Jacob, a child prodigy who used to crunch his cereal while calculating the volume of the cereal box in his head.
“Whenever I try talking about math with anyone in my family,” he said, “they just stare blankly.”
So do many of his older classmates at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who marvel at seeing this scrawny little kid in the front row of the calculus-based physics class he has been taking this semester.
“When I first walked in and saw him, I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to school with Doogie Howser,’ ” said Wanda Anderson, a biochemistry major, referring to a television show that featured a 16-year-old boy-genius physician.
Elementary school couldn’t keep Jacob interested. And courses at IUPUI have only served to awaken a sleeping giant.
Just a few weeks shy of his 13th birthday, Jake, as he’s often called, is starting to move beyond the level of what his professors can teach.
In fact, his work is so strong and his ideas so original that he’s being courted by a top-notch East Coast research center. IUPUI is interested in him moving from the classroom into a funded researcher’s position.
“We have told him that after this semester . . . enough of the book work. You are here to do some science,” said IUPUI physics Professor John Ross, who vows to help find some grant funding to support Jake and his work.
“If we can get all of those creative juices in a certain direction, we might be able to see some really amazing stuff down the road.”
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