The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 10, 2013

Frank Wang is Oklahoma’s top nerd and proud of it

NORMAN — Frank Wang’s pocket-protector and bow-tie stand out among a civic club audience this week. He didn’t have tape on his glasses and wasn’t wearing tennis shoes because he can’t tie them. (He has a doctorate in mathematics but still has trouble with laces).

“I am a genuine, bona-fide nerd,” the Norman High School graduate told the audience.

As a teenager, he helped maverick math teacher John Saxon birth and grow Saxon Publishing Co. from a self-published math textbook to a publishing and software company with 250 employees and nearly $100 million in sales

The Norman company was sold and moved to Texas a few years back. Wang had earlier left the company to pursue his passion for teaching, often for free. (He also manufactured pocket protectors that said “I love nerds” and “Geek is chic.”)

The former chairman of Saxon Publishers of Norman has recently returned to Oklahoma, this time as head of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City.

n n n

The school at Northeast 10th and Lincoln in Oklahoma City is a two-year program. Any Oklahoma student can apply during their sophomore year. Many Norman students have been part of the student body.

It draws the state’s best and brightest away from their communities and brings them together near the state’s Capitol. It’s no surprise that OSSM routinely leads the state in National Merit Scholars.

Tuition is free, as is room and board. Last year, the legislature appropriated $6.2 million, down from previous years. Wang’s job as the school’s president is to raise the school’s profile and performance.

n n n

He wasn’t always headmaster material. As a child, his development was slow. His academic achievement was weak. Teachers wanted him tossed out of the private school he attended in New York. They had neurological tests done to prove the point. His parents resisted.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014