because they never fail to inspire. Naturally gifted, these young geniuses remind us to look into ourselves and think about how we’re using our own gifts and talents to impact the people around us.
Here are ten child prodigies you’d want to keep your eyes on.
Born October 18, 2001, the UK-born child prodigy started reading by himself and solving high school-level math equations at the wee age of two. By age 11, Tristan scored a top grade A* at the Cambridge A level exams. He also inspired thousands when he became TEDxYouth Talk’s youngest speakers. At 12, Tristan started attending the University of Auckland and has created his own free online educational platform, Tristan’s Learning Hub. He plans to be a science researcher in quantum mechanics and time travel.
At 13 years old, Colin started his Ph.D at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Last year, he earned his Master’s Degree in the same field at the University of Connecticut. He also finished two bachelor’s degrees — one in evolutionary biology and another in environmental studies. With his sights set on a career in conservation science, the world is hopeful to benefit from this bright young man.
Tanishq Mathew Abraham
At the young age of 11, the American child genius Tanisqh already has a long list of accomplishments. When he was five, Tanishq completed in six months the kindergarten to fourth grade math courses offered in Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). At six, he was already taking up high school and college level science classes in biology, chemistry, geology, and paleontology. At seven, he became the youngest on-campus student to enroll in American River College, emerging as the top student in his Geology and Astronomy courses. At eight, he discovered two Supernovae while volunteering for Zooniverse, an online citizen science project. He was involved in other similar projects afterwards and was able to present his discoveries at at the NASA Lunar Science Conference 2012. When he was 10, Tanishq became the Vice President of Communications of Phi Theta Kappa, becoming the honor society’s youngest member to serve in office. Aside from his aptitude in the physical sciences, he also shows an inclination towards music. He is being trained in piano since he was three and is part of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
Tiara Thankam Abraham
Tanishq’s younger sister, born December 2005, is as equally gifted as her brother. At age 4, Tiara became a member of Mensa after she scored at the 99 percentile on the test. Both she and and her brother are among the youngest Americans and South Asians (by ethnicity) to join the high-IQ society. Tiara is also a gifted artist who has won multiple awards for her paintings. She has also been singing opera style since she was 5 years old. Like her brother, Tiara is active in volunteer and charity work.
13-year old Ainan from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was only six when he gave a Science lecture on acid and alkaloids. At seven, he passed the Chemistry O level exam, which are meant for 16 year olds and up. The next year, Ainan enrolled in Singapore Polytechnnic and became the world’s youngest student ever to take up a third-year tertiary module.
The honor of being the world’s youngest college graduate belongs to Michael Kearney who was only ten years old when he earned his first college degree in 2008. This isn’t so surprising when you learn that he started speaking when he was just four months old and reading when he was 10 months old. At four, Michael already showed his exceptional Math skills, getting a perfect score in the Johns Hopkins math program. Michael’s gifts are not limited to paper though; he decided to share his knowledge by becoming a teacher when he was only 17.
At the age of 12, most of us were probably dreaming of the next gadget we would buy or the next burger meal we would consume. Gregory Smith definitely doesn’t belong to “most of us”. Gregory was only ten when he enrolled in University and founded the International Youth Advocates, an organization that promoted peace and understanding among youths around the world. His advocacy has led to meetings with former USSR head Mikhail Gorbachev and former US President Bill Clinton. Since then, Gregory has addressed the United Nations Assembly and has been nominated for the Nobel the Peace Prize for four times. While he has yet to win the prestigious award, the now 23-year old still has a lot of time on his hands.
Akrit shocked the world when he, at 7 years old, successfully performed his first surgery on an eight-year old girl whose family couldn’t afford the medical expenses. Born April 23, 1993, Akrit started speaking at ten months old and was already fluent in several languages. At five, he was conversant in Shakespearian literature and had already assembled medical books. He so impressed local doctors that they allowed him to observe surgeries even though he was only six. The world’s youngest surgeon took up medicine in a medical school in India when he was just 12. His goal in life? To find a cure for cancer.
In 2008, Taylor Wilson at the age of 14 became the youngest person to build a nuclear fusion reactor. The American nuclear sciencist has since been dethroned by 13 year old Jamie Edwards who built a his own nuclear fusion reactor this year. This doesn’t take away anything from the young genius though. Taylor, who was awarded the Thiel Fellowship in 2012, has since developed a working prototype that could revolutionize the administration of cancer treatments. Taylor has also presented his ideas on the benefits of building small underground and self-contained nuclear fission reactors in a TED talk last 2013.
Poverty is never a deterrent to success, and the story of 13 year old Sushma Verma is proof of this. The child prodigy who finished high school when she was only 7 and earned her undergraduate degree when she was only 13 says that she is inspired by the sacrifices of her impoverished and uneducated parents who sold their land to send her to school. She is now focused on taking up her Masters in Microbiology in Lucknow’s Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar Central University.