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For those who are writing college letters of recommendations and struggling for those magic words to describe specific students, the following letter might provide you with some creative suggestions.
I have been asked to express my opinions relating to Herkimer, who has applied for admission to your university. I cannot recommend him too highly nor say enough good things about him. His mathematical skills are such that there is no other student of mine with whom I can adequately compare him. His writing represents the sort of work you don't expect to see nowadays and in it he clearly demonstrates his total and complete capabilities. The amount of material he knows will surprise you. He will definitely stand out as being a unique member of your freshman class if you admit him.
This is an altered version of a letter displayed in the book A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, by John Allen Paulos.
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