fun doing it.” Math = Fun + Fringe Benefits As AIM gained momentum, Conrey began to think about what could be done 38 outside the traditional classroom to create opportunities for youth who showed an interest in math. In 2002, he established Morgan Hill Math as an outreach program in conjunction with Morgan Hill’s K-12 schools. According to Lori Mains, Program Director at Morgan Hill Math, more than 2,000 students have benefitted from the program to date. Among the beneficiaries of Conrey’s mentoring is Mark Holmstrom, a Live Oak High School grad who is now studying mathematics at Stanford University. “Dr. Conrey’s teaching style was unique. Rather than simply lecturing he asked us thought-provoking questions and worked through problems with us. We’d cover his table with a big sheet of paper and by the end of a lesson, it would always be filled with our best ideas on how to solve the problems.” Sobrato High School senior Rachel McMillan aspires to become a Neurologist. She credited Dr. Conrey and the Morgan Hill Math program with helping her “understand the importance and real-world applications of math” and prepare for G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MAY / JUNE 2015 advanced studies in college. Lori Mains’ son Peter said the skills he learned in Morgan Hill Math were vital to his studies at UC Berkeley: “Nearly every math, science, and engineering class boils down to being able to reason your way through a problem”. Peter added that without such skills, “there is no way I could have succeeded in college courses.” Math Man, Family Man Conrey, his wife Janet and their three children have enjoyed South County community life since moving here in the late 1990s. Janet teaches in the Computer Science and Information Systems Department at Gavilan College. The couple’s younger daughter Jennifer is an obstetrics nurse at St. Louise Hospital and their son Rick is building a successful high tech career which began at Morgan Hill-based Velodyne, a frontrunner with technology for autonomous or self-driving vehicles. He’s now at OM Audio, another Morgan Hill innovator. According to Janet, “Brian is the creative, ambitious dreamer in our