US News: Boy to graduate uni aged nine as 'smartest ever student' - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Boy to graduate uni aged nine as 'smartest ever student'

21:50  21 november  2019
21:50  21 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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A nine-year-old boy inspired by inventor Nikola Tesla is preparing to become the youngest ever graduate - with his university saying he is three times smarter than any student they've ever had.

a person using a cell phone: The nine-year-old studies electrical engineering © Reuters The nine-year-old studies electrical engineering

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the University of Technology in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, heading down the home-straight of a degree that has taken him just nine months to complete.

It would normally take three years to graduate, but Laurent, who has an IQ of 145, will do so next month.

a woman holding a dog: Laurent with his nine-week-old puppy Sammy © Reuters Laurent with his nine-week-old puppy Sammy

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The boy wonder says he is looking forward to taking a holiday as the Christmas season beckons, but also already has plans to start a PhD and "study a little medicine".

He says he wants to research artificial organs and develop a Terminator-style artificial body, with his Instagram page sporting an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger posing alongside a model of his iconic T-800 skeleton.

As for what he has been getting up to in Eindhoven, he has been working on a research project involving "placing neurons and making connections" to test the effects of different medication on the brain.

a person standing in front of a keyboard: Belgian student Laurent Simons poses in a laboratory at the University of Technology © Reuters Belgian student Laurent Simons poses in a laboratory at the University of Technology

If that sounds beyond the realms of possibility for a boy not yet old enough to watch the latest Spider-Man film in a UK cinema by himself, it might be comforting to know that he still finds time for more simple childhood pleasures.

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He spends his free time playing Fortnite and Minecraft, looks after his nine-week-old puppy named Sammy, and also entertains almost 40,000 followers on Instagram.

The university has been amazed by his progress, having joined after completing high school in a single year.

Programme director Sjoerd Hulshof said: "Every professor is really enthusiastic about having Laurent and for us it's a unique situation of course because he's the youngest student we've ever had.

a man wearing a suit and tie holding a gun: Laurent talks with his professor Peter Baltus © Reuters Laurent talks with his professor Peter Baltus

"The speed of his mind - we cannot imagine what is happening in his head. He's maybe three times smarter than the smartest student we've ever had."

Laurent will comfortably be the youngest person in history to obtain a university degree, beating the previous record by more than a year.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, American Michael Kearney was aged 10 years and four months when he graduated in June 1994.

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Laurent could also end up in the US, with the west coast his preferred destination for his PhD, but his parents are not putting him under any pressure to make a decision.

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Father Alexander said: "What he's doing now is playing with education, just playing around, and that's fine with us."

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