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GNS Student Scores Remarkable 97% on University-Level Calculus Exam at UBC

Math genius at GNS scores 97 on University calculus exam.

On the concluding afternoon of the academic term in June 2023, Joseph He `25 completed a rigorous 3-hour examination in an impressive 2.5 hours and achieved a 97% score. Remarkably, this feat was accomplished on Joseph’s last day of Grade 10.

Now in Grade 11, Joseph shared that developing his exceptional math skills has taken a lot of hard work and he credited his ongoing success as a combination of natural talent and rigorous practice. 

“I don’t think I was really good at math in elementary school, but I started practicing competitive math in Grade 4, kept learning it, and put extra effort outside of the classroom by finding more challenging problems to solve.”

He explained that his success in the calculus exam for UBC was built on a foundation of prior knowledge, so he entered the exam feeling confident with what he already knew.

IB Maths and Mathematics Co-Head at GNS, Mr. Giommi said that Joseph’s accomplishments are self-led. “He’s done all of these things on his own, I just had to show up and invigilate the exam for him. He’s participated in mathematics contests in the Lower Mainland, and his name is on almost every trophy in the GNS trophy case.”

When asked about his future aspirations, Joseph said that he has an interest in studying computer science for math at a university in the United States. “Computer science requires a lot of logic, and it tells the computer what to do.”

For students struggling with math, Joseph offered valuable advice. “You have to understand what formulas mean rather than just remember them. When you’re learning a new formula, try to understand it, think about where it comes from, and if you don’t, ask yourself if you can get to the formula by yourself.”

Mr. Giommi explained that math is a gateway course in university, and because Joseph is so proficient at math, many doors will be open for him. “Joseph is being very humble here, and there is a lot of practice, work and effort that goes in behind the scenes. It takes a lot of work, and it’s a unique subject.”

Not only is Joseph an exceptional math student, he also contributes to GNS in many other ways through sports  such as badminton and basketball, and through GNS Launchpad, run by the Director of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Jon Hamlin. 

Joseph’s exceptional achievement serves as an inspiration for students and educators, and shows the potential for excellence when passion, dedication and a love for learning come together. As he sets his sights on a future in computer science, the world eagerly awaits the continued accomplishments of this young mathematical prodigy.