Hayward entered high school in 1989 at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. There he continued in mathematics while pursuing a breadth of other interests. These interests laid broad and deep foundations for his later multidisciplinary endeavors on the web. In 1990-92, he administered a student-use social network that effectively provided web 2.0 functionality before the web became widely known. He also participated in, and wrote for, discussions on the social network, continued in French, and pursued more whimsical endeavors such as programming a video game on his calculator. He graduated in absentia in 1992, away in Washington, D.C. for a math contest.
He went on to study at Wheaton as a National Merit Scholar majoring in math in 1992, before transferring in 1994 to Calvin. Outside of class time at these two schools, he continued with interests that would come to have surprising connections and bear fruit in his later writing. He read the Bible at length, began working on the web, and started to write works that would be published on his main site. During his studies at Calvin, he earned an advanced certificate from the Sorbonne in 1995 before graduating from Calvin in 1996.
He began his post-graduate education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. He earned his M.S. in applied math in 1998 with a computational science and engineering option and being the first person to graduate with the new master's thesis option. During that time, he began to explore other languages besides French and English. He passed a proficiency test to opt out of a year's German coursework within two weeks of self-study. (He would go on to study well over a dozen dialects and languages: ancient, medieval, modern, "conlang," computer...) By the time Hayward had finished his first master's, he had already begun his literature site...
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