On April 1, it was revealed that Casey Wetherbee ’17 had qualified for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) to be held on April 19 and 20. Wetherbee was the only student at IHS, as well as the first naturalized Japanese citizen since 1853, to qualify for this prestigious event.
“I don’t think any of us saw this coming,” said Severin Drix, Wetherbee’s math teacher, who has presided over 47 years of mathematical mediocrity at the school. “But if there was any student with even an epsilon of a chance to qualify, I’d have to say it’d be Casey.”
Hailed by many of his close friends and peers as a “genius,” and even a “progidy,” Wetherbee has had a legacy of mathematical excellence since he arrived at IHS. Receiving a perfect 100 percent on Algebra 1 homework completion assignments in his freshman year, he went on to score in the second percentile on the statewide Common Core Regents Exam.
“I think that means he was in the top two percent of scorers, which is absolutely tremendous,” said his half-brother Aidan “Luc Wetherbee” Peck ’17. “Some of our classmates were getting scores in the 80th and 90th percentiles, but Casey was the only one below the 50th percentile. That’s huge. Like, bigly huge. You wouldn’t believe how huge the gap was.” Wetherbee went on to be a top performer in Regents Geometry and Algebra 2. Confidence bolstered by his consistently strong performances, completing nearly 90 percent of the assigned tests, Wetherbee is currently taking the infamously difficult Advanced Placement Calculator Use BC course (AP Calc, for short). As you’d come to expect from Wetherbee, he exceeded all expectations by returning his calculator use form to the school within weeks of receiving it from Drix. This earned him both an A+ in the course and an exemption from doing math for the rest of the year, allowing him to focus on pursuing his dream as a part-time liberal arts major at Penn State University.
“The level of abstraction in Casey’s understanding of math is just perfect,” gushed Benjamin Kirk, one of Wetherbee’s former tutors. “His knowledge is fractal-esque; you know, like one of those Mandelbrot Set things. Wait, maybe it was the Menger Sponge. But either way, the metaphor works, like, both are recursive and full of holes here and there…. Hold on, that didn’t quite come out right.”
According to a reliable source, Wetherbee was so thrilled when he received the news of his qualification that he fainted. He may have been “triggered,” the source said, a term that seems to refer to the joy and excitement Wetherbee feels when he is exposed to mathematics.
Wetherbee was confined at the Cayuga Medical Center and not available for comment.
All of us nevertheless have high hopes for Wetherbee as the date of the event draws closer. Working in conjunction with high-ranking clubs such as Brain Team—ranked 8th in the nation—Model UN, and of course The Tattler, Wetherbee’s formidable skills are sure to bedazzle come the date of the competition.
“The one mystery is, though, Casey never took any of the preliminary math competitions like the AMC or AIME, so how exactly did he qualify for the USAMO?” asked Tristan Engst ’17, but as usual everyone ignored him.