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11-Year-Old Graduates With Degree In Astrophysics

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the they-should-make-physics-harder dept.

Education 648

Gotenosente writes "11-Year-Old Moshe Kai Cavalin has graduated from East Los Angeles Community College with a degree in astrophysics. 'At a time when his peers are finishing 6th grade, this only child of a Taiwanese mother and an Israeli father is trying on a cap and gown preparing to graduate with a 4.0 from community college.' The article continues with a quotation by the boy, hinting at his modesty, 'I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way.' Daniel Judge, Cavalin's statistics professor, says, 'Most students think that things should be harder than they are and they put these mental blocks in front of them and they make things harder than they should be. In the case of Moshe, he sees right through the complications.'"

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648 comments

Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28251997)

It is amazing to have done this by age 11 but it is a 2 year associates degree of liberal arts in astrophysics.

Once again, I'm not trying to detract from his accomplishments but this isn't exactly as intensive as a four year bachelor's of science.

I was looking for a course plan from that college but could not find one for astrophysics [google.com] ... if you look up regular physics [elac.edu] , it simply says "The item you selected does not have a Certificate/Degree." Please note their general catalogue has no mention of astrophysics [elac.edu] . This is the extent of all of their Physics courses:
  • PHYSICS 001 Mechanics of Solids
  • PHYSICS 002 Mechanics of Fluids, Heat and Sound
  • PHYSICS 003 Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHYSICS 004 Optics and Modern Physics
  • PHYSICS 006 General Physics I
  • PHYSICS 007 General Physics II
  • PHYSICS 011 Introductory Physics
  • PHYSICS 021 General Physics I with Calculus
  • PHYSICS 022 General Physics II with Calculus

Leaves a bit to be desired. Is it possible to "get" a degree in physics (let alone a special area of physics) with the most advanced course being "Optics and Modern Physics?" I think in my undergrad we touched on relativity in required physics courses with several advanced courses devoted entirely to it and its special forms.

The Ballad of Moshe Kai (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252061)

Forged from an Asian prostitute and a Greedy Jew,
The muttly latchkey kid's brain always grew and grew,
His father's hunger for money, his mother's hunger for cocks,
Did influence profoundly his own love for spaceborne rocks,

He became smarter, smarter, smarter over many, many years,
Giving up a life of chasing pussy and drinking many beers,
He joined the illuminati whilst he researched bodies in the heavens,
And only then did he discover that the JEWS DID 9/11.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (4, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252069)

I could barely tie my shoe laces when I was 11 let alone come out with: "I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way." That's a very special comment right there.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252143)

"I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way." That's a very special comment right there.

It's also an incredibly shallow triumph of an Olympic grade platitudinous pandering politically correct aphorism. The kid's teacher says he can "see right through the complications," but he's still been brainwashed into thinking that he's not unusual. What a shame. And how typical.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (4, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252211)

Appreciating others' skills doesn't make it impossible to recognise your own . . .

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (5, Funny)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252387)

But why can't he be an evil genius? The world needs more evil geniuses so that we can get more super heroes.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (4, Insightful)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252295)

Why is it a shame? If he was raised to think he was very different from everyone else he might have feigned stupid to fit in. Regardless he'll probably discover in his teenage years that he lacks peers and seek to remedy the situation somehow. Actually with his current ambition to be an actor he may end up facing just as much difficulty as anyone else - and it's not a shame to waste a genius mind on acting. Everyone is entitled to attempt to succeed at their own dreams.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252411)

Odds are he'll kill himself by age 30, actually.

Wait, he graduated from ELAC? ELAC?
There aren't enough LOLs in the world for this one.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (5, Insightful)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252347)

...an Olympic grade platitudinous pandering politically correct aphorism.

Didn't your mother ever teach you to not use a $20 word where a $5 word will do? ;)

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (0, Redundant)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252539)

...an Olympic grade platitudinous pandering politically correct aphorism.

Didn't your mother ever teach you to not use a $20 word where a $5 word will do? ;)

How about...

"really very silly phrase people only use to make dumb people feel okay."

But then it doesn't sound like something The Penguin (of Batman fame) would say...

Unless he were repeating himself... ...To Killer Croc.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252443)

It's also an incredibly shallow triumph of an Olympic grade platitudinous pandering politically correct aphorism.

james joyce? is that you?

