Sanjoy Mahajan is internationally known for his work in improving the teaching of mathematics and science. Mahajan obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology, and has undergraduate degrees in mathematics from Oxford University and in physics from Stanford University. His wonderful teachers sparked a lifelong interest in how to improve science teaching, an interest he followed as a faculty member in the physics department at the University of Cambridge. In 2003, while at Cambridge, he helped found the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was the first curriculum director and taught the first courses in physics and computer science.
Presently at MIT, Mahajan teaches in three departments: mathematics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. His courses include Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering, Teaching College-Level Science and Engineering, and Street-fighting Mathematics. The latter is the 11th most visited course among the 1800 courses on MIT's OpenCourseWare site. In an earlier life, Mahajan coauthored a computer program that learned from its mistakes and played world-championship-level Othello. His interest in science teaching and in artificial and natural minds have converged at MIT, where he is associate director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory.