‘If I Have a Choice Between Math and Almost Anything Else, I Choose Math.’


Fifteen-year-old Zachary Young is very smart. He's also very brave: After getting into Harvard, MIT, and Caltech during his sophomore year in high school, Young agreed to pose in the New York Post with his acceptance letters, wearing a Math Team T-shirt. Because, you see, he really loves math and is not into a lot of the other things that make teenagers tick, like TV or music. "If I have a choice between math and almost anything else," he told the normally wickedly incisive tabloid, which somehow managed to restrain itself for once, "I choose math."

Young is impatient, especially with those folks who just don't get math. "A lot of people have the misconception that it's plugging and chugging," he said. "That's not real math. Real math is basically proving things and solving problems." Young has already taken every math and science class Stuyvesant has to offer. "I wasn't sure what classes I'd be able to take next year," said Zach, who attended the private Ethical Culture Fieldston School through fifth grade before switching to the Anderson School in sixth. "I really just applied to college to give myself options."

Ah, yes. This is why the kid will emerge from this situation unscathed: at 15 he got into MIT just because he didn't have anything better to do.

'Mind' boggling [NYP]