Defying the Low Expectations of a School Career Counselor

Interview date:

December 3, 2020

Dr. Parves Khan

Research & Insight Director

Dr. Parves Khan talks about her job as a research director responsible for using data, AI and machine learning to invent new online learning experiences for students and their teachers. She talks about the influence of teachers who showed her a world beyond her childhood in a low-income community and discovering the power of using math, data, statistics and storytelling for problem-solving.

"The point about not doing well academically, this shouldn't hinder you in life. I really hated maths and STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] subjects and look at me now. I use math all the time. I became almost a statistician. A lot of the problem is the way these subjects are taught. They're not taught in a way in which kids are really engaged with them. They do kind of find them off-putting. Luckily, I started to love those subjects as I got older. At the end of the day, the kind of math you use at work isn't necessarily the way you get taught maths at school. You're not necessarily going to use algebra but you are going to be using day-to-day maths. I wish they would really use math in a way which was more applied so people can really see the relevance of it once they go into the world of work."


  • Schools: Teach math in the context of discovery and problem-solving.
  • Parents: Encourage kids to explore math and data in the world around them.
  • Encourage kids to challenge low expectations of them by others