|Birthdate||July 20, 1976|
|Current School||Northwestern University (on leave)|
|Alma Mater||Taft HS, CA|
Daniel Berdichevsky, also known as "DemiDec Dan," is the founder and current CEO of DemiDec. He also competed as an Academic Decathlete in the 1994 season for William Howard Taft High School in Los Angeles, California in the Honors Category.
Initial Entry into Academic Decathlon and Quick Exit (1992-1993)
Daniel Berdichevsky originally entered the Academic Decathlon at Taft in 1992-1993, but dropped out mainly due to the speech competition. The 1992-93 Taft Academic Decathlon would eventually go on to win the California State Competition, and place second place overall at the 1993 United States Academic Decathlon National Competition.
Return to Academic Decathlon (1993-1994)
During the offseason, Taft recruited Dr. Arthur Berchin, who (at that time) won a previous National Championship in 1989 over Deer Park High School in Texas. Dr. Berchin encouraged Daniel, among other decathletes to return and try again. This time, Daniel made the team, and at the 1994 City competition (the first step in California towards a National Championship), Daniel scored a grand total of 9,297 out of 10,000 points. This point total would be the highest point total ever accumulated by a single Academic Decathlon for a single meet at the time, and Daniel held this record for upwards of 14 seasons before it was broken in the 2007-2008 season. The score now stands at the sixth position for the highest score accumulated by an Academic Decathlon for a single meet. His team scored 50,515 points overall, the first team to break the 50,000 barrier. The 1993-1994 team would go on to defeat the George Floratos led West High School (Torrance) (among others) at the California Academic Decathlon State Championship, and in a memorable 1994 Nationals, won the 1994 National Championship over such schools as Mountain View High School of Mesa, Arizona and Oliver Wendell Holmes High School of San Antonio, Texas.
Collegiate Educational Career (1994-Present)
After attending Taft High School, Daniel attended Stanford University, where he received his Bachelors degree, and proceeded to attend Harvard University. He eventually graduated with his Masters in Public Policy in 2005. Currently, Daniel is attending Northwestern University to attain a Masters degree for Writing for the Screen and Stage. At this time, he is currently on leave from his degree. In addition to Daniel's achievements in college, an article that Daniel collaborated on was recently published on the Stanford University Website. Daniel also wrote for a column in the Stanford "newspaper".
Invention of DemiDec (1995-Present)
DemiDec was the brainchild of Daniel Berdichevsky and his fellow Taft teammate, Andrew Salter. Originally the creators of tests on objective subjects, the company expanded to create resource guides (which can clarify USAD's sometimes vague expressions and explanations), power guides (condensed topic item-by-item "testable" facts written solely by students who have broken the 8,000 point barrier at an official meet), flashcards (one testable question and fact on each card, and the set of cards were eventually color-coded to avoid confusion as to the subject/event the question belonged to), cram kits (includes only the most vital of vital information needed in last ditch effort to increase a individual/team score before a meet), and the aforementioned tests. Since this time, he also created Scimitar, a separate project that models the DemiDec test writing, but in general is more challenging. DemiDec is now known for not only their resource and reading material which is considered a vital supplement to USAD official curricula, but a variety of tests pertaining to the curriculum. From focused quizzes which focus on the most specific facts of each testable subject, to comprehensive exams that direct more attention on larger pictures, DemiDec writes tests that are excellent tools for all levels of difficulty.
Daniel Berdichevsky and the Scholar's Cup (2007-Present)
DemiDec Dan is currently working on developing the World Scholar's Cup. This competition consists of three components: a gamut of multiple choice tests, an essay regarding the multiple choice material, and a debate. In 2007, the Scholar's Cup World Finals premiered in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul and Singapore hosted the 2008 World Finals and 2009 World Finals, respectively. The 2010 World Finals are slated to be held in Shanghai, China.
Daniel lives in Los Angeles, California with his dog Chiqui. He also is a big fan of alpacas, and travels quite frequently to various places around the globe. The alpaca is the mascot of DemiDec today. He has a blog which is updated from time to time, covering his travels to foreign countries, with some entries about his collegiate days and his dog. He also attends many Academic Decathlon competitions around the United States, and 'webcasts' the results on the DemiDec message board. Despite Daniel's credentials, he has taken quite a few questionable actions, including a 1994 jaywalking ticket and one occasion, accidentally blew up a gas station (bit of exaggeration, but a gas station was involved).