I read, with great interest, your story about Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek [April 5]. I often read his articles about physics in the Wall Street Journal and most recently in the forward to “The Character of Physical Law,” a book by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, a graduate of Far Rockaway HS.
Wilczek, like so many other great names in science, was a graduate of one of the great, large New York City comprehensive high schools, Martin Van Buren HS. These schools of earlier years, as he points out, were able to offer “many specialized programs” and advanced placement courses. Unfortunately, the current small high schools cannot do the same. One has to wonder why there are still so many small high schools with such limited offerings.
In the discussion, Wilczek gives tribute to a favorite math teacher at Van Buren, Ira Ewen, a colleague of mine who went on to become an assistant principal at John Dewey HS and then principal of James Madison HS, which also had many illustrious graduates including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Charles Schumer, Norm Coleman, Carole King, Barry Simon and numerous others.
Howard Brenner, retired