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252457)

Personally, I was designing databases when I was 7 years old with the knowledge I was able to cull out of a stack of Byte magazines. I don't think he's particularly unusual.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252087)

You forgot to add Sensationalism 101.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (2, Informative)

LogarithmicSpiral (1463679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252105)

According to TFA, he plans to get a 4 year degree after taking 6-12 months off, though he doesn't specify a major.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252409)

According to TFA, he plans to get a 4 year degree after taking 6-12 months off, though he doesn't specify a major.

That a boy...go to college on the six year plan just like real twentysomethings.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252515)

Personally I think that the time off should be time off in a normal school with kids his age

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252109)

Oh, give me a break! He's only 11 you jealous prick.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (2, Interesting)

glueball (232492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252219)

How come there are no genius 11 year olds graduating with a Communications or Journalism degree? How about a Bus Ad or Political Sci degree?

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252419)

Because if you're smart enough to get a degree at that age you want to get it in something real and useful? Of the ones you mentioned the only real degree is journalism.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (2, Funny)

Liberaltarian (1030752) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252449)

I sure hope not. They'd have an unfair advantage in Business Administration, where the best that most can do is simply act like 11-year-olds.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252319)

Yes, but he seems very smug... Hippy related comment. From an article on yahoo "I think video games are a waste of time, They do nothing to help the world"

I paraphrase, as i am too lazy to look it up.

I laugh at your 2 year associate's degree. a REAL man would've gotten his bachelor's, and in 3 years.

Pussy.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252343)

Some how I don't think he is done with his schooling. Yea I was going to make a joke about it just being a community college but thought better of it.
So he has a two year degree at 11. I wonder if he will start adding a few more Associates degrees before he goes to a major university. By the time he is say 16 he could have several associates degrees in a variety of subjects. Actually that would probably be a better choice as long as he doesn't get board.
He could actually end up a very well rounded person by the time he goes off to a major University.

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252485)

Oy vey...

I was so surprised to see that he wasn't BLACK, weren't you

Oh, I forget, "We're all the same", because the Jews say so. At least, the Jews have been telling you this blatant LIE over and over, every day of your lives, for the past sixty years, but everywhere you look with your own eyes, you can see it isn't true.

Blacks destroy white societies.

Can you show me anywhere this is not the case? Are you going to allow your children to grow up in a society where they are a minority, surrounded by a majority of third worlders, who are taking and destroying everything the white race has ever made?

Re:Two Year Associate's Degree of Liberal Arts (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252501)

Dude, there is that physics with calculus. Calculus, you know, math stuff? Math is hard, bro.

Games Are a "Waste of Time" (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252039)

From the article

There is one thing this boy wonder does not like.

"I feel it's a waste of time playing video games, I feel its a waste of time and it's not helping humanity in any way."

And GamePolitics' Andrew Eisen [gamepolitics.com] notes:

Perhaps a rather odd statement coming from a lad whose passions include martial arts, scuba diving and playing piano. He also aspires to be a movie actor.

I found that amusing that he finds some form of entertainment to (music & movies) to benefit humanity more so than games. I wonder if he's ever played Settlers of Catan?

Re:Games Are a "Waste of Time" (2, Interesting)

Bryan Gividen (739949) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252099)

While I don't espouse this particular idea (nor do I argue against it), the boy may see a difference between art and entertainment. Generally, video games are classified as popular entertainment that uses technical skills commonly employed in arts, but video games themselves are not considered art. However, movies are commonly considered an art form which also is employed as entertainment.

Like I said, I'm not for or against that idea, but it seems like a logical distinction and could account for his preference.

Re:Games Are a "Waste of Time" (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252511)

Bull. Shit.
He's spouting off what his teachers and parents feed to him.

I can just picture a middle-aged english teacher complaining about kids not reading anymore, and then having "film fridays" for her class.

Remember, it's educational if you call it a film, it's deplorable trash and a waste of time if it's a movie.

Re:Games Are a "Waste of Time" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252139)

He's 11 years old, for god's sakes. He most certainly is wonderfully bright and talented, with a terrific future before him, but do you really think he has his own opinions already?

Re:Games Are a "Waste of Time" (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252357)

I think he correctly intuits that martial arts, scuba diving and piano are much better at cultivating a healthy mind and body than sitting around playing Halo is. The movie-actor bit, I grant you, is a little closer to a contradiction.

Videogames have some rewards (and I'm very interesting in videogames) but at an incredible opportunity cost in leisure time.

I'm not surprised.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252043)

Its not rocket science after all

Not a genius? He probably is. (5, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252051)

I thought genius was defined as something like an IQ in the 98th percentile or higher.

