Top Ten: #6 Jasper Haag

As much a connoisseur in robotics as he is programming, top 10 senior Jasper Haag has truly used his time at Malden High School to its fullest extent to say the least. As he closes in on the final stretch of the trials and tribulations that encompass the 4 years of high school, Haag is finishing fifth within the top 10 in a class of over 400 competitive students nonetheless.

As with most tales of high school, Haag began his journey with an average outlook, stating that “when I got to high school I was actually quite directionless,” however despite this he had always been a “very competitive person.” It was this that would grant Haag his unbreakable resolve and intense desire to “[push himself] to [his] limits in all of [his] classes.” To follow this, Haag stated that he did not choose to pursue independent studying or exceed consistently within his Advanced Placement classes because anyone told him he should: he did it because was not satisfied with “stagnating academically,” and quite simply because he loved what he was doing.

Outside of the classroom, Haag was just as determined as ever to further expand upon his wealth of knowledge, “[dabbling]” in speech and debate throughout Junior and Senior year, and heavily investing himself and his skills into both robotics club as well as his own personal programming work. He claimed leadership positions in both robotics club and computer club. Fortunately, these exploits proved not only to be efficient and diversified usages of time, but “loads of fun” as well, as they “ended up being [Haag] and [his] friends hanging around and working on interesting technical projects.” Haag believes however that the most significant activity outside of class he has had the pleasure to participate in, would be his personal time spent “working on various programming projects, or reading up on new technologies and techniques,” as this has “proved to be invaluable in preparing me for my studies and work in the future.” Fortunately enough, Haag has already been able to begun pursuing benefits of said studies, as he has managed to land an internship in Vista Higher Learning this coming summer, where he will be working.

No excellent student is without an equally excellent team of teachers behind them, of course, as Haag explains that MHS teacher Paul Marques “served as an invaluable motivator in my programming studies.” Marques has deeply impacted Haag, contributing to a mentality Haag has followed closely, moving at his own pace in his studies as opposed to staying only within the time parameters of the class.

MIT bound, Haag “fell in love with MIT” as soon as he began taking a look at his post-secondary options. Online student blogs furthered to feed his fervor, as Haag even began taking online courses offered through MIT Open Course Ware. Haag was accepted into MIT on Pi Day (3/14) and immediately committed. “In the fall, I will be entering MIT as a 6-2 (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering major),” states Haag, “and I’m planning on exploring a second major in course 16 (Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering).”

As a last word to those still at MHS, Haag had some advice to offer: “Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’.” Haag continued, explaining that while “we’d all like to be the best at everything, we can’t, and so there is no use in trying [to be the best at everything.]” Haag instead suggests that one should do what they are most passionate about, and do the best they can with everything else. Haag also recognizes that while he may be great at many things people consider valuable for a multitude of reasons, he knows he certainly is not the best. “I realize this, and internalize it, and don’t let it affect me in my life and my academics. […] you will at least be happy and satisfied, and you’ll probably find that you get much more back than that.¨

Senior Jasper Haag. Photo taken by James Valente.
Senior Jasper Haag. Photo taken by James Valente.

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