List of child prodigies
In psychology research literature, the term child prodigy is defined as a person under the age of ten who produces meaningful output in some domain to the level of an adult expert performer.
Mathematics and science
- Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher who wrote a treatise on vibrating bodies at the age of nine; he wrote his first proof, on a wall with a piece of coal, at the age of 11 years, and a theorem by the age of 16 years. He is famous for Pascal's theorem and many other contributions in mathematics, philosophy, and physics.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, learned college-level mathematics by age 11, and generated his own theorems in number theory and Bernoulli numbers by age 13 (including independently re-discovering Euler's identity).
- William James Sidis (1898–1944), was an American child prodigy with exceptional mathematical and linguistic skills. He is notable for his 1920 book The Animate and the Inanimate, in which he postulates the existence of dark matter, entropy and the origin of life in the context of thermodynamics. Sidis was raised in a particular manner by his father, psychologist Boris Sidis, who wished his son to be gifted. Sidis first became famous for his precocity and later for his eccentricity and withdrawal from public life. Eventually, he avoided mathematics altogether, writing on other subjects under a number of pseudonyms. He entered Harvard at age 11 and, as an adult, was claimed to have an extremely high IQ, and to be conversant in about 25 languages and dialects. Some of these claims have not been verifiable, but many of his contemporaries, including Norbert Wiener, Daniel Frost Comstock and William James, supported the assertion that his intelligence was very high.
Note: Several mathematicians were mental calculators when they were still children. Mental calculation is not to be confused with mathematics. This section is for child prodigies largely or primarily known for calculating skills.
- Zerah Colburn (1804–1839) had a major display of his ability at age eight.
- Ettore Majorana (1906–1938) could multiply two 3 digit numbers in his head in seconds at the age of 4.
- John von Neumann (1903–1957) A "mental calculator" by the age of six years, who could tell jokes in classical Greek.
- Truman Henry Safford (1836–1901) could square 18 digit numbers at the age of ten years; later in life, he became an astronomer.
- Kishan Shrikanth directed a feature film titled Care of Footpath at age nine and entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest director of a professional level feature film.
- Sheila Sri Prakash (born 1955), is a dancer of Bharatanatyam, having given her first critically acclaimed performance on stage when she was six years old. She had a prolific career in the arts between 1961 and 1984, with accomplishments as a Kuchipudi dancer and Veenai musician. She also distinguished herself as a gifted painter and sculptor. She is currently an architect.
- William Cullen Bryant was published at the age of 10 years; at the age of 13 years, he published a book of political satire poems .
- Minou Drouet caught the notice of French critics at the age of eight, leading to speculation that her mother was the true author of her poetry. She later proved herself to be the author.
- Feldman, David H.; Morelock, M. J. (2011). "Prodigies". In Runco, Mark A.; Pritzker, Steven R. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Creativity. Encyclopedia of Creativity (Second Edition). Academic Press. pp. 261–265. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-375038-9.00182-5. ISBN 978-0-12-375038-9. Lay summary (8 April 2015).
For the purposes of this and future research, a prodigy was defined as a child younger than 10 years of age who has reached the level of a highly trained professional in a demanding area of endeavor.
- Rose, Lacey (2 March 2007). "Whiz Kids". Forbes. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
At the moment, the most widely accepted definition is a child, typically under the age of 10, who has mastered a challenging skill at the level of an adult professional.
- Feldman, David Henry (Fall 1993). "Child prodigies: A distinctive form of giftedness" (PDF). Gifted Child Quarterly. 27 (4): 188–193. doi:10.1177/001698629303700408. ISSN 0016-9862. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- William Durant, Ariel Durant (1963). The Age of Louis XIV: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Pascal, Molière, Cromwell, Milton, Peter the Great, Newton, and Spinoza: 1648-1715. Simon and Schuster. p. 56.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Berndt, Bruce C.; Robert A. Rankin (2