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Jay Lorch: Mathematical Mind
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26336 Twelve Mile Rd. • Southfield
(At Northwestern Highway)
20247 Mack Avenue • Grosse Pointe Woods
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 1988
NAME: Jacob Rubin Lorch
OCCUPATION: Student and part-time
consultant for Omni Research in
FAMILY: Parents: Steven is the assistant
laboratory director for the Northville
Crime Lab, Michigan State Police;
Harriet is a substitute teacher in
Southfield. Sister Elisa and brother
David attend Southfield public schools.
Grandmothers Esther Blum and Rose
Lorch reside in New York.
EDUCATION: Jay was graduated from
Southfield-Lathrup High School at age
15. He will enter the honors program at
Michigan State University this fall.
SYNAGOGUE: Young Israel of Greenfield
ORGANIZATIONS: National Honor Society
FAVORITE BOOK: Dirk Gently's Holistic
Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. "I
enjoy other books by Adams, as well as
by Dave Barry, Steven King, Isaac
Asimov and Douglas Hofstadter."
HOBBIES: Listening to music, games of
all sorts, computers, reading and fiction
LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: "Entering
MSU on the four-year, full-tuition, room
and board, Alumni Distinguished
Scholarship. Also, national and
statewide recognition for a variety of
mathematics competitions and the
Benard L. Maas National Merit
BACKGROUND: Jay Lorch was born in
Washington, D.C., but moved to Lansing
as an infant, when his father began
working for the Michigan State Police
as a forensic chemist. His interest in
math began as a toddler, when he
became fascinated with counting. "I
started counting Cheerios," recalls
He began reading at age 18 months.
"My uncle didn't believe that I could
read. He thought I memorized the book,
so he covered up the words. But he
realized I was reading when I tried to
move his hand away!"
When Lorch entered kindergarten and
some students were beginning to add,
he was already multiplying. Lorch
attended Akiva Hebrew Day School
through fifth grade and then entered
Southfield public schools to complete his
When he entered middle school, he
took a few sixth grade classes, seventh
grade geography, eighth grade reading
and 11th grade math. At one point he
was taking classes from five different
grades. "It was like stretching a rubber
band across the grades!'
After sixth grade, he went directly
into ninth grade at Southfield-Lathrup.
Although Lorch skipped some grades, he
does not recommend it for everyone
because of the social pressures. When he
began studying calculus at age 11, he
was taking classes with high school
seniors. "Sometimes it made me feel
good. Sometimes it made me feel
isolated. But most of the time it made
me feel special?'
Throughout his school years he
excelled in math and began winning
mathematics competitions. In the last
two years, he placed first in the
Michigan Math League and second in
the Michigan Math Prize Competition.
When he completed the math
curriculum in high school, he took
courses at the University of
Lorch took the Scholastic Aptitude
Test (SAT) five times and twice earned
the highest possible score of 800 in the
After graduating high school at age
15, he continued to study at Southfield-
Lathrup as a graduated senior. He
enjoyed this year of school because he
became involved in school activities
with his peers. "I'm good at academic
work, but it is a challenge to meet and