Los Angeles math teacher solves ultimate calculus equation

LOS ANGELES -- From the outside, Lincoln High School does not look like a place that inspires greatness. It's old, with gates on the windows, in a tough East L.A. neighborhood.

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Anthony Yom

CBS News

But look beyond all of that, and you'll find Anthony Yom. The son of Korean immigrants, Yom teaches what is considered the hardest class in school -- Advanced Placement Calculus.

"One of my strategies is really to make sure to provide an environment where kids are not ashamed of asking questions," Yom said.

His approach to teaching goes beyond calculating the slope of a curve. Yom makes his class meet after school, on weekends and even holidays. And the hard work has paid off.

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Anthony Yom helps students in his AP Calculus class
CBS News

"I am sure when after they get the score and I ask them was it worth it , every one of them says it was worth it."

For three years in a row every student that has walked into his class has passed the AP Calculus test. This year one student, Cedrick Argueta, got every question right.

"His style of teaching commands respect," Cedrick explained. "Mr. Yom is very likeable. He likes to get to know his students on a personal level."

"They know that I sincerely care about them, and it is prepared for them with love."

Argueta and Yom were both honored by the L.A. school board, and President Obama invited Cedrick to the White House Science Fair.

The 17-year-old wants to go to Cal-Tech and become a rocket scientist, while Yom's focus is on his next batch of calculus students.

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.