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Thread: Autistic child seen as prodigy

  1. #1 Autistic child seen as prodigy 
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    Feb 2013
    Recently, I've heard of a young boy, Jacob Barnett (diagnosed with autism) seen by doctors as a future noble prize winner for his work in theoretical astrophysics.

    Jacob Barnett: Experts said boy would never be able to read but now he's brainier than Einstein - Mirror Online

    What are your thoughts on this? All opinions are welcomed.
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  2. #2  
    Member epidecus's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Been famous for quite a while. Something I read on him a while ago said he mastered the entire high school mathematics curriculum (algebra to calculus) by himself, in just one week. Yeah, high school math isn't very difficult, but for a then 12-year-old to grasp all those fundamentals, from basic function theory to trigonometry to infinite series, in such short time is simply astounding.

    "As Jacob scrawls complex *mathematical problems thick and fast on a window pane, proud nursery teacher Kristine says: 'Those *equations are scary but to Jacob they are natural.'"

    This was particularly interesting. How often is it that a typical student of any level is presented with a long or seemingly complex problem and immediately thinks "Ugh... This is going to be a pain". Others see the problem as another nice challenge to tackle, simply working it for the enjoyment of solving something and getting into some juicy math. Jacob, however, seems to take interest mainly in the beauty and profound implications of it all, a view obvious since that lecture when he was three. This is a view I think everyone interested in math and the natural sciences should relate to more, me especially.
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  3. #3  
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    Feb 2013
    These sorts of absurd prognostications only help to hurt the boy in the long run; yes, Barnett has an IQ of 170, which is extremely high and has aloud him to learn a great deal of material rather rapidly. But it is known that very few high IQ people ever become geniuses for a plethora of reasons, and a high IQ score does not in any way, shape, or form warrant a prediction of future genius-level accomplishment. He may be competent as a scientist or whatever other career he turns to, but that in no way suggests that he will be the next Einstein or anything close for that matter.
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