In my HSC I did 3 unit maths (now called Maths Extension 1), and my results were 99/100 for the 2 unit exam, 48/50 for the 3 unit exam, 96/100 for the 2 unit assessments and 49/50 for the 3 unit assessments.
At high school (Blaxland High, in the Blue Mountains, not far from Penrith) I also achieved at least distinction results in all of the five years I entered the Australian Mathematics Competition for the Westpac Awards.
I was younger then, and (like the true maths nerd) it looks a lot like my Mum still cut my hair. If only there had been "Beauty and the Geek" in those days, so I could have had my image professionally transformed.
In fact the producers of the TV show once contacted me to ask about appearing on the show. But I was already over the cutoff age of 30. So, unfortunately, I was left to arrange my own hair styling.
I was also dux of my primary school (Blaxland East Public School).
Imagine how it would feel as you discover that it really is possible to be good at maths.
If you have never felt like you understood maths, you have never had me as a tutor. There are a lot of big claims made in this industry, but I am not exaggerating when I say that I believe I have a greater ability to explain complex technical concepts than anyone I have ever been in a position to compare myself to. You will find me patient and sympathetic, I'll work with you at your pace, and I'll help you understand things better.
I have always been an extremely fast learner. I knew my colours at 9 months of age, and I taught myself to read at age two. Yes, honestly. My Grandfather told Mum that I must have memorised the books. He was a retired primary school teacher and headmaster, and he was sure that to read at my age was completely impossible. But Mum insisted that I could read, so he travelled 800 kilometres from Lismore to Blaxland to visit. He brought his own books (so I couldn't have already memorised them). To his astonishment, he found that I actually could read.
When I was ten years old, he lent me a book about how semiconductor electronic components work (like transistors and silicon computer chips). It was an adult book about subatomic physics — orbitals, free electrons, atomic numbers, holes, and stuff like that. My Grandfather had read the book but, although electronics had been his hobby and passion for many years, he couldn't understand it. So he lent it to me in the hope that I'd understand it at a deep enough level that I could explain it to him — which I did. After that, I moved on to another book in the same series about how microprocessors (i.e. computer CPUs) work.
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