By the way, most preteens don't have the emotional maturity to succeed in a "normal" college social environment. I'm not saying they can't succeed academically, it's just unlikely they will "fit in" in most college social organizations. We all need to be with our social peers.

Community college is a bit different as there's less of a social environment. On-line school is also a huge opportunity for "non-traditional" students such as those too young to drive or old enough to not be carded.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (1, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252081)

"I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way."

Not only smart, but insightful too :)

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252249)

I will bet dollars to doughnuts he was spoonfed that corny line by his parents from the age of 2.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252103)

Genius is 130+, retarded is -70, and average is 100.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252225)

And around here you can't even get higher than 5.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (2, Funny)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252315)

com'on now, dont you get 30 points automaticlly for writting your name? Maybe an extra 10 if you spell it correctly....

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252549)

extra 15 if you write down your feelings

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252163)

it's just unlikely they will "fit in" in most college social organizations

Speaking as someone who was in the same situation, but kept in regular school, it's just as unlikely that he'll "fit in" in the regular school system.

We all need to be with our social peers.

And what if you don't have any social peers? In regular school, at best he'll be ostracized and bored. At worst he'll be bullied and bored.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252231)

I thought genius was defined as something like an IQ in the 98th percentile or higher.

Not. I did a hard course at an elite university. I have no trouble believing we were all in the top 2%. But we weren't freaking geniuses.

Re:Not a genius? He probably is. (5, Insightful)

dread (3500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252351)

Our social peers? Allow me to laugh derisively. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Being different in school SUCKS ASS. At least in college people are sufficiently grown up to not be assholes 100 percent of the time.

Social peers is all to often a nice waying of saying "hang out with the half wits". There is a lot of value being put on "functioning well in groups" that for certain people mean they get to learn that they really don't want to be part of any group that they haven't selected for themselves.

oh yeah? (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252055)

Think you're smart, kid? Well, I can still kick your ass at teatherball. (I hope.)

Re:oh yeah? (2, Funny)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252263)

I think that's unlikely. The kid's won a lot of martial arts competitions. In the video, it shows a trophy that's bigger than he is. AND, he's a good musician. Face it, this kid puts pretty much everyone else to shame mentally, physically, and spiritually. Although, each of us is shameful in our own way.

Re:oh yeah? (1)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252429)

I've got him beat in mediocracy and procrastination skills. I bet I can be an order of magnitude more unproductive than he can.

Re:oh yeah? (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252439)

"Face it, this kid puts pretty much everyone else to shame mentally, physically, and spiritually."

Yea, Well I'd still Pwn his ass at Call of Duty.

Re:oh yeah? (4, Funny)

root_42 (103434) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252301)

Think you're smart, kid? Well, I can still kick your ass at teatherball. (I hope.)

Certainly you can't beat him at spelling...

Re:oh yeah? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252323)

I hope you can play it better than you can spell it! ;)

Quote (5, Insightful)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252073)

"I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way."

Clearly he has never read Youtube comments.

Re:Quote (2, Informative)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252111)

Touche. And of course the obligatory [xkcd.com] link.

Yay, Community College! (0)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252075)

"At a time when his peers are finishing 6th grade, this only child of a Taiwanese mother and an Israeli father is trying on a cap and gown preparing to graduate with a 4.0 from community college." The article continues with a quotation by the boy, hinting at his modesty, "I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way and it is, after all, only community college."

Fixed that for him.

Re:Yay, Community College! (2, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252185)

Seriously, I was impressed until I saw the community college part. This is most likely just a publicity stunt to bring more attention to their crappy little campus.

If he was really all that impressive, a real university would have sponsored him, particularly since they would probably turn him over to research work until an age appropriate for the working community and in the process developing a sizable portfolio of research and (most likely) publications.

Re:Yay, Community College! (1)

Yold (473518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252475)

He is 11. I am guessing he will be attending college at a real university. He passed a calculus based physics class, give him some credit.

Can I just say... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252079)

NERD!

FTFA (3, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252085)

Cavalin is quoted as saying:

I like to study just because knowledge goes to wisdom and only by wisdom can we help the world

Wow, what a kid. All the best to him.

This kid is going to get laid... (1)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252091)

Big time! Nothing makes a young lad more popular with the ladies than a degree in Astrophysics from a community college.

Hey ladies, my love is like T^2 = (4 pi^2 a^3)/(G (m_1+m_2))

...I copied the equation from Wolfram|Alpha [wolframalpha.com] ...I'm smart like the kid said...at searching search engines.

