A community
of exploration

What We Do?

AlphaStar Academy offers extensive training programs for gifted students towards national and international Math and Science competitions such as MathCounts, American Mathematics Competitions, USA Math Olympiads, USA Computing Olympiads, F=ma, and USA Physics Olympiads.

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Founding Members

Murat Biyik

AlphaStar Co-founder and CEO (since 2017)
AMC International Coordinator, Turkey (2015-16)
A* Program Coordinator, (2010-2017)
School Admin at Public Schools (2008-2010)
Math Teacher at Public & Private Schools (1994-2007)

Fatih Gelgi, Ph.D.

AlphaStar Co-founder and Computer Science Director (since 2017)
A* CS Program Founder & Coordinator, (2008-2017)
Ph.D., Computer Science, Arizona State University (2007)
International Olympiad in Informatics (1999: Bronze Medal)
USA Computing Olympiad Coach (2006-2014)
Olympiad in Informatics Turkish National Team Coach (1999-2003)
Balkan Olympiad in Informatics (1998, 1999)

Ali Gurel, Ph.D.

AlphaStar Co-founder and Math Director (since 2017)
A* Math Program Founder & Coordinator, (2008-2017)
Ph.D., Mathematics, Caltech (2008)
International Mathematical Olympiad (1996: Silver Medal)
American Mathematics Competitions Advisory Panel Member (2008-2012)
USA Math Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP) Instructor (2007-2012)
Scott Russell Johnson Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Caltech (2007)

Mehmet Kaysi

AlphaStar Co-founder and Math Program Director (since 2017)
A* Math Program Coordinator, (2008-2017)
American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) Problem Writing Committee (2011-2014)
Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad – USA Team Leader (2013)
Balkan Mathematical Olympiad – Academic Assistant (2012)
International Mathematical Olympiad (2004)
Balkan Mathematical Olympiad – Silver Medal (2004)

Full-time Faculty Members

Osman Ay, M.S.

AlphaStar Computer Science Instructor (2021-present)
M.S. in Computer Education and Instructional Technology (2012)
Coach Assistant of USACO (2004-2009)
World Finals Judge, ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (since 2002)
Experience in Computing Olympiads as a teacher, coach, problem writer and judge (since 1997)
Authored several Computer Science and programming books.

Ali Adali Ph.D.

PhD, Mathematics, Ohio State 2017
AlphaStar Math Instructor (2011-2016, 2022)
EGMO 2014: Problem Grading Committee Member
Junior Balkan Math Olympiad (JBMO) 2013: Deputy Leader of the Team USA
International Mathematical Olympiad ( 2002: Bronze, 2003: Bronze)
Balkan Mathematical Olympiad ( 2002: Bronze, 2003: Silver)

Emre Gul

AlphaStar Instructors (2021 – present)
12+ years of teaching experience
MathCounts coach since 2009

Alexander Moreira, M.S.

M.S. in Computer Science, Stanford (2023)
B.S. in Mathematics, Stanford (2022)
Mathematics and Computer Science instructor (5+ years)
George Polya Prize from Stanford University (2022)
Honorable mention for the Computing Research Association’s Undergraduate Researcher Award (2022)

Richard Spence Ph.D.

AlphaStar Alumni
A-Star Math Instructor (since 2012)
Ph.D., Computer Science, U. of Arizona (2021)
B.S., in Math with Computer Science, MIT (2016)
USAMO qualifier (2010)
MathCounts National qualifier (2007, 2008)
National “Who Wants to be a Mathematician” qualifier (2011-2012)Perfect score on AMC 10 (2009)
National Scrabble Championship – Div. 2 (2011: Winner)

Faculty (Part-time and Former)


Creating + Connecting Future
(Impossible) Problem Solvers!


We passionately train gifted and high-achieving students for STEM competitions while teaching math, physics, and computer science and developing their problem-solving skills.

Core Values



The history of AlphaStar Academy roots back to early 2000’s when the team members, Ali Gurel and Fatih Gelgi, came together around the idea of motivating and training gifted students through regional, national and international competitions and Olympiads. With the addition of Mehmet Kaysi and Murat Biyik to the team, the program and curriculum was built over the years and evolved into the A-Star Program known today.

In the beginning, two former Olympians Ali and Fatih were coaching gifted students in South California and Arizona, in Math and Computer Science when they were graduate students at Caltech and Arizona State University, respectively. After years of training, one of their students Zarathustra Brady (a.k.a. Zeb) was invited to the top Math and Computer Science in USA, Math Olympiad Summer Program (2006) and USA Computing Olympiad National Camp (2005-2007). Zeb was also selected to the USA Math Team of six students and won a Gold Medal in the International Math Olympiads 2006.

After receiving their PhD’s, Dr. Ali and Dr. Gelgi joined an education company in South California. They started an Advanced Math and Science Program serving gifted students in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado via regional, state, and national Math and Computer Science camps. At the same time, Dr. Ali was one of the coaches of the USA Math Olympiad team whereas Dr. Gelgi was serving as a coach of the USA Computing Olympiad.

First A-Star courses were introduced in 2008 in South California. The following year, another former math Olympian Mehmet Kaysi joined the team. In 2010, Murat Biyik who served long years in education as a teacher and administrator, joined the team as well.

In the fall of 2010, A-Star courses were introduced to Bay Area community and soon became a well-established program in Bay Area. Year after year, A-Star students had tremendous success in Math and Computer Science competitions with several National finalists in MathCounts, dozens of perfect scorers in American Mathematics Competitions, dozens of winners and finalists in USA Math and Computing Olympiads, and several Gold medalists in International Math Olympiads and International Olympiad in Informatics. A-Star teams also got top rankings in math competitions organized by Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Caltech, and Harvey Mudd.

In 2017, the team members founded AlphaStar Academy to further improve the gifted community and students. As A-Star team, we believe that discovering and training gifted students towards their potential is critical for our country’s future. In that perspective, we try to fulfill our share by providing advanced math and science programs for those students, free master classes and trainings, and supporting the local gifted community via sponsoring math and science events.

We would like to thank many exceptional people who contributed to the development of A-Star program over the years.

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