Laurent Simons, 11-year-old has become the second youngest graduate in the world. The child prodigy hailing from the coastal town of Ostend recently completed his graduation from the University of Antwerp with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics.
Presently, the title of the world’s youngest graduate is held by Michael Kearny, who graduated at age 10 in 1994.
Simons completed his graduation, which usually takes an adult three years to complete — in just one year. He didn’t just graduate, he graduated summa cum laude (given to the student with the highest distinction).
He first developed an interest in mechanics and physics only a year ago, and soon decided to pursue his interests relentlessly. He lived with his grandparents in Belgium when he went to high school, and only recently moved back to live with his parents in the Netherlands.
He graduated in Physics with 85 percent. Simons now wants to pursue a Master’s course in Physics at Flemish University. Simons received his high school diploma when he was eight. He completed his high school graduation in just a year and a half.
This genius who is chasing immortality said, “This is the first puzzle piece in my goal of replacing body parts with mechanical parts. I want to be able to replace as many body parts as possible with mechanical parts. I have mapped out a path to get there. You can see it as a big puzzle. Quantum physics – the study of the smallest particles – is the first piece of the puzzle.”
He also took some courses from the master’s programme, while working on getting a Ph.D. at the same time.
Simons’ parents wanted him to be the first university graduate under 10, for which Simons would have to graduate before his birthday on December 26 but the university said that Simons needed to complete many more exams before he could graduate. As a result, his parents refused the University’s proposed timeline for Simons to graduate by mid-2020.