In most countries around the world, you wouldn’t start a university degree until you were 18 years old. Maybe 17, if your birthday fell on just the right date, or you’d been fast-tracked up a year during school, with a graduation date somewhere in your early 20s.
Belgian wunderkid Laurent Simons did all of that more quickly. Much more quickly.
At nine years old, he’s just graduated from the Technical University of Eindhoven with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He completed the course in one year, rather than the three years taken by almost every other student.
As reported on RTL Today, his professor called Simons the smartest student he had ever taught, and Simons’ father said some had made comparisons to Einstein or Newton.
This all comes after starting secondary school at six years old, which he finished in two years, and a short summer course for highly gifted children at Stanford and Fairfield Universities.
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Simons’ incredible academic journey is also the fastest ever recorded and will earn him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. It’s one year faster than child prodigy/gameshow champion/improv comedian Michael K Kearney, who received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama in 1994. Kearney went on to achieve a master’s degree in chemistry at age 14, and a second master’s degree at age 18.
For all of his apparent genius—Simons reportedly had an IQ of 145 when just six years old, and social media posts show him enjoying lectures in the car—he seems to be a normal kid, who just loves playing with his dog and going Go-Karting.
And his dream? Alongside a tongue-in-cheek link to the Terminator, he has set out plans to replace as many body parts in a human with electronic parts as possible, until “just the human brain and conscience is left.” He adds: “Bye Bye Vulnerable Homo Sapiens, Hello Homo Laurentius ?!!”