Re:This kid is going to get laid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252157)

True, but it's probably because he's gained some fame. If you're famous enough, it doesn't matter how ugly your personality or features are.

Big Deal... (1, Funny)

racecarj (703239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252097)

I got laid at the age of 14. I doubt anyone with a degree in astrophysics is going to beat that.

Re:Big Deal... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252137)

At 14 my friend's mother gave me a blowjob.

At 15 I was taking college courses.

At 22 I made my first $100K.

At 27 I made my first $1M.

Re:Big Deal... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252333)

At what age do you stop taking the drugs and seek counseling?

Re:Big Deal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252385)

Then came the dot-com burst. Now at 37 you're anonymously trolling Slashdot from your parents basement.

Re:Big Deal... (1)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252455)

...And yet you continue to be an anonymous coward.

Re:Big Deal... (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252489)

The Sims doesn't count

Re:Big Deal... (0, Flamebait)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252495)

Big deal. I was molested at age 5. Does that count in your little pissing contest?

Re:Big Deal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252281)

At 14? With your teacher? ;-)

Re:Big Deal... (1)

racecarj (703239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252337)

no... i just grew up in a rural area. nothing else to do...

Selection unfairness. (5, Insightful)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252113)

Brilliant little kid, I must say. And I am very glad that he is given the recognition he deserves.

However, I'd like to point out that every time we see an extraordinary case like his, there are countless other examples that are half way there. What I mean is that why do only the "super-genius" kids get to advance faster in schools and colleges? What about those people that are smart and dedicated enough to pass through say high-school in 1-2 years, rather than the usual 5-6. Instead these people are forced to stay 5-6 years doing highschool. Same thing with college.

Not everyone is meant to fit into the average of society. That is why we allow people to repeat grade levels and university subjects. So why not go the other way and allow above average students, or students with above average dedication to finish faster. Sounds like a double standard to me.

Re:Selection unfairness. (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252191)

Instead these people are forced to stay 5-6 years doing highschool.

I hope you don't just mean grades 9-12....

Re:Selection unfairness. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252373)

You mean grades 9-12 didn't last 5-6 years? It sure felt like it... Actually in the absence of a middle school, a "high school" may house students from 7-12th despite the 7th and 8th graders not actually being called high schoolers...

Re:Selection unfairness. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252209)

Welcome to "no child left behind". The policy that ensures that the smartest students are held back to the level of the dumbest.

Re:Selection unfairness. (2, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252441)

Not to defend NCLB, but was there some previous policy that did not hold back the smartest students? I seem to recall that being the status quo long before NCLB.

Re:Selection unfairness. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252467)

Utter bullshit. NCLB is a failure but teachers have been required to teach to the "lowest common denominator" for a LONG time. At the very least, since the 1970's. (Wasn't in school before that.) NCLB was, in fact, supposed to fix this problem. While the teacher's unions (though NOT the teachers) worked their darnedest to make sure that any good that could come of NCLB has failed, it did not cause the problem you mention.

You do a disservice to fixing the US education system by blaming a failed solution to an existing problem as the source of the problem.

Re:Selection unfairness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252227)

Not sure which kind of high school you went to exactly, but where I come from most people tend to finish it in 4 years...

Re:Selection unfairness. (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252255)

I've got to say that in High School nothing pissed me off more than finding one of my peers had found a way to advance more rapidly than the rest of the class, and I didn't even know the opportunity existed until someone had won it. I took every academic opportunity that I had access to and there were a handful of people who got more because they had a special relationship with the administration. I probably could have done community college at 6th grade, most definitely by the time I hit high-school. I think there are a lot of people out there that could handle that; the problem is if the smart kids go off to magnet schools or college before high school then you screw up the whole test scores metric.

Re:Selection unfairness. (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252277)

Are you kidding me? I wish I could have spent *more* time in high school. At least that way I might have stood a chance of getting laid sooner. All this focus on academic achievement really diminishes the attention we should be paying to our sexual organs when we are young and able to do so. I can calculate Feynman diagrams but I can't get some tail? What's wrong with the world today? Somebody please think of the children.

Also in some cases (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252401)

The option to advance faster is available, but recommended against. School isn't just about mental development, it is social development as well, and that is something that seems to be harder to accelerate.

When I was going in to first grade, my parents were offered the option to skip me ahead a grade. Whatever test it was I took showed I was far enough ahead to skip a grade. Apparently it actually showed I was far enough ahead to skip more than one, but one was all they offered. However my mom (a teacher) decided against it for social reasons.

