When it comes to STEM education, mathematics professor Mallory Dyer of Coolidge, Ariz., wants to level the playing field.
The former college basketball player-turned-coach is making a full-court press to do just that with her ground-breaking, advanced calculator app, GraphLock.
“I love teaching math,” Mallory says. But “I have seen so many of my students struggle through the math concepts because they do not have the funds to purchase a graphing calculator” – a pricey requirement for most high-school and college algebra classes.
“Eighty percent of students now own a smartphone,” she says. “It is absolutely ridiculous, in this day and age, that students are still forced to purchase these expensive and outdated calculators.”
After watching tight budgets threaten bright futures, Mallory decided to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her husband, Josh, she launched GraphLock in 2015. The advanced calculator app has a patent-pending lockdown mode that sets it apart from other apps.
Our entire technology costs as much as the batteries in these other calculatorsMallory Dyer
For low-income students and families, it’s a game-changer.
For teachers and schools, it’s a solution to smartphone distraction.
For Mallory, it is another problem solved.
In fact, the math whiz has been finding solutions and leading the charge for most of her life.
Growing up on a cattle ranch in Arizona, she was no stranger to hard work and obstacles. After graduating from high school, she attended Central Arizona College on a basketball scholarship – and led her team to the 2005 NJCAA National Championship win -- before transferring to Arizona State University, where she earned her bachelor’s in mathematics.
Throughout her undergrad career, Mallory honed her leadership skills both on and off the court. She tutored fellow dorm mates in math and traded her team jersey for a coaching position at CAC, leading the team to another NJCAA National Championship.
After a post-graduation stint as an actuary, Mallory realized she was born to teach math, went back to school and earned her master’s degree in mathematics from Northern Arizona University.
“I should have always known that I would someday find my calling in teaching math,” she says. “I wanted to help students learn math and see math in a different light.”
With a master’s degree in hand, Mallory returned to her alma mater CAC, where she taught math for seven years, coming face to face with inequality in the classroom. There, she learned that money could be the deciding factor between a student’s success and failure. And there, GraphLock was born.
Mallory is now an award-winning entrepreneur devoting her career to GraphLock -- and bringing math to the masses. Because to her, it’s more than an app, it’s a mission.
“I want to make STEM education more accessible for all students,” she says. “One download at a time.”