Special Report

31 Famous Child Prodigies

Source: Shriram1212 / Wikimedia Commons

21. Praveen Kumar Gorakavi (1989 -)
> Country of origin: India
> Talent: Chemical engineer

Praveen Kumar Gorakavi is accomplished in many areas. When he was 13, he developed a formula to calculate calendars beginning in 20,000 BC to 20,000 AD. He also created an artificial leg that bends at the knee. Additionally, Gorakavi has developed water purification technology and made advancements in biofuel synthesis and solar energy.

Source: Doc Searls / Wikimedia Commons

22. Anne-Marie Imafidon (1990 -)
> Country of origin: United Kingdom
> Talent: Mathematician

Mathematician Anne-Marie Imafidon is a computing and language prodigy. She was the youngest person to be awarded a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science by the University of Oxford. Imafidon founded the the Stemettes in 2013, an organization focused on encouraging girls to pursue a career in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. She also co-founded Outbox Incubator, a tech incubator for teen girls.

Source: Halifax International Security Forum / Flickr

23. Taylor Wilson (1994 -)
> Country of origin: United States
> Talent: Nuclear physicist

At age 14, Arkansas native Taylor Wilson, son of a soft-drink bottler and yoga instructor, became the youngest person to build a nuclear reactor. In 2011, he won the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his radiation detector, which can be used to find nuclear materials on cargo ships. The innovation impressed President Barack Obama at a science fair his administration sponsored.

Source: Kano Computing / Wikimedia Commons

24. Kelvin Doe (1996 -)
> Country of origin: Sierra Leone
> Talent: Engineer

Sierra Leone native Kelvin Doe taught himself engineering at age 13. He built batteries, amplifiers, transmitters, and other items out of scrap metal and trash. He even started his own radio station. Doe’s innovations got the attention of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which invited him to participate in its “Visiting Practitioner’s Program,” becoming the youngest person to do so.

Source: Álvaro / Wikimedia Commons

25. Jacob Barnett (1998 -)
> Country of origin: United States
> Talent: Physicist

When he was 2 years old, Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with autism, and his parents were told he would not be able to walk, read, or function independently. His mother Kristine was undeterred and focused her son on his interests in math and science. Barnett responded, and by age 3 he had learned four languages, was completing complex jigsaw puzzles, and taught himself Braille. He became a college student at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis at age 10 and a published physicist three years later.

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