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Jacob Barnett was just 9-year-old when he has astounded university professors with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics. While playing with shapes, he built a series of mathematical models that has expanded Einstein’s field of relativity – which was described by Princeton University professors as ground breaking.
Now, he’s the youngest researcher to ever be accepted to Waterloo, Ont.’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and considered as one of the world’s promising physicists.
According to his mother, Kristine Barnett, it is still a mystery to her and her family where Jacob got his gift in mathematics. “I flunked math. I know this did not come from me” she said in an interview for Indiana Star.
Kristine also said that when Jacob was just a toddler they worry that he will be educationally abnormal since he has stopped speaking for a year-and-a-half and was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. According to her it was only when he began to grow up when they realized just how special his gift was.
He would fill up note pads of paper with drawings of complex geometrical shapes and calculations, before picking up felt tip pens and writing equations on windows. He was also solving 5,000-piece puzzles and he even studied a state road map, reciting every highway and license plate prefix from memory.
Kristine narrated her son’s incredible life in the recently published book “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.”
On the other hand, for the next year Jacob will spend his time doing his master’s degree program at the Perimeter Institute, where he will work alongside some of the top students in the world.
Here’s a video of Jacob on an inspiring TEDx talk where he urges people to “stop learning and start thinking”.