'Cracking the Code' wins Intel Science Talent Search

Honoring high school seniors with exceptional promise in math and science, Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the winners of America's most elite and demanding high school research competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.

Danville resident and Venture student Evan O'Dorney, 17, won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his mathematical project in which he compared two ways to estimate the square root of an integer.

Evan discovered precisely when the faster way would work. As a byproduct of Evan's research he solved other equations useful for encrypting data. This furthered an interest he developed as early as age 2, when he was checking math textbooks out of the library.

"After mulling the problem over in my head for nearly a year," Evan wrote in his application. "I began generating and studying large amounts of computer data that ultimately led to a solution."

Evan was one of 11 California finalists to make it to the national level and competed against 39 students from across the country.

"The creativity and leadership of these 40 Intel Science Talent Search mathematicians and scientists hold tremendous potential to move our country forward," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "They are already addressing real-world problems like cancer treatment, disease prevention and national security. We need to identify the common characteristics that inspired these high school seniors to successfully revitalize math and science education nationwide."

Evan said he hopes to attend Harvard University where he will study to become a mathematics professor.

"I'm a mathematician," he said when asked what he hopes his research will accomplish. "I do mathematics for purely mathematical reasons."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Master
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:31 am

The decisions from Harvard have already been mailed. So, did he get in or not? Or where his supposed "long list of acceptances?" I thought MIT would be more likely if mathematics suits you.

Also, can you publish his scores for the SAT and ACT? As well as his scores on the California Exit Exam, and or multiple STAR testing? He should have the perfect score.

How can the school district put all the eggs in one basket? How can they not encourage other students with an even greater potential?

Here is the proof:

Web Link

 +   Like this comment
Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Mar 16, 2011 at 5:44 am

Doesn't his movie come out this week? Web Link

And when does he go public (no, not driving -- Stock!)?

Congrats, Evan! You done yourself and your family very proud!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Mar 16, 2011 at 6:37 am

Master, looks like you need to learn to read (and write coherently for that matter).

Harvard decisions don't go out until "late March/early April" according to the link that YOU posted. Way to look like a fool.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerold Kaplan, M.D.
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Ignoring the above comments, Evan, congratulations on your honor and particularly on you accomplishments in mathematics. Math is one of the purest, and simultaneously simplest yet most difficult, areas of study. May you stay true to your interest, continue to learn and teach, and succeed in your chosen profession.

Again, my sincerest congratulations.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jessica Lipsky
a resident of Danville
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm


I don't think it's fair to assume that the school district is putting all their eggs in one basket or that they don't "encourage other students with an even greater potential." If you've found inequities in SRVUSD, please let me know. Also, SAT and ACT records are not public documents.

Furthermore, check out today's article on the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Several schools in the district participated and more than a handful are going to the national competition -- what an opportunity.

As a SRVUSD grad and Oakland resident, students here are afforded many more opportunities and support here than they are in many Oakland Unified schools. Just FYI.

Jessica Lipsky

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Congratulations Evan! Do you tutor?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah DeJesus
a resident of Danville
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Congratulations Evan!! I'm very excited for you and can't wait to see what's next!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barb
a resident of Danville
on Mar 17, 2011 at 7:50 am

Congrats Evan! Please ignore the comments by "Master". Clearly he/she is not in your academic league. Their ignorant comments prove that and there will always be those who are jealous. I am so happy for you and wish you all the best in your future.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm

jrm is a registered user.

I am sure Evan has no time for this pedantic blog...way to go!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Danville Parent
a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Master you are a MORON!

Congratulations to you Evan wish you the very best in all you do!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2011 at 8:44 am

To Danville Parent: parents need to be role models and teach others not to name call. I am a Danville parent, and I am ashamed of your comment. Even "Master" didn't name call in his (?) comment!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Danville Parent
a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Marie - EXCUSE me Mrs. perfect! We need to be happy for this young man not make comments like that. AND since I am not perfect I will say it again... Moron!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Danville Parent
a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Oh Again Congratulations Evan well done!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Danville Parent: I never said I was perfect, but I try to be a good role model, and my children will never hear me swear or call anyone a name.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Another bad idea from the air board
By Tim Hunt | 20 comments | 2,554 views

Bidding My Training Dept. Goodbye
By Roz Rogoff | 4 comments | 588 views