Under normal conditions, Laurent Simons would have started third grade last September. He would enjoy the company of 9-year-old children and would come to his friends’ house many afternoons to celebrate birthdays and enjoy childhood in all its splendor. But Laurent Simons is not just any child.
Despite being nine years old, Laurent is pursuing a career in electrical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), a university degree that is difficult even for students who have finished high school at age 18. But Laurent is what is known as a child prodigy and he can finish his degree this December.
University staff say of her that it is “just extraordinary.” But even though Laurent will be a graduate in just a month, he does not plan to stop studying: he already has in mind to start a medical career. And her impressive qualities began to be noticed very soon, when he passed one test after another while his educators tried to understand how far his understanding reached.
It’s like a sponge
Lydia and Alexander Simons are the boy’s parents and they assure CNN that they still don’t understand how their son may have become a genius. He has hs own theory: “I ate a lot of fish during pregnancy,” she laughs.
He is more pragmatic: “I don’t know why, but they told us it’s like a sponge.” Laurent absorbs absolutely everything
Eindhoven University of Technology has allowed Laurent to complete his studies faster than normal. According to TEU director of education Sjoerd Hulshof, “That is not unusual. Special students who have good reason to do so can organize tight schedules. In the same way, we help students who participate in the best sports.”
For Hulshof, Laurent is a “just extraordinary kid. Laurent is the fastest student we’ve ever had in college. He is not only hyper-intelligent, but also a very understanding kid.” But, in addition, Laurent is clear about his future: his favorite subject is electrical engineering, but he will also “study a little medicine” when he finishes his current career.
Now the best universities in the world want Laurent to study there, but his parents want the decision to make sense. Alexander Simons explains that “the focus will be on research and the application of knowledge to discover new things.” And they also don’t forget that Laurent is 9 years old: “We don’t want him to be too serious. He does what he likes. We need to find a balance between being a boy and his talents.”