I'm glad she did. I'm sure I would have done fine academically, school was never all that great a challenge for me. I probably could have skipped grades a few times and graduated at a young age... but to what end? I had enough trouble with socialization, as many geeks do, that wouldn't have helped at all. Especially since one valuable lesson I learned in school is yes, maybe you are smarter than many people, but that doesn't make you better than them. Don't look down at someone just because they aren't as smart as you.

Also, what do you do if you graduate early? University would suck. You'd be practically the only non-adult there. Just loaf around the house for a few years? That's not a good idea.

So really I think it makes sense to keep kids in school until a regular graduation time. Instead, just offer opportunities to learn more. My school was pretty good about there. There was advanced placement classes in some subjects, plenty of extra curricular activities and so on. I think that's a much better idea than trying to rush through school and then be a minor, yet be expected to enter the real world. The growing up part is important too. No need to rush it. You've got lots and lots of time to be an adult.

As for university, I dunno about where you went but where I went you could complete it as fast as you could handle. You can CLEP a lot of stuff, and with a dean's permission take as many units as would fit in your schedule. Completing a degree in 2 years would be an amazing amount of work, but perfectly doable if you could handle the load.

Big deal... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252141)

Tag this story communitycollege.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252147)

Great, more kids that are smarter than I am.

Community college? (4, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252175)

Hum, being so precocious, he is probably very intelligent. Why then go to community college? I am not entirely familiar with US education system, but I was under the impression that these places were considered much less challenging.

Re:Community college? (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252279)

Im going to guess due to his age the school system thought it would be better for him to go to a community college cause it may be somewhat easier then move up to a larger school. Again this is all a guess.

Re:Community college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252435)

...because most Community Colleges cater to the 11 year old mind ;-)

Re:Community college? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252505)

Real universities don't want to admit students of his age in the vast majority of cases. It's just plain ageism.

So what (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252201)

If I was too young to buy booze and be interested in chicks I probably could have got an A+ too. Show off....

Re:So what (1)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252547)

"A 2004 survey by Toronto magazine NOW was answered by an unspecified number of thousands. The results show that an overwhelming majority of the males (81%) began masturbating between the ages of 10 and 15." [Source] [wikipedia.org]

I'll let everyone make their own assumptions.

Not really a good idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252213)

Ask anyone who has done something like this (myself included, but not to that extreme), and, 5-10 years down the line, they'll tell you that their parents should never have had them do it. School isn't entirely there to learn what's in the classes, it's also training you socially. Anything that desynchronizes you from the social skills you're supposed to be learning at any given age is a long run detriment, because social skills build just like math and science. And the 'real world' is a lot more dependent on social factors than most people this website wants to believe.

A genius? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252233)

I guess he was reading /. when he was 3 weeks old, just like I am doing.

Community college astrophysics? (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252235)

What kind of community college offers astrophysics? Hell, my four-year university doesn't even offer it!

Aspergers (4, Insightful)

composer777 (175489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252239)

I think as we grow more aware of the extraordinary talents and focuses of those that are on the autism spectrum, we will see more of these fast-track through college kids. People with autism spectrum disorders tend to develop intellectually much faster, but when it comes to dealing with the real world, are usually way behind their peers. One big clue is that he sees no purpose to games. The unpredictability is probably overwhelming to him at this point in his development. If he has motor-coordination issues, that could also make him dislike sports.

So, we'll come to accept people like this for who they are, give them an outlet for their early intellectual development, and also provide a society that supports the fact that emotionally they may be far behind their peers. That sounds like a much better world than one that treats ASD's as a disease or freakshow. While is IQ may qualify as genius, I hope his parents realize that he may very well be disabled in other areas of functioning, and give him the proper support. Too often, people like this feel enormous pressure, and get no support for their weaknesses.

Re:Aspergers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252359)

There exists focused, driven and intelligent people that don't have a shred of aspergers in them you know. At this level of intellectual accomplishment, having a freakish intellect apart from AS is probably the main factor. I agree however that most people who monomanically studies terse subjects probably (by direct observation of my peers) have at least sub-clinical aspergers.

Re:Aspergers (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252413)

Have you heard of oodaloop syndrome? It's where you get sick of every personality quirk being called a syndrome.

Hybrid vigor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252243)

Hybrid vigor.

You you know what that is... you'll agree with me.

