Timothy Kelley first had the idea for AreteLabs as a part-time, volunteer Rowing Coach at his high school alma mater. A fierce proponent of the erg (rowing machine), over time he realized that student athletes improved most, and dramatically so, when they were tested routinely (weekly) on the machine, as opposed to infrequently or randomly.
Wondering if and how this regimen might be reproduced in the academic setting, he enrolled at Harvard Kennedy School and began studying education policy. There he came across the work of the of the most cited sociologist of the 20th century, James Coleman, specifically his seminal article published in the Harvard Education Review, "Academic Achievement and the Structure of Competition". It would become the theoretical foundation for the entire AreteLabs concept.
Three years of software development later, Math Madness was the first of the AreteLabs to be released. Two years and a National Science Foundation grant since, the original vision is now nearing completion.