A young man who went to MIT is still making us proud.
David Van Valen set the trend years ago when he was accepted into the prestigious institution at just 14.
While other kids his age were mastering videogames and hip-hop lyrics, David was preparing to dominate the future, taking a whopping 25 college courses while he was in high school, which he started at the “wise old age” of 10.
Halfway through the sixth grade, the work was just too easy. So, David’s mother petitioned to have him sent directly to high school. When the school said no, she simply did what any good parent would do: Worked around the system. She and her husband had David and his brother Joseph homeschooled for two years, giving them a far better education than the one they would have received in any public (or even private) school system.
By the way, Joseph (David’s brother) was also admitted to MIT at the age of 15. But that’s another story for another day.
David says that homeschool was a better fit for him than standardized education. When he entered high school at age 10, he was way ahead of his peers in terms of educational preparation. When he left school, he was doing Algebra 1, but when he returned he was doing Calculus.
He took 25 college courses while there, earning mostly As and just a few Bs. David majored in Math and Physics while at MIT, getting degrees in both fields. He then attended The California Institute of Technology, where he earned his PhD in 2011. Two years later, he earned his MD from Stanford.
David has numerous awards under his belt, including the Johns Hopkins Mathematics Talent Search, Honors at the National Chemistry Olympiad, a NIH MSTP Fellowship, and a Fannie and John Hertz Yaser Abu-Mostafa Graduate Fellowship.
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