Danville teen wins prestigious Intel science prize

March 18, 2011 6:03:36 PM PDT
A Danville teenager is back home in the Bay Area after winning the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search for high school students. He is the first ever winner from the Bay Area.

Playing the piano is just one of the 17-year-old Evan O'Dorney many gifts. Earlier this week, Evan flew to Washington D.C. to pick up the $100,000 prize for winning the Intel Science Talent Search.

"I did a math project about approximately a square root with fractions," Evan explained. "I compared two methods, the classic method, which gives the most accurate results possible and the dynamic method, which is a faster computation."

Though his IQ has never been measured, Evan's parents knew their only child was exceptional.

"He was 19 months old when he could count to 20, he knew equals at 20 months," Evan's mother Jennifer O'Dorney said.

At age 5, Evan taught himself to play piano. In 2007, he won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Homeschooled, Evan will head off to Harvard in the fall. In the meantime, he takes graduate level math courses at UC Berkeley.

And what does Evan do for fun?

"Well sometimes I work on math problems for my own fun; I can remember getting breaks like at Thanksgiving and exploring all these neat mathematical ideas," Evan said.

And like any teenager, he's looking forward to getting his driver's license.

"I'm still learning, and I'm probably going to get my license soon," Evan said.

It's about the only test Evan has yet to pass.


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