When Thomas Swayze started out at Canyon Crest Academy four years ago, he signed up for the most advanced math classes the high school could offer.
As a freshman, he took Calculus. As a sophomore, Calculus 3 and as a junior, Statistics.
"He would definitely be considered a prodigy," said Canyon Crest Academy's math teacher Brian Shay.
Now as a senior, Swayze may have to take math classes at a local community college or university.
"For Thomas, it's him against the math and him against himself. He definitely loves solving these tough problems and figuring out how to make them work," Shay said.
As the first student in San Diego County to be selected for the International Math Olympiad (IMO), Swayze is now preparing for the big competition.
He is currently at the University of Nebraska with the Mathematics Association of America in a three-week summer math progam.
"He learns how to solve really tough problems that college students would solve," adds Shay. "He's among the top math students in the nation."
Once Swayze gets back from the math program, he will compete at the IMO.
He will be part of a six-student team with students from all over the country who will represent the United States.
"Historically, our team has placed in the top five in the world. The top teams usually shuffle between China, Romania, Russia and the U.S., so it’s a little bit up in the air how it might go, but he definitely has a good chance of being in the top," said Shay enthusiastically about Swayze placing in the international competition.
The IMO will be held in Mar de Plata, Argentina on July 4.