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    Same kid, more in-depth article. Especially liked his "mini-lecture" on calculus. No idea WTH he was discussing, but wow!

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20110320/LOCAL01/103200369/Genius-work-12-year-old-studying-IUPUI


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    Yes, we have been discussing it in a thread "Genius at work: 12-year-old is studying at IUPUI" at http://giftedissues.davidsongifted....s_at_work_12_year_old_is_.html#Post97854 .


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    Actually, sorry to be a party pooper, but as someone who does understand that material I watched the video of this kid explaining it and the overwhelming impression I got was "this kid has no real idea what he's talking about".

    Mind you, my kid would give the same impression, I think, if he tried to explain some of the ALEKS chemistry questions he's currently being assessed on - he can do them well enough to get the right answers, hanging on by his fingernails, but not really well enough to explain them to someone else. This is a legitimate stage; but not, IMHO, one that one should advertise!


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    I have to disagree with you ColinsMum. If you read the other link you will see he has been in direct contact with a highly regarded professor in the field and the professor was pretty impressed with him.

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    I agree with ColinsMum. Also, as a professor in the field, I would comment that the statement made by the professor from IAS is a typical polite answer that we give when students come to us with their "theories". I.e. we would always try to be supportive and encouraging, especially when the student involved has ASD. Saying that you are impressed with how much physics a 12 year old knows does not imply that you actually think his "theory" is impressive. And a 12 year old being offered a PhD position (as IUPUI faculty seem to want to do) is unusual but not unknown.

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    There are so many nay say-ers that we deal with in this world on a daily basis, do we have to contribute to it? Of course, I'm not in the field and can't judge his depth but clearly this boy is HG+ and bravo to his parents for not keeping him in the box.

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    Originally Posted by Philosopher
    I would comment that the statement made by the professor from IAS is a typical polite answer that we give when students come to us with their "theories". I.e. we would always try to be supportive and encouraging, especially when the student involved has ASD. Saying that you are impressed with how much physics a 12 year old knows does not imply that you actually think his "theory" is impressive.

    That's the thing. And the article also makes some over-reaching statements, making it sound like Jake has actually extended the theory of relativity, when the comments from the IAS researcher make it clear that he hasn't. It's a news article written for popular appeal, and a little bending of the truth may be expected with a story like this. But I'm with Katelyn'sM om about being glad he will be allowed to see what he can really do.


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    Hmmm... yesssss...

    I think I finally figured out what bothered me about most of the coverage of this (obviously wonderful) young man.

    It has been patronising. Either on the 'Doogie Howser' side of things ('debunking big bang') or on the 'isn't he cute' side ('his little brain').

    Ugh. Why spin this? He's a great kid who has terrifically supportive parents and has found a perfect academic niche for himself. Isn't that enough??



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    I have actually had 2 local people that I know in real life ask me if I have read this article in the past 24 hours. Interesting.


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    Originally Posted by Chrys
    I have actually had 2 local people that I know in real life ask me if I have read this article in the past 24 hours. Interesting.

    Me, too. I was just thinking that with all the press this story is getting, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that there's a reality show in the works about the kid.

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    These stories always bother me, mostly because they treat a PG kid like a newsworthy oddity and they all take same form: they flash complex equations or classic works of literature around, use the word genius liberally, and present the child as though s/he's the first person with an IQ that high in the last hundred years and/or compare the child to Albert Einstein.

    To me, this stuff risks creating a kid who'll think he's failed if he doesn't figure out a set of equations for quantum gravity, invent a new kind of space drive, and win at least one Nobel prize. I've seen this effect before (perhaps others reading this message have, too). I knew a star athlete in school who had his pick of full, 100% free-ride athletic scholarships at colleges and universities around the United States. There were stories in the paper about him all the time in our last year of high school. I'm sorry to say that no one ever thought to tell him that maybe, just maybe, there were people out there who were more skilled than he was, and that things would change when he got to college. People were too busy adulating him, I guess. He wilted when he didn't start on the varsity team in the first game of his freshman year, and things went downhill (quickly)from there.

    I've also seen this kind of problem develop when the guy who thought he was always going to be the smartest kid in the class gets a B or the Best Girl Scientist Ever gets critiqued during the weekly lab meeting or meets someone who has better research ideas than she does. They fall apart.

    The other side of the coin is that these child-genius stories may set the bar for giftedness in some people, and even a kid with an IQ at the 99.9th percentile is probably not going to be finishing up multivariate calculus when he's 12. So what do all the rest of us with IQs <170 do when we try to tell the teachers that little Janey is gifted because she was reading when she was two or three and they compare her their gold-standard of giftedness: the kid who was doing algebra at that age?

    And back to the kids who get featured in these stories, even if they can finish multivariate calculus before they're teenagers, there's no guarantee that they'll come up with those magic gravity equations anyway. Success at that level requires an extremely high level of creativity, an ability to challenge dogma, an ability to live with being an outsider, and the stubborness to keep at it even though you can't get a faculty position and you have to walk a thousand miles on a highway of broken glass to get there. Plus some other stuff too, I'd bet. Einstein wasn't working at the patent office because he had a love for the arcana of the language of claims. He couldn't get an academic job.

    So I guess I'm saying that I prefer to nurture high ability and respect it quietly, but honestly, and celebrate achievement.


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    Hi Val,
    I agree. I do not think it is a good thing to prance the kid around like a show dog. Now that the world knows him as this "genius" he will try to live up to those expectations and may not be able to. And people will always criticize no matter how smart and that will be difficult for a child to handle.

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    Originally Posted by Katelyn'sMom
    clearly this boy is HG+ and bravo to his parents for not keeping him in the box.
    Absolutely, no argument there. It sounds as though, very unusually, he's getting the chance to develop his talents to the full. His parents (and teachers) are thereby increasing the chance that he *will* be able to do something genuinely important in the future. I hope that he's not now being given such an inflated view of his potential that nothing will be good enough, but hopefully being in a university environment around people who know more than he does will help. The video's probably best seem as just a bit of fun.


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