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High School Math Whiz Gives Stimulus A+

New Jersey high schooler Steven Castellano spoke with Big Think today on all things neuroscientific. His forte is brain science, but we wouldn’t let him leave without first telling us about his recent coup with the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge.

The High Technology High School student sat down at 7 a.m. on March 7 with a group of 4 other similarly quantitatively gifted friends and for the next 14 hours devised a mathematical argument that the stimulus plan will indeed work. Using Okun’s law and a reserve of chocolate-covered epresso beans, the team analyzed the administration’s bailout plan. By 8 p.m. they had drafted a 19-page document.

The specifics: tax cuts will generate 1,040,074 new jobs, education will produce 602,878 new jobs and infrastructure will create 499,554 new jobs. Unfortunately, unemployment will only fall to 6.22% by 2012.

After the judges–mathematicians at the City University of New York–weighed in, Castellano’s team beat out 389 teams comprising 2,000 students to win the challenge. They took home a $20,000 check.

Castellano’s other accomplishments include a ground-breaking study on acupressure that was snapped up by the U.S. Army. Stay tuned for the full interview at Big Think shortly.


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