Monday, October 24, 2005

Who got admitted to Harvard?

Here is an article from Seattle Times Jun 3 2004, featuring a student now in his 2nd year at Harvard.

Jie Tang, Bellevue High School

"Jie Tang could probably teach a class or two at Bellevue High School, no problem at all.

The 18-year-old understands the language of math and science like few young people in the whole country, his teachers say.

As a junior, he was one of just 54 U.S. students chosen to participate in a six-week intensive Research Science Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Another internship took him to Beijing, where he worked with grad students in computer science.

"I'm on the edge of my seat to see what he ends up doing in this world," said school counselor Yvette Cook.

A semifinalist in the national Presidential Scholars competition, Tang graduates with a 4.0 grade-point average and starts at Harvard University in the fall. His intellect is stunning, teachers say. He can easily play with esoteric concepts like "combinatorics" and "Cauchy properties." Yet Tang practices humility. "I'm into the whole math-science thing," he says simply.

Born in China, Tang has spent most of his life in the U.S., first in Ohio and later in Washington state. His plans after college aren't clear, though for him a career as an entrepreneur has a certain ring to it.

As president of Bellevue's Youth Link, a city service that funds activities for youth, Tang has maintained its Web site, dispatched volunteer drivers for Safe Rides, and created and taught an introductory computer class for older residents. He's also raised about $20,000 for cancer research as part of a 10-person Relay for Life team.

School has sometimes been a challenge even for Tang. He credits one teacher in particular, Mary Park Christie, for inspiring him, and said he carries one simple message: "Don't give up. That's the most important thing."

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