At the tender age of nine, this boy is set to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering after completing the program in a space of nine months.
Laurent Simons, the half-Dutch half-Belgian child prodigy from Amsterdam, is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE). It’s considered one of the toughest courses, even for students of an average graduate age. He will be finishing the degree in December.
The little genius completed his secondary education when he was just eight years old, 18 months after he started. And when he finishes his college education next month, he will be hailed as the world’s youngest graduate, beating Michael Kearney, who earned a degree from the University of Alabama when he was ten.
The youngster hopes of one day becoming an astronaut or heart surgeon.
Laurent told The Telegraph that he wanted to continue his studies in California because of its good weather. However, his father, Alexander Simons, is eyeing specific universities in the United Kingdom.
“Oxford and Cambridge are also in the major league and it would be very much more convenient for us,” the 37-year-old dentist said.
“Laurent’s aim is to do a PhD into life extension, by carrying out research into artificial organs and robotics. It would be great if he could study in the UK,” Alexander explained.
The child genius has been compared to the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. He has a photographic memory, enjoys maths and science, and can speak four languages. His ambition of revolutionizing cardiac surgery comes from the fact that both of his grandparents have heart problems.
Alexander and his wife, Lydia, 29, said that it was Laurent’s grandparents who first noticed his unique gift. At first, they thought they were only exaggerating, but his teachers soon confirmed it.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” Lydia said.
His instructors gave him test after test to measure his capabilities and said he was like a “sponge”.
The education director at TUE, Sjoerd Hulshof, praises the boy not just for being hyper-intelligent but also for being “very sympathetic”.
Of course, a young boy who had an IQ of 145 wouldn’t go unnoticed. Prestigious universities around the world have been seeking to sign him up, and it’s going to be a tough competition among them.
While Laurent had extraordinary capabilities, his parents make sure that he gets to enjoy himself too, just like any other kid his age.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” Alexander said. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent likes playing with his dog Sammy during his free time, and also enjoys video games like Fortnite and Minecraft.
The next stage in this boy’s remarkable journey is something that we have yet to find out. But in the meantime, the family is planning to vacation in Japan to give their boy a well-deserved break.
Meet the incredible nine-year-old child prodigy below: