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BI student has shot at merit scholarship
0920 BI merit scholar
Christopher Smythe - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
These days, Bradwell Institute senior Christopher Smythe’s life revolves around math.
Not just because he’s currently enrolled in a challenging calculus 2 class or because he recently scored 2280 on the SATs, or even because he’s considering the cost of his college education.
Smythe’s world revolves around numbers because he spends most of his spare time — up to eight hours a week — teaching himself and researching computer programming. It’s his favorite hobby.
“In order to create these huge, beautiful environments, you have to understand math,” Smythe said, referring to the three-dimensional and graphic aspects of computer games and programs. “It all starts with a point.”
Because of Smythe’s proficiency and interest in numbers, his outstanding PSAT scores earned him a nomination for the prestigious and highly competitive National Merit Scholarship.
Last week, Smythe made the national semi-finalist list of students. He will find out in February if he makes the finals, which would give him a shot at a hefty scholarship.
With or without the scholarship, he said he’d like to go to Georgia Tech or DeVry University and eventually make a career out of numbers. But, Smythe said, he’ll enter the work force only after he’s satisfied with his education.
“I highly doubt I’ll stop at a bachelor’s degree,” he said.
Growing up near Fort Stewart and having both parents involved in the military, it’s no surprise Smythe’s dream job is to work for the U.S. Department of Defense, but in a different capacity than most.
“I’d like to create a virtual reality system to help train the military,” he said.
He’s had a lot of practice with this concept, exploring computer video games, especially war games.
“I’m not just playing it to play it [video games],” Smythe said. “I’m thinking about it intelligently and paying attention to how things move and work.” 
Although he still has several months before graduation, Smythe said he’s already preparing for the next step in his education.
“I’m getting ready to go to school to learn about other things, new things,” he said.

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