Why have Walt Harrington and Leah Latimer found the "nerdiness level" of teen geniuses Evan Sherbrooke {Magazine, May 17} and Shibani Pati {Metro, May 19} as interesting as their incredible academic achievements? Certainly Post writers have never found it necessary to report on the social graces of recent Nobel laureates. Yet the same journalists have been unable to write articles about the giftedness of two teens without dissecting their most recent kiss. Even if Evan Sherbrooke or Shibani Pati were socially immature, would that lessen their accomplishments or make them less worthy of praise?

The Post's recent coverage displays the same immaturity as my fourth-grade classmates, who assumed that since I was in "that special advanced placement class," I was no good at kickball. Of course they were right -- I couldn't kick it past the infield -- but I'd like to think my lack of athletic prowess is independent of my intellectual abilities. Just as clearly, the social competence of Evan Sherbrooke and Shibani Pati is completely independent of their I.Q. scores.

These two Post writers, by concentrating on the personality of these achievers, rather than on the intellect (which was clearly the reason for the stories), have regressed to an elementary school level by stereotyping a couple of bright teen-agers.

TODD A. WALDMAN

Bethesda