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Dear Mitch,

I am a high school student at a large public high school on the East Coast of the United States, and my mother, who has been looking around on the internet to help me find a summer job that would be in line with my passion for math, came across something that said you were considering a summer intern at Adler-n-Subtract. I asked my guidance counselor, and she said she'd look into it, so until I hear back from her I thought I'd just write in and find out for myself. Is it true, and how can a person apply?


Yours truly,


Self-proclaimed Math Geek and Captain of Girls' Volleyball Team




Dear S.P.M.G.A.C.O.G.V.T.,

Yes, it is true that there will be a summer intern, our first, and we are very excited about it.

However, the person has already been selected. We decided on a selection process that is, I believe, not one of the more commonly used methods, but it is also one that is not without precedent. And in this case it worked well.

Rather than advertise or even post the idea that we were looking for a high school student who loved mathematics and problem-solving and teaching and learning and reading and who was what they call in the personnel department (sometimes called 'human resource department') a 'self-starter', we discovered that we had already received enough inquiries from students who proved themselves self-starters by contacting us with the idea itself and a brief outline of their credentials and how they envisioned themselves contributing.

And although we had the good fortune of meeting a number of impressive candidates in the process, it quickly became clear that we found a match with one young woman who, through the magic of fate, lived within a reasonable commuting distance!

We planned to post a photograph of her next week, and we will stick to that plan. However, we are too enthusiastic (as is she), to hold off on every part of the planned schedule until its predetermined date, so here is a sneak preview:

The first time Elan Nguyen was introduced to numbers, she fell in love with them. She won her first math competition, "Math  Superstars", in fifth grade and went on to become the first "mathlete" to pull off a three-peat in the Sarasota-Manatee-Venice junior high MathCounts Competition. Today she continues to enjoy and place high in high school regional and state math competitions as a member of Mu Alpha Theta. When not fueling her passion for math, Elan enjoys cracking word jumbles and Sudoku puzzles, playing the piano, and catching an occasional hour of reality television. Her other passions include cooking, playing basketball, and reading -- ranging from Harry Potter to the New York Times, focusing equally on world events and the comics. Most recently, she stumbled upon, and soon proposed that she become its first "Summer Intern". 
     "And the rest," Mitch Adler states, smiling, "will be history."

     We welcome Elan aboard!