Gifted Math Program Launches Alumna to MIT

Isabella Yeung is a 12th grade student at Millennium 6-12 Collegiate Academy in Broward County, Florida. She was part of the first cohort of public middle school students to complete the Elements of Mathematics: Foundations (EMF) math program for highly gifted and talented youth. Isabella recently emailed the following update and gave IMACS permission to post it on our blog.

Hello IMACS,

I’m not sure if you remember me, but I was a member of EMF’s inaugural class in Broward County Public Schools. I just wanted to thank you again for this amazing math program.

This past fall, I applied early action to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am thrilled to report that I was accepted! I know that I would not have been able to get into MIT without EMF having fostered my passion for math and creativity and opening up many opportunities.

EMF changed my life.

EMF changed my life. I found great enjoyment in being a part of the program. Although it was stressful at times, it was the good kind of stress that helped me to grow. Not only did I learn advanced math concepts and gain a deeper appreciation for mathematical writing, but EMF set me on a path to achieving big things.

For example, I was one of 105 students in Florida to be chosen as a 2021 Sunshine State Scholar, an honor awarded to the state’s top 11th graders in STEM subjects. (Two of the three winners from Broward County were EMF graduates.)

Because of the head start that EMF gave me, by the end of 10th grade I was able to complete Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Calculus 3, and Differential Equations through the University of Florida Dual Enrollment program and earned great grades in all of them.

I currently have 13 math classes on my high school transcript with the majority being dual enrollment. I expect to have 15 by the time I graduate high school.

I am confident that this helped me to stand out in my application to MIT.

Completing EMF in middle school allowed me to take four more UF Dual Enrollment math courses than my high school peers who were not in EMF. I am confident that this helped me to stand out in my application to MIT.

My high grades in the UF courses also helped me to convince my high school counselor to let me teach. Since 11th grade, I have been teaching my own AP Calculus BC class at my high school. Oddly enough, the first AP Calculus BC class that I taught had my own peers/friends in it, but that just goes to show how much of a boost EMF gives.

Teaching was a fun experience! I am planning on breaking into my math teacher’s class next year and giving a surprise lesson on pseudomath.

From the bottom of my heart, I am truly grateful for the EMF math program and for all the EMF professors who answered my questions, as well as everyone at IMACS who helped me along the way in my journey! 🙂

Thanks a 10^6!
-Isabella Yeung

Additional Commentary by EMF Graduates