Success Story – DEBBIE

Breaking the Mould – the story of a Math genius who refused to stand still.

In today’s fast-paced technological world, if you stand still you will not stand out. In our 13 years in business we have worked with scores of brilliant students. One thing we have learned is that being brilliant doesn’t necessarily set you apart. So your son or daughter may be a math or science genius, but when applying to top schools – they will be one of many.

We understand that the key is to take raw talent and add to it, breaking the mould. Students need to show that they understand the brave new world, that they are not stuck in a rut. And that means investigating the importance of new majors. So you take a math whizz and add MATLAB or mathematica to it and bingo! You get an Encryption Theme.

An example of this wizardry in action was Debbie.

Debbie was a top math student at her school. She had done consistently well on her AMCs and had qualified for AIME three years in a row. She was the Captain of her math team and led her school to a #2 ranking in the state of Virginia.

Debbie was always fascinated by numbers and became obsessed with number theory in her preparations for the AMC. She excitedly shared with us the moment when she first learned about “weird numbers,” like prime numbers and the Fibonacci series. When she learned she could use these to create ciphers for encrypting data, she was instantly hooked.

Encryption plays a large role in our daily lives, protecting our privacy and assets. It’s everywhere, but the people who actually make encryption possible are relatively few.

Creating the experts of the future

Working with one of our STEM specialist Mentors, Debbie learned MATLAB over a six-month period. She then worked intensively with the Mentor to lay out the logic of the encryption algorithm.

Working as a team, they then programmed it together in MATLAB and within a year’s time, they had completed a unique encryption project using the RSA cryptosystem. They outlined their findings in a research paper which was published in a high school math journal.

So with the help of her Mentor, Debbie added computer science to her love of math and created a unique Encryption theme. By diversifying her talent for math, Debbie was able to stand out from the other math stars.

Using our Encryption theme, Debbie finally gained admissions to MIT, Caltech, Columbia and Dartmouth, showing that change is always good.

Debbie’s Theme Summary



GPA: 3.9

SAT I: 2220

SAT IIs: Math IIc-800, Chemistry-800, Physics-800, Biology-800

Her school did not have any math classes beyond AP Calculus, so she took Linear Algebra at a community college.


Extracurriculars – Leadership

Captain of Math Team

Captain of Computer Science Club

Founder/President of Encryption Club

Extracurriculars – Scholarship

Learned MATLAB

Researched and wrote encryption paper

Published in high journal, Center for Complexity Education

Competitions and Achievements

AIME qualified 3 years

Top 3 in Virginia Math League

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