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Meet Kairan Quazi, who is only nine, and already in college

The boy genius is double majoring in math and chemistry at Las Positas College, in Livermore, near San Francisco.

Meet Kairan Quazi
Kairan Quazi has been identified as profoundly gifted, meaning his IQ score is in the top 0.1% of the population.

Kairan Quazi, a student at Las Positas College, in Livermore, near San Francisco has a lot in common with his classmates. He is highly idealistic, loves to talk politics and hates America’s worsening polarization and political dysfunction. He practically lights up when you mention gravitational forces, and don’t even get him started on how his favorite book, George Orwell’s “1984,” written on 8 June 1949, out of the battered landscape of total war, in a nation hungry, tired and grey, feels more relevant than ever before.

But the extroverted learner with a passion for science and current events is very different in one respect: he's nine-years-old.

“Being an extrovert has helped me make a lot of friends in college ― they even ask me to tutor them,” wrote Quazi in “HuffPost.”

“Whenever I start a new class, other students give me curious looks, and I can see some people secretly taking photos and videos of me. I hear them whispering, “He’s so cute!” or “He’s so smart!” but I try to break the ice by introducing myself so they can see that it’s OK to talk to me and be my friend. I also send my professors an email before the first day of class so that they are not confused when I walk in,” he added.

Doctors tested Quazi’s IQ to be above the 99.9th percentile in third grade and said his emotional intelligence (EQ) was also “surprisingly high.” Once the tests showed that he was “profoundly gifted” his parents changed tack and moved him to a specialized elementary school. Today, he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Pleasanton, and attends both fourth grade and college.

However, Quazi says his smarts sometimes put him in complicated situations and more than a spot of trouble.

“In kindergarten, I learned that telling my friends that Bashar al-Assad was using chemical weapons against his own people would cause kids to cry on the playground,” wrote Quazi. “My parents received a call from an unhappy principal that day. And telling my third-grade science teacher that her knowledge of gravity lacked depth earned me a spot on her naughty list for the rest of the year.”

Clearly, Quazi is a wonderfully funny nine-year-old who likes Pokemon, video games, magic tricks, Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, traveling, and making friends.  

“People always ask if I am a “genius,” but my parents explain that genius is an action ― it requires solving big problems that have a human impact. Right now I am a 9-year-old boy with very strong skills in some areas. Mom says she’s the only genius in the house because it takes one to keep this house from falling apart!,” jokes Quazi.

Quazi hopes to transfer to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a few years. He’s excited about an internship with a major tech company in Silicon Valley, working in the artificial intelligence division.

Quazi is weirdly good at what the doctors’ call “asynchronous learning.” That means he can blaze through academic subjects and even learn stuff out of sequence. For example, he learned linear algebra concepts before he ever took a formal algebra class.

“My parents like to say that I literally “Khan Academy’ed” my way into college. But there are other areas where my brain is still catching up, like handwriting, spelling and taking notes,” says Quazi. “I don’t learn foreign languages easily. I am trying to challenge myself by learning Bengali from my family and Mandarin from my very patient tutor Ms Vienna. Please wish me luck!”

Quazi has a knack for computer languages though and started Python programming at YoungWonks coding academy at 7. Today, he’s among the academy’s most advanced Python students, and uses his Python background to teach himself more than a dozen coding languages. He’s also taking an open-source master class on machine learning.

It comes as no surprise that the boy genius is “obsessed with books.”

“A good book makes me forget to finish my meals and get ready on time for school. This causes my parents to yell a lot. Wait, isn’t reading supposed to be a good thing?” he quips.

A few of Quazi’s favorite books include Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” which was reviewed in Braingainmag.com, George Orwell’s “1984” and the “Game of Thrones” series.

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