Freshman Sam Eisenbach excels among seniors

by | October 17, 2017 | in News | No Comments

Find dy/dx if y=7x+9sin(3-x^2)

The teacher lifted her hand off the board and stepped away. The upperclassmen in fifth period AP Calculus AB stared at it, desperately trying to figure out how to solve the problem. A familiar silence ensued, one most have experienced when no one can answer the question put forth. The teacher looked around, rapidly losing any hope that someone could solve it. Right before she gave up and moved on with the lesson, a student raised his hand. Freshman Sam Eisenbach saved the class.

Math teacher Amy Dunn-Ruiz teaches that Calculus AB class.

“[Eisenbach]  came up and explained one of the more challenging proofs to the class and was a very good presenter. He explained clearly in a way that I think the rest of the class was able to understand,” she said.

During the summer, Eisenbach decided to finish Math Analysis so he could start Calculus AB during his first year of high school.

“I shut myself in my room and studied 10 hours a day of Math Analysis” Eisenbach said.

Sam has been teaching himself math in this fashion even before he entered the middle school.

“In fifth grade I was teaching myself sixth and seventh grade math using Khan Academy,” Eisenbach said. “At the end of 5th grade, I took a test to go into Common Core 8, and took that course.”

At this point he was already two grade levels ahead, but he didn’t stop there. Going into seventh grade, he took a test to skip freshman level math.

Dunn-Ruiz said over the past month, she has noted the unique work ethic and passion for math that Eisenbach possesses.

“The fact that he spent the summer getting ready for the class shows that he must have fun doing math, and I love that he has that enthusiasm.” Dunn-Ruiz said.

Eisenbach said he has taken no outside courses and taught himself all of the courses he has skipped, through Khan Academy or using the textbook from the school curriculum.

Despite the amount of time Eisenbach has put into math , he said he does not plan to pursue a career in it.

“Although I like math, my main interest is science,” Eisenbach said. “I want to be a quantum physicist when I grow up.”

Dunn-Ruiz and counselor Amanda Carlson both said they have  never heard of a freshman in Calculus before.

However, Eisenbach isn’t the only freshman that has reached a typically upperclassmen math class . Freshman Thomas Chu is in Honors Math Analysis this year.

Honors Math Analysis includes curriculum from both Math Analysis and Calculus AB, so Eisenbach and Chu will both take Calculus BC next year.

“After Calculus BC, we’ll probably go to Cal [junior year] and do multivariable calculus or linear algebra.” Eisenbach said.