Humility (4, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252265)

Sorry this is off-topic but this makes me boil:

Saying "I'm not a genius because there are 6.5 billion people" is not humility, it's selflessness. He's 11, I don't blame him, but why does the article extol this as some kind of virtue. There's nothing virtuous in making deliberately biased assessments against oneself. Humility is about objectively acknowledging fallibility. Saying "Indeed I am very precocious and I do qualify as a "child prodigy", however, you should refrain from drawing too much conclusions as many geniuses were late bloomers, etc". That's humility. Self-dissing isn't.

Um, not to rain on his parade... (2, Interesting)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252299)

or to take away from an 11yr old's accomplishments...

but is a Community College seriously giving out degrees in astrophysics?

What other certificate course do they have? a 12 month Doctorate in Rocketry Science?

Perhaps a 6 month Masters in Physiology with a special emphasis in Cardiology.

You can even double major in Small Engine Repair, and this week we have specials if you combo with Massage Therapy or Hair Design.

Anyway joking aside I am sure it was a wonderful experience for him, and I would guess the parents have a large role here in motivating him, likely by promoting the idea of education and learning as both desirable and fun. Genius or no, he is probably a smart kid who is likely mature for his years.

Re:Um, not to rain on his parade... (2, Insightful)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252525)

Or his parents hover over his every move and they don't know what a joke is.

Community college? (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252305)

Kai Cavalin has graduated from East Los Angeles Community College

I'm sure he's more brilliant than I'll ever to close to, but wouldn't it have made sense to go to a real university if he's that smart?

Here's some Doogie Howser music, if you miss the intro, like I do (for some bizarre reason) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3qt3k_alternate-doogie-howser-md-tv-intro_fun [dailymotion.com]

Blaming the student for being ignorant (4, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252363)

Daniel Judge, Cavalin's statistics professor says, "Most students think that things should be harder than they are and they put these mental blocks in front of them and they make things harder than they should be.

I've heard it before. It's not the teacher's inability to teach, but it is the student's fault. The "Fear of Math" syndrome. People need to wake up to the reality that success is largely based on environment. If people, for example, don't have access to astro-physics books, then they are unlikely to be astrophysicists. And educational attainment has more to do with one's parents and up-bringing than with one's own inherent intellectual ability.

I'd be more impressed if this child didn't have access to books and preferential treatment from parents and teachers and succeeded on his own to become an astrophysicist. I would also prefer to see professor Daniel Judge fired from his job for his inability to teach students.

Do wunderkinds produce more for society? (3, Interesting)

Synn (6288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252383)

It's really impressive to see a child prodigy, but do they go on to achieve more in life than the "average" smart crowd that goes through a more normal progression?

AnD Then Accepts Job Offer: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252395)

from China.

Sheldon Cooper? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252427)

Am I the only one who thought "that's a Sheldon Cooper right there" when he read that article?

False humility (3, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252433)

How much are you willing to bet that he just said that for the reporters (or was told to say that BY the reporters)? If I were 11, I would be bragging away. Also, 1st comment is right - he rushed through on an easy degree. He should come back when he gets his doctorate - that's the real test. Just as an anecdote - I could have been taking university courses at 15 or 16 (virtually anyone with a grade 9-level education can, since the rest is basically rehashing and enhancing on whatever is already learned), but many universities simply do not allow minors to enroll, whether they have a high school diploma or not. It's likely there was an exception made for him, and he was also likely homeschooled (unless he got his HS diploma by age 9). This is similar to the 9-year-old judge and all 'prodigies'. Many of them, especially ones in objective fields deserve their degrees, but you wonder sometimes about whether connections made more of a difference in trailblazing a path for his future.

And was never heard from again. . . (4, Insightful)

Xerolooper (1247258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252491)

You see this happen all the time they push kids who are really smart so hard they fizzle out. I went to a special school for "gifted" children and most of my friends were burned out by their mid 20's. Not to mention depressed because they didn't make their first million by the age of 25. I "gave up" dropped contact with all my smart friends and got a "civil service" job. Ignorance truly is bliss, if your not freaked out by the state of the world you probably don't understand what is going on. The world doesn't know what to do with gifted people and gifted people are sideswiped by the fact that even though logically and by all reason they should succeed they don't. The world just doesn't work that way.

This is in direct contrast to Einstien (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252545)

Albert:
Tried to gain admittance to college several times.
It took over a dozen papers (including the photon concept) for him to gain admittance to college.
He intensely disliked rote learning, clashing with instructors and administrators over it.
Had a reputation to goof off (He was actually having some lovely brainstorms, one storm on space-time coming to him as he was riding a bus.)
Was a ladies man (They really wigged out when he broke out his violin).

The kid had better get used to failure; poor Albert was rife with it throughout his life.

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