Meet Jeremy Shuler, a home-schooled kid from Grand Prairie, Texas, who is officially Cornell’s youngest student on record.
Jeremy Shuler was reading books in English and Korean before he was even two. By the age of five he was reading Lord of the Rings by himself before turning his attention to the small matter of calculus a year later.
Now, aged 12, he is beginning his first year at Cornell University making him the youngest student ever to register at the Ivy League institution.
His lecturers say the sky is the limit for the young student.
Lance Collins, Cornell’s Dean of Engineering, said: “It’s risky to extrapolate, but if you look at his trajectory and he stays on course, one day he’ll solve some problem we haven’t even conceived of. That’s pretty exciting.”
Jeremy is the son of two aerospace engineers and grew up in Texas.
His test scores in maths and science were good enough for university two years ago, but he had to wait for his parents to move to upstate New York so that they could look after him during his studies.
Prof Collins added: “I wanted to make sure he had a nice, safe environment in terms of growing up.”
Harrey Shuler, his mother who has an aerospace engineering PhD, said: “From the beginning, he was physically advanced, very strong.”
When he was 5, he read Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics on his own which made enrolling him in kindergarten pointless.
Instead he was schooled at home.
“We were concerned about him socialising with other kids,” his mother added. “At the playground he was freaked out by other kids running around screaming. But when we took him to Math Circle and math camp, he was very social. He needed someone with similar interests.”
Jeremy chimed in with a nod during an interview with the Associated Press.
“One of my Math Circle friends actually wrote ‘Minecraft for Dummies,’” he said, adding that the computer game is one of his favorite pastimes along with reading science fiction.
Already he is settling in to college life.
“I was nervous at first, but I’m a lot more excited than nervous now,” he said, adding that he’s already made a couple of friends. “As Mommy said, all the kids in math camp were older than me, so I’m used to having older friends. As long as they like math.”
His favourite classes, he added, involved theoretical discussions.
“The classes are kind of easy so far, but I know they’ll be harder pretty soon,” he said.
None of which puts him off tackling tougher and tougher challenges.
“I want to pursue a career in academia,” he said.
Muriel M. Delossantos