National Merit Scholar Allen Fang Picks Princeton
Scholar: Allen Fang
Hometown: Eden Prairie
High School: Edina High School
High School GPA: 12
College: Princeton University
Probable Area of Study in College: Math
Past Extracurricular Activities:
In Shanghai: Global Issues Network (Founder/Head), Model UN (THIMUN Singapore), Spanish Honor Society/Spanish Club (We ran fundraisers for various charity causes through taco sales. We also translated a Spanish cookbook into English and Chinese.), National Honor Society;
In Minnesota: Math Team (captain; team was 2nd this season), Model UN (Best Delegation at both the Hamlin 2011, 2012, Macalaster 2011)
Academic Honors: Qualified for the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination) of 2010, 2011, 2012; Highest School AMC 12 Score: 2010, 2012; Euclid Score of Distinction 2009, 2010 (Highest school score both years); Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Key (2012), Silver Key (2012), and Honorable Mention (2011, 2012); National Counsel of Teacher of English (NCTE); Achievements in Writing Outstanding Writer award; Qualification for the Semifinals of the US Physics Team Selection; Qualification for the National Chemistry Olympiad; Semifinalist for the US President's Scholars
Q: First off, what are you doing in China?
A: I was born in Minneapolis but I moved to China when I was 10 (in the winter of 2005) because of my dad's job situation. I attended Concordia International School until 2010 when I moved back to Minnesota to finish my junior and senior year of high school. Concordia allows former students to walk graduation with their peers who are still there, so I came back this year to walk graduation with the rest of my old classmates. I'm also just visiting friends and family while I'm here and I'm hoping to go around China with a few friends later in the summer.
Q: What are your plans after high school graduation?
A: Immediately after graduation, I'm going to just work and play my way through summer. Relax after a good senior year. I'm planning on attending Princeton University in the fall. I chose this college because, well, it was the best college that I got accepted to, but also because it has one of the world's best math programs. It's also not a huge college like the University of Michigan or University of Minnesota. It's close enough to big cities like New York City and Philadelphia to visit them on the weekends, but far away enough to get some peace when you need it. Also, the campus is absolutely gorgeous.
Q: What area of study do you want to pursue in college? Why?
A: Math. It's certainly not a popular major, but I think math is very beautiful. For me, one of the best feelings ever is when math “just works” and everything sorts itself out on paper. I like fiddling with numbers and theorems and working my way through a tough problem to arrive at the solution. Solving a problem is satisfying, and, the thing is, you're almost never done with a problem. Problems generalize; problems can be solved in multiple ways. Math is a subject where you can never be done, and you can never claim to have "learned it all." There's always something else to explore and learn in math. I suppose that's why I'm majoring in math. Almost feels like an adventure story—even if it's a nerdy one.
Q: Any extracurricular activities you plan to participate in while in college?
A: I'm hoping to be involved in some math-related activities. I'm not sure what form these activities would be in, but something similar to Math Team would be fun. I'm also planning on competing in the Putnum competition and tutoring others in math. I also hope to do Model UN, which I've done since seventh grade. It's an activity that has helped me broaden my horizons. It's improved my public speaking and presentation skills, enhanced my negotiation skills, and taught me valuable research skills, and I hope to continue participating in it through high school.
Q: What was your favorite class in high school? Why?
A: My favorite class in high school was definitely the Pre-AP English Literature class I took in Shanghai with Mr. Munson. I'm normally a math and science guy, but I enjoyed that class most. It was dynamic, and Mr. Munson taught literature in a way that made it more than the words of a dead (or living) people completely unrelated to us. He also taught us how to write and helped me find my passion for writing.
Q: What do you look forward to most about college?
A: Academically, I'm looking forward to being able to take courses in subjects I'm actually interested in. High school offers you a variety, but it's limited and there's still requirements every year for what specific classes you have to take. I'm looking forward to being able to choose classes based on how interested I am in them rather than fulfilling graduation requirements. I feel like it will make learning more fun, more dynamic, and definitely more enjoyable. I'm also looking forward to just being able to live on my own and take my first steps towards fending for myself in the "real world."
Q: What will you miss most about high school?
A: Definitely my friends. They've helped me through a lot of tough times and pulled me through a lot of situations I wouldn't have gotten out of save them. I'm going to miss them and having them close by in college.
Q: A lot of factors went into deciding the National Merit Scholarship recepients (academic record, difficulty of classes, standardized test scores, leadership in school and activities, and an essay, etc.). If you had to pick a strongpoint in your accomplishments, what do you think played a major role in you earning a national merit scholarship?
A: If I had to pick one single thing that played a major role in my earning a National Merit Scholarship, it'd be that I'm well-rounded. I'm good at math, but I'm also good at writing. Also, I think the time I spent in Shanghai gave me a different perspective on life and the world and helped me earn a National Merit Scholarship.
As I'm sure you've noticed, each month we include book picks by Eden Prairie Librarians and drink suggestions from Eden...
Anchor Brewing & Distilling Co. was founded in San Francisco more than 100 years ago and resurrected in 1967 by the...
Governor Mark Dayton’s choice of Lake Waconia as the site for the 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener brought some extra...