Mathematician off to elite university with world's best
AUSTIN Reed is only the second student from Toowoomba Grammar School to be accepted into Cambridge University, one of the world's most elite higher education institutions.
The teenager, who graduated from the Toowoomba's school last year with an OP1, will study a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with Honours from October 1.
"It was 3am on a Saturday morning when I found out," Mr Reed said.
"Mum had woken me up as an email had come through.
"I was ecstatic, it was very exciting."
It has been a year-long process to get there, with Mr Reed applying to the university this time last year.
"It was always sort of a dream to study there," he said.
"I never expected it to go through."
It is believed Mr Reed is the only student from the region to be accepted into Cambridge in the past decade.
Mr Reed will live on campus in Cambridge at the Sidney Sussex College, which was founded in 1596.
"I'm looking forward to college life," he said.
"I think it will be really fun to meet new people who are all in the same boat as me."
Mr Reed said he was looking forward to sinking his teeth into more complex maths, learning from some of the world's top mathematicians.
"With maths, the satisfaction you get when you solve a problem that you've been working on, that's a highlight for me," he said.
He said he would continue to play football in the UK and would also like to take up rowing, a sport Cambridge is well known for locally.
Mr Reed said he hoped his acceptance into the university would show others that achieving dreams was possible.
"I think it's a great thing for the school, for Toowoomba, so younger kids can see it's possible," he said.
"If you really want to get there and work hard you can do it.
"When I applied I didn't know whether I had any chance at all. This just shows that you can do it."
He said if he had any advice for current Year 12 students it would be to work hard for these past couple of months, but also to enjoy school while it lasted.
Once he graduates Mr Reed will join a list of alumni that includes Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall and Alan Turing.