About Founders

GoldStudent founder Ning Wang

Ning Wang has the unique combination of academic and business experience.  Born and raised in China, Ning went to the prestigious Peking University in China where she majored in physics, and continued her education in physics by completing a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.  She worked as a research scientist at a national research laboratory in Paris France, and at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena CA.  Her research focuses included cosmological dark matter, high sensitivity and low noise cryogenic detectors, and submillimeter astronomy.

With a desire to achieve something with more immediate impact, Ning joined the business world by first working at the reknowned management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where she worked in many industries including automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, music entertainment, agriculture, and computer distribution.  Her projects ranged from product launch strategy, acquisition valuation, operation optimization and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) development and tracking, and cost reduction.  Equipped with the knowledge of how to run a good business, Ning joined a series of startups and small-medium sized businesses.  She worked at Carparts Technologies where she oversaw strategic development, product management, website development, and IT operations.  Under her leadership, Carparts Technologies developed one of the best website selling automotive parts.  After Carparts, Ning joined Bargain Network, a direct consumer marketing company, where Ning oversaw the overall operations as its CFO and COO.  She helped improve the company EBITDA margins by 9x through disciplined and rigorous ways of running the business, through relentless tracking, monitoring, and optimizing the key metrics.  After Bargain Network, Ning spent a year at Bluecasa, a direct consumer marketing company with a focus on Hispanic markets, as its COO, where she helped turn around the operations group to its best performing level.  In 2008, Ning joined lynda.com as its CFO and CTO, achieving significant impact in a short term.

Ning is passionate about education and math education in particular.  She participated in numerous math competitions in China, and has greatly benefited from all the math training she has obtained.  Through her experience in academia and in business, she sees how solid math skills can help children succeed in many professions later in their lives.  Math skills provide training for logical thinking and creative problem solving, which are critical skillset for many professions.  Seeing how math education is delivered in this country through her children, Ning and her husband started to develop their own supplemental math worksheets for their children, to help them practice more to gain solid understanding, accuracy and speed for basic arithmetic operations.  They first started creating the worksheets in excel, and then quickly realized it would be better to put it online, with automatic grading of the worksheets, automatic assignments for future worksheets, and being notified when a child does a worksheet.  That is how www.goldstudent.com was born.  Together with several technology and business partners, Ning and her husband spent two years developing the website and creating all the problems for the website.

GoldStudent founder Andrew Cleland

Andrew Cleland is a professor of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where his duties include teaching physics as well as directing research in experimental physics.  He has taught classes ranging from introductory physics for freshmen to courses at the graduate level; his courses are universally acclaimed, and he is a popular lecturer.  His research is focused on developing nanoelectronic and nanomechanical devices, and quantum electrical circuits.  He has published many research findings in Nature, Science, and other leading scientific journals.  He is the author of a textbook on nanomechanics (Springer, 2002), which has been translated into Chinese.  He has been invited to present his research at over 100 international science conferences.