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Maths? It’s just a bit of fun

Not many students can say they take on extra examinations just for entertainment.

For Saltus head boy Nick Barton, who just got an A for a self-imposed A-level maths exam, the additional studies are exactly that.

Maths prodigies often express interest in Bermuda’s lucrative career path of becoming an actuary, but Nick, 18, laughed and shook his head: “Business isn’t for me. Right now I’m leaning to biochemistry.”

He added: “Maths isn’t even my favourite, but I’m definitely really good at it. I’m more of a science guy.”

After taking his own classes in the subject since year seven, the year 13 student also took maths GCSE early, and got a perfect SAT score of 800 in level two maths. He also completes two Advanced Placement (AP) maths topics this May.

Self-motivated Nick even found a way to take all three sciences at GCSE by teaching himself biology, after having to drop the subject in school.

“I did the same with one of my APs, statistics, because we only get calculus in class,” he said. “I just find it interesting. I know I’m definitely going to be a doctor, but I don’t know if it’s medical or a PhD. I think I’m more the kind for research.”

With interests that range from physics to transition metal chemistry, Nick expects to pursue research off-Island.

“It’s not that I don’t like Bermuda,” he said. “But you don’t find particle accelerators in islands.”

However, thanks to the internet, a world of knowledge is easily at hand through the sites of scientific journals.

Nick also advised: “Don’t underestimate how willing your teachers can be to help you research a subject.”

An avid squash player, he looks forward to squash summer camp work once the exams are over. Another hobby: tuned mallet percussion.

“That’s instruments like the glockenspiel and marimbas,” he said. “I couldn’t even tell you how I got started on that one. It’s crazy to hear all the different types of music that have marimbas. They’re in everything from classical music to Lil Wayne.”

Useful website: www.physorg.net.

Young Acheiver Nicholas Barton Saltus Head Boy. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published March 24, 2012 at 8:58 am (Updated March 24, 2012 at 8:57 am)

Maths? It’s just a bit of fun

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