Ridgevue valedictorian dreams of proving unsolved math problems

Nampa — When you ask Caleb Monoran why he thinks math is fascinating, his eyes get wide and he begins to smile. He then launches into an intense explanation about how math is much more than numbers — it’s about ideas.

“Math is a beautiful subject,” said the Ridgevue High School senior. “It’s intrinsically intricate and I call it the language of the universe.”

Caleb wants to launch into a mathematical discovery and solve theorems. He wants to find the greatest mysteries about the universe and solve the Riemann Hypothesis.

Riemann Hypothesis

“I’m very curious as to what interesting results I could yield and elicit out of such complexity,” Caleb said. “It looks very challenging and a complicated problem to take on.”

The Ridgevue valedictorian dreams of becoming a mathematician. His idol is Richard Feynman, an American theoretical physicist and an inventor of the atomic bomb.

“Feynman was an adventurous character and his theories and physics were pretty abstract,” Caleb said.

When Caleb was an eighth grader he taught himself trigonometry through Khan Academy. He was in pre-algebra at the time and wanted a challenge.

“That is when math sparked for me,” Caleb said.

Caleb has completed pre-algebra, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, pre-calculus and advanced placement (AP) calculus.

“He doesn’t need a class or a teacher to teach him what he wants to know,” said David Winkelman, a math teacher at Ridgevue high. “If he wants to learn something, he goes out and finds a way to learn it for himself.”

Caleb owns a 4.3 grade-point average and received a scholarship from Idaho State University where he will study mathematics. He will start college as a sophomore with 43 college credits between AP and dual credit classes.

“I can only imagine how Caleb Monoran will change this world as he leaves high school, but of this I am certain, Caleb will be a force for good,” said Julie Yamamoto, the principal at Ridgevue High.

Caleb solves math problems on his free time, including problems he finds on Facebook. He calls it mathematical doodling — when concepts and ideas come to mind.

“It’s a language I can speak in,” Caleb said. “I geek out on math.”

Caleb is fluent in Romanian, Spanish and French. He is a member of the track team, National Honors Society, the creative writing club and men’s choir.

“Maybe someday I’ll read something about Caleb and say, ‘hey, I was that kid’s math teacher’,” Winkelman said.

Fun facts about Caleb Monoran

  • Favorite drink? Sparkling ice black raspberry fruit water
  • Favorite sport to watch? Soccer
  • What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “Green Light” by Lorde, “Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, and “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going? Traveling to Europe (specifically Western and Eastern Europe)
  • Three things you can’t live without? My love for mathematics, the Internet and food
  • Favorite emoji 

Andrew Reed

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