BLOG*September 26, 2013

Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school’s special ed. program, Jacob’s teachers and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.

At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein’s field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college studen and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world’s youngest astrophysics researcher.

The 60 Minutes interview touches upon his life, but the TED talk is this young fellow’s message about moving beyond the accepted educational norm. Start thinking about what is important to you. Bravo.