Buchholz senior wins statewide Siemens Award

Jeremy Liu was named the Siemens Merit Scholarship recipient for Florida, shown in class at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., Monday, January 30, 2012. Seven of the last nine recipients from Florida were from Buchholz High School.

Erica Brough/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.

Jeremy Liu, a 17-year-old senior at Buchholz High School, creates math tests for fun — and passes college-level math tests with ease.

“I have a weird sense of fun,” he said.

Liu was named a 2011 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement state winner. The Siemens Foundation designates the top male and female students of each state who earn the highest score on AP tests in math and science.

Buchholz has produced seven of the past 10 winners, including 2010 winners Hansol Kang and Alexander Sappington. Like many of his predecessors, Liu also is a member of Buchholz’s national championship Mu Alpha Theta team, headed by math teacher Will Frazer.

Liu took 15 tests overall and scored a 5, the highest score possible, on all except one: Spanish language. “That test is very hard,” he said laughing.

Liu has an affinity for math and science, because “you learn how things work,” he said. The same isn’t true for subjects like English and history, he said.

“They often just tell you the straight up facts,” he said. “The interesting part comes in history, when you interpret the winning and losing side. So the controversy, especially in recent history, is what’s interesting, not the straight truth.”

Liu also plays golf and tennis to “explore the other side of the brain other than the left, analytical side,” he said.

His parents have provided a gentle support system throughout his academic career, Liu said.

“They’re not the typical Asian, intellectual, pushy parents,” he said. “They support you. If you ask for help, they’ll help.”

Liu said he’s unsure where he will attend college, but he has already been accepted to Yale.

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