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Although the average student doesn’t usually take Calculus until college, freshman Lyndon Ji is currently enrolled in AP Calculus BC

By Tommy Sneider
<tsneider@hilite.org>

How did you manage to master higher level math?
My dad’s a math professor at IUPUI. I started to learn precalc in fifth grade because my dad taught groups of students at our house.

What is it like being in AP Calculus BC as a freshman?
It’s really not that different from a normal class. It’s not always easy, but you have to have time to understand it yourself and redo it yourself.

Why did you decide to go ahead of everyone else and take more advanced math classes?
I would be stuck in classes that I already took, which is not fun. My dad actually teaches groups of students at his house a few times every week, and so I just attended those.

What did you do during classes in elementary and middle school?
I can’t really say much about that, but I just kind of dozed off. I started learning at the same time as everyone else, but I had nothing better to do, so my dad taught me in the car rides back and from school in kindergarten.

What do you plan to take after AP Calculus BC?
I’ll probably take multivariable calculus, but I’ll probably get demoted to AP Statistics as a junior.

What are your plans after high school?
Probably go to college and get a PhD in a field related to math, finance or maybe math itself, I’m not sure.

What is the hardest thing you have ever learned in math?
It would probably be linear algebra. It delves deeper into matrix theory, which is kind of an obscure topic for many people. Once you understand it, it’s not as bad.

What is your favorite topic in math?
Math has a really wide variety of topics, but right now number theory or geometry are probably my favorites.

What is it like being in class where most or all of the students are upperclassmen?
It’s not too bad. I already know a lot of them because some of them took my dad’s class.

How does math help you in your everyday life or even in classes at school?
Math is related to science and other topics, but I’m not sure. It just kind of eliminates the math causing trouble in high school.

What did you get on the SAT?
I got an 800 for the math portion. The SAT isn’t really advanced if you compare it to other competitions or tests.

Is it challenging being in such a high math course?
Not really.

Does the math in AP Calculus BC come naturally to you?
Sort of. Some parts are easier to understand, and others you just have to work it out by yourself and why everything is what it is.

Do you consider yourself a genius in math?
No, not even close. Those people learn everything by themselves, and they have the creativity that’s needed to find what most people will never have because it’s very hard to come by.

How much time do you spend on math homework every night?
I don’t do math homework. It kind of comes naturally to me, but my dad helps me out too.

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