• Our Mission

    Making Scientific and Technological Progress Equitable






















  • The Crisis

    The state of Science and Mathematics Education in the developing world poses one of the greatest economic threats to equitable growth around the world. An excellent science education can equip people living in extreme poverty with skills that will help them break away from poverty cycles.

    Take India for instance. While over 80 million students are enrolled in secondary schools in India, standardized assessments show that Indian students are among the worst performers internationally. This is largely because education systems in India (and other developing countries) are biased to the top of the income distribution. Designing systems that provide equal access to high-quality science education to the “bottom of the pyramid” (students who go to low-income schools, who live in rural areas) where there is a huge untapped reservoir of talent, could potentially transform the economic and intellectual future of the developing world. 

  • How We Work

    At SEI we design innovative, cost-effective approaches to deliver high-quality science and math education in low-income classrooms. The SEI Fellowship program is one of the most cost-effective models of delivering high-quality instruction in the developing world, costing less than US $60 per student per year. We rigorously evaluate the impact of our programs and collaborate with civic agencies to scale-up our programs.

  • Programs

    We design programs, evaluate them, develop capacity and collaborate with nonprofits and government institutions to scale-up our programs and monitor progress.

    The Science Education Initiative Fellowship

    The SEI Fellowship program recruits, trains and supports highly motivated undergraduate and postgraduate students to teach science and math in low-income schools. SEI Fellows serve as part-time Science and Math teachers and undergo a rigorous training and professional development program. Fellows also get the opportunity to participate in workshops throughout the year that train them to the next generation Science educators and leaders.

    Rural Mathematics Talent Search Program

    The program was the flagship SEI program which trained gifted students in science and math from rural areas of Odisha (a state in eastern India) through training camps during summer and winter. The program was scaled up in 2011 in collaboration with the Government of Odisha as the Pathani Samanta Fellowship and now reaches 5000 motivated students in the state every year. The students are supported by a fellowship and periodic training programs. The program has impacted over 30000 since its inception in 2002.

  • SEI Fellows Class of 2015




    In 2015 SEI placed 35 Fellows in low-income classrooms in Pune, India. The 2015 cohort of SEI Fellows currently reaches over 1000 students in Pune.






    Personalized Science and Math Education in Low-Income Classrooms

    SEI uses globally benchmarked Formative Assessments that identify learning levels of each students at the beginning of the year and tailors the instruction to ensure that every student in the program receives remedial support from our Fellows. Continuous monitoring of learning outcomes helps remediate misconceptions immediately and assists in building a firm conceptual foundation for all students. 

    Evaluating Programs and Informing Policy

    SEI uses state-of-the-art evaluation methodologies to rigorous assess the impact of instruction on learning outcomes on students. This allows us to innovate quickly and modify strategies and make our content more relevant to the classrooms we work in. In the long run our goal is to use data from the SEI program to inform policies for improving STEM education quality in low-income settings. 

    Bringing Educational Institutions Together to Solve the Education Crisis



    SEI partners with school boards and local colleges to recruit and place high-quality STEM instructors in low-income classrooms. This teacher-residency model of teacher training is very cost-effective and helps train the next generation of STEM instructors. 






  • Notes from the ground

    Stories from the SEI Team




  • Board of Advisors

    Kevin Xu

    Kevin obtained his BA in neuroscience from USC in 2011. He is the CEO of MEBO International and a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an appointee of the California-China Trade and Investment Advisory Group, Governor Jerry Brown's advisor, and the founder of the Regeneration X Foundation. Kevin serves on Presidential Council at Cal State LA and on the Advisory Board of the USC Davis School of gerontology.

    Peter Clark, Ph.D.

    Peter obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Caltech in 1964 where he was involved in designing the first Helium-Neon laser. He has worked at the US Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he initiated technology efforts in space-based lasers and large optics. Peter has held several leadership positions in the tech industry, including leading Hitachi America. He currently serves on the Board of the Caltech Associates.

    Anthony Chong

    Anthony Chong obtained his BS in Computer Science from Caltech in 2010. Anthony was the Head of Optimization at Adaptly, a startup based in New York City and is the Founder and current CEO of StatSketch, a data science startup based in San Francisco. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Caltech Alumni Association and was the Student Body President at Caltech.

  • Scientific Advisory Board

    The SEI Scientific Advisory Board is a global community of scientists and educators who review academic programs and provide oversight on development of the SEI curriculum and assessments framework. The Board also advises SEI leadership on future scientific and educational directions of the initiative.

    Matilde Marcolli

    Dr Matilde Marcolli is a professor in Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology where her research focuses on mathematical physics. She has held appointments at MIT, Max Plank Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Issac Newton Institute at Cambridge, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara among others. She is the recipient of the prestigious Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize and the Sofia Kovalevskaya Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She holds a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

    Olivier Doré

    Dr Olivier Doré is a Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Visiting Associate Faculty at the California Institute of Technology where his research focuses on the origin and evolution of large scale structure in the universe. He was a Senior Research Associate at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and a Research Associate at Princeton University. He is a winner of the JPL Mariner Award and a member of teams that won multiple NASA group achievement awards and the Gruber Prize for cosmology in 2012.

    Sujatha Ramdorai

    Dr Sujatha Ramdorai is a professor in Mathematics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. She has held appointments at the Ohio State University, Chennai Mathematical Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics among others. Prof Ramdorai is a recipient of the Shantiswarup Bhatnagar Award, one of the highest scientific honors in India. She is the first and only Indian to win the prestigious ICTP Ramanujan Prize. She served on Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India between 2009-2013 and the National Knowledge Commission between 2007-2009.


    Govind Swarup

    Dr Govind Swarup is a globally renowned pioneer in the field of astrophysics. He led the building of the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT), the largest radio telescope of its kind in the world. Prof. Swarup was the Director of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in Pune. In 1995 he proposed the establishment of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) which are now a network of 6 high quality science universities in India. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of all the National Science Academies in India. He has received several honors including the William Herschel Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, UK (2005), Grote Reber Medal, Australia (2007) and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Department of Atomic Energy, India (2008).

  • Team

    SEI is run by a global team that oversees strategy and content as well as a team in Pune that oversees operations

    Abhilash Mishra
    Founder Executive Director

    Abhilash Mishra is a PhD candidate in astrophysics at California Institute of Technology where his research spans cosmology, theoretical astrophysics and science education. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Merton College, Oxford where he obtained a Masters in Physics. He won the Goldman Sachs Global Leader award as an undergraduate at Fergusson College, Pune. Abhilash started as a faculty at the Rural Mathematics Talent Search Program and is one of the founding directors of SEI. He leads program design, curriculum development and research at SEI.

    Priya Kakkar

    Co-Founder & Director of Operations

    Priya holds a BSc in Physics from Fergusson College, Pune and a MBA from the University of Pune. Prior to joining SEI she worked on designing sustainable small businesses in the food industry. At SEI she led the design of the SEI Fellowship program in Pune and co-leads curriculum curriculum development at SEI. As Director of Operations at SEI, Priya is responsible for implementation of the SEI programs, impact evaluation and leads local advocacy efforts.

    Rahul Panda

    Director of Academics

    Following a stint as a Business Systems Analyst Rahul got into the education sector as a Teach For India fellow in 2011. After teaching full time for two years in a low-income private school in Mumbai he worked, first, as a Program Manager and then Mathematics Curriculum Design and Training Manager at TFI. He has a degree in Production and Mechanical Engineer from Anna University and was also a Scotland Saltire Scholar for Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, UK. At SEI, Rahul leads design of content and assessments.


    Payal Ghogare

    Senior Program Manager

    Payal has a dual Bachelors in Physics and Electronic Science from Fergusson College, University of Pune. As an undergraduate she was a part of the first cohort of SEI Fellows (Class of 2014). She also worked on research projects in radio astronomy and instrumentation. At SEI, Payal is a Program Manager where she is instrumental in training the next generation of science educators.


    Ananya Mishra

    Lead- SEI Language Program

    Ananya is a graduate student in South Asian Studies at Cambridge University where she is a Gates Scholar. She  completed her MA in English at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, India. She has worked as an English language instructor for elementary schools in Tours, France under appointment from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has worked as a teacher with Make A Difference, a nonprofit based in India and as a curriculum development associate at Voice4Girls. At SEI, Ananya leads the SEI Language  Program.

    Heather Duckworth

    Development Officer

    Heather is an aerospace engineer working at SpaceX where she specializes in mission and crew operations for the Crew Dragon spacecraft. She holds a Bachelors degree in Astrophysics from Columbia University and a MS in Space Engineering from Caltech where she received the National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship. She was the co-chair for the Caltech Space Challenge in 2014. Heather works on SEI development efforts in the US.   

    Plawan Rath

    Chief Technology Officer

    Plawan is pursuing a MS in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas where his academic interests are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and scalable systems. Before moving to Dallas, he was an Associate Software Engineer at IBM India Software Labs, following his Bachelor's degree at BMS Institute of Technology, in Bangalore.

    Harshad Pethe

    Chief Financial Officer

    Harshad holds a MBA in Finance and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Pune. He has worked in the financial services sector (HDFC) and the manufacturing sector. He believes that the first step towards social equality and eradication of poverty is unencumbered access to good education. 

    Mukul Mhaskey

    Program Associate- Impact

    Mukul is a PhD student in astrophysics at the University of Pune where he works on radio astronomy. He holds a BSc in Physics from Fergusson College, Pune and a MSc in Physics from the University of Pune. He is an avid photographer and documentary maker. He is also passionate about science outreach and has organized numerous workshops for school students in the Pune area. At SEI Mukul is leading a project to visually document the lives of students in low-income schools to better inform qualitative research on education in low-income settings. He is also deeply involved in local advocacy efforts at SEI.

    Prathamesh Pawar

    Program Associate

    Amol Shirole


    Program Associate

    Lavina Pinto

    Program Associate

    Sachita Gote

    Program Associate

  • Contact Us

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