Who is the fastest graduate at Yale
The nine-year-old becomes the youngest university graduate of all time
Nine years is a good age to sniff university air at a children's university in the summer and get excited about science. In the case of Laurent Simons, the clocks tick a little differently.
Although the boy from Belgium was born in 2010, he will finish his first real degree in December with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. This makes the child prodigy with an estimated IQ above 145 the youngest university graduate ever. The previous record holder Michael Kearney was a little over ten years old according to the "Guinness Book of Records".
Training in a hurry
Laurent's parents, both dentists, had noticed his special abilities relatively late. But then everything went at lightning speed: He started school when he was four, after two years of elementary school he needed another two years to graduate from high school. Then Laurent was eight. He will complete his undergraduate studies at the TU Eindhoven, which normally take three years, in nine months.
The university teachers who supervised him there in one-to-one lessons rave about the nine-year-old's talent: he is possibly three times as clever as the brightest student they have ever had, said Sjoerd Hulshoff, director of the program. "We can't really imagine what's going on in his head."
Child prodigy and normal boy
Laurent's parents now support their hyper-gifted son more or less professionally: They have given up their jobs in order to plan the child prodigy's further educational career and to coordinate the numerous media events. As on Instagram, the image is carefully conveyed that, despite his unique skills, Laurent has remained a normal boy who, in addition to studying, still has time to play Minecraft and Fortnite or to frolic with his puppy Sammy.
After completing his studies in record time, Laurent says he is looking forward to a short vacation first, then he would like to start his dissertation and study a little medicine on the side. Where will be decided soon. There are offers from universities around the world.
Most recently, Laurent worked on a microchip to measure the reactions of brain cells to active substances. In the future, he would like to research artificial organs - and at some point create a whole artificial human being in his own laboratory. (tasch, 29.11.2019)
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