11-yr-old who aims for ‘immortality’ becomes world’s second youngest graduate

·1-min read
Laurent Simons
Laurent Simons

Laurent Simons, an 11-year-old Belgian, is the world’s second-youngest graduate. Laurent, a native of the Belgian seaside town of Ostend, received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Antwerp at the young age of 11.

The prodigy didn’t just graduate; he graduated with summa cum laude (given to the student with the highest distinction). Then, he finished his three-year degree in one year and exceeded all expectations. He also graduated from high school in less than a year and a half. Also, Laurent got his diploma at the age of eight.

World's second youngest graduate with his parents
World's second youngest graduate with his parents

Only a year ago, the little youngster acquired an interest in mechanics and physics. He quickly chose to pursue his passion. When he was in high school, he lived with his grandparents in Belgium. Just recently returned to live with his parents in the Netherlands. The second-youngest graduate now intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Physics at the Flemish University.

Simons might have graduated even younger. But he dropped out of Eindhoven University in the Netherlands when he was nine years old in 2019. It was after officials refused to allow him to graduate before his tenth birthday on December 26.

Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Simons asserted, “Immortality, that is my goal. I want to be able to replace as many body parts as possible with mechanical parts. I’ve mapped out a path to get there. You can see it as a big puzzle. Quantum physics—the study of the smallest particles—is the first piece of the puzzle.” Michael Kearney is the youngest graduate who earned his degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama in 1994 aged 10.

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