Nine-year-old Laurent is what we like to call a “prodigy”. Astonishingly, he started high school at the tender age of six, and he led a research project at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam because he was “bored” with how easy the school was. And, he was just seven years old when he got his high school diploma.
His accomplishments don’t stop there. He started Eindhoven University back in March 2019, and not more than nine months later, he is almost done with his final project. Upon his graduation as an Electrical Engineer, he will break the world record as the youngest university graduate.
Currently, this title is held by Michael Kearney, who graduated from the University of Alabama at the age of ten. The title belongs to him since 1994, and that is soon about to change.
It can be surely said that Laurent Simons is nothing short of extraordinary. Born in Belgium, he has an IQ of 145 and his interests range from mathematics to medicine. He recently became interested in the workings of computers. Also, he has a photographic memory which enables him to master subjects in a matter of days which would take ten weeks for other students.
According to the story by AD, his mentor Peter Baltus (59), a renowned professor at Eindhoven University, stated that it was quite strange to see a little child among 20-year-old students. He thought their collaboration was one of a kind, and he soon realized that he could talk to him like any other student – even better than some. “Sometimes I forget that he is still so young, and then, the nine-year-old comes up to tell me that he soldered a chip again after trying one too many times," said Baltus.
Aside from all of his surprising accomplishments, he is actually just a normal kid. He loves spending the weekends with his grandparents and playing with his dog. His eyes sparkle when he talks about his love for animals. Moreover, his genius brain doesn’t hold him back from pouting when the dinner is not to his liking. “He is just as stubborn as another nine-year-old child when he doesn’t like dinner. And that happens a lot!” his mother said.
Because of his fast advancing educational life, his friends are mostly older. He doesn’t like scouting and sports, and his father states that he never had any interest in playing with his peers. He didn’t like playing with toys either, the only thing that interested him was how the toys worked. Apparently, he always had his eyes on the stars.
In an interview with Belgium’s RTBF radio, the nine-year-old boy stated that his favorite subject is mathematics because of its vastness with subjects such as statistics, geometry, and algebra.
Laurent also stated that he considered becoming a surgeon or an astronaut. However, his ideas have recently changed. He gave an interview to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws stating that he no longer wants to only restore the diseased hearts. He wants to make new ones to replace the old hearts. “My goal as a scientist is to prolong the human lifespan. My grandparents are heart patients and I want to help them.” Simons said.
However, his career choice is not a problem for his parents. His father says that even if he decided to become a carpenter, that would not be a problem for them. His happiness is their number one priority.
Laurent’s parents have already started to search for new education paths to feed his thirst for knowledge. They have stopped working to guide and monitor their son’s educational life and development. During their search, they traveled between the U.S and Netherlands occasionally.
However, it seems that California has captured Laurent’s attention. His heart belongs to California. Having lived most of his life in the gloomy weathers of Belgium and the Netherlands, he states that he wants to go to California “because the weather is very nice there”.
Laurent will decide which post-graduate plan to pursue after attaining his degree in the Netherlands. Since he is a boy of many talents, what he will do for certain is unclear. No matter his decision, carpenter or scientist, the world’s eye will be on him most definitely.