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Iris Mack, MBA, PhD

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Mathematics Major: Mathematics and Mathematical Physics (undergraduate), Mathematics (master's), Applied Mathematics (doctorate), Executive M.B.A. (graduate)

Degree Granting Institution(s): Vassar College; University of California, Berkeley; Harvard University; London School of Business

Job Title: Founder and CEO of Phat Math Inc., Miami, Florida; Instructor at the Hillel Academy, North Miami Beach, Florida

Job Responsibilities: As the CEO of Phat Math Inc., I stress the importance of math to youth. Throughout my adult life I've taught mathematics, primarily at the college level. At the moment, I am teaching at the Hillel Academy in North Miami Beach, Florida. There I teach mathematics, finance, and entrepreneurship. When I taught college, I noticed that some students couldn't keep up. It became apparent to me that without the necessary background in math, there's no way you can try to catch up after a certain point.

That teaching experience sparked an idea I'd had for a long time. I wanted to create products that make math more accessible to students, especially adolescents. So, now I am reaching out to children at the middle school and high school level to give them the necessary mathematics tools they'll need to thrive in college.

In January 2004, Phat Math released the "edutainment" book, Mama Says, "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees!" It uses ethnically diverse, animated characters to connect with adolescents of different backgrounds and show them practical math applications, particularly related to finance. It's the first of many products still to come!

Best Advice: Study hard; seek out mentors, and have fun!

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