CLOSTER - A North Jersey teen is now considered one of the best young mathematicians in the world.

Closter native Ryan Alweiss won a gold medal during an international math competition. The incoming college freshman says he doesn't see math as a boring set of numbers. To him, those numbers are like art.

"Math is very beautiful and interesting," he says. "There are lots of interesting techniques that go on. It feels very good when you solve a problem. It's like a puzzle."

Alweiss is so good at solving math problems that he ranks 10th among the smartest mathematicians in the world. He attended the International Mathematical Olympiad in Thailand, and he and his five teammates had to solve six math problems in two days.

"The camaraderie is very nice," says Alweiss. "You get to talk to people from other countries and your own team."

The teen attributes his success to old-fashioned hard work. He will attend MIT in the fall.