Roosemberth Palacios sports braces on his teeth and a curly mop of hair. At 16, he finds high school boring. So after school, he logs onto his computer and hunts for challenges, McClatchy reports.

He’s found them in difficult online courses offered by professors at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He says he’s aced a course called “Machine Learning” by hotshot Stanford professor Andrew Ng, scoring a perfect 100. And he took a sophomore-level course by MIT professor Anant Agarwal called “Circuits and Electronics,” tallying 91 percent.

To patch up some weakness he saw in his own math skills, he...

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