Name: Yogeshwar Velingker, age 11
School/Church: Orefield Middle School, sixth grade; attends Hindu temple in Allentown.
Greatest Accomplishment: Winning first place in the 27th Annual Lehigh Valley MATHCOUNTS regional competition held earlier this month, giving him the opportunity to move on to the state level of the national “Olympics of Math” sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers. He will compete March 18-19 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hotel in Hershey. If he finishes in the top four, he will travel to Washington, D.C. in May to vie for national honors.
Key to awesomeness: His humility. Yogeshwar, or “Yoge” as OMS MATHCOUNTS club sponsor Brian Fulmer calls him, is quiet and unassuming in spite of the fact that he just competed against---and topped---middle-school students older than himself. He has an innocence about him that is indicative of his youth, and does not appear to realize the impact of his recent win: He’s just a pre-teen going about the business of a normal pre-teen, except that he has an exceptional mind for math and science (his favorite subjects). When asked if he thinks he’ll win at the state competition, that humility shines through with a simple answer: “Maybe.” For his MATHCOUNTS win, Yogeshwar won a scholarship entitling him to take math courses at an area college during his senior year in high school, a trophy and a gift card from a local merchant. He has been playing the violin “for fun” for the past two years, and is a member of the OMS orchestra. Away from school he says he likes hiking during the summer and playing in the snow in winter. Although he doesn’t know what he wants to do after college, he says his career will be in the fields of mathematics or science, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Ameya, who holds math degrees from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge, London.
Editor's note: Submit your nomination for Whiz Kid in our comment box below or e-mail the information to email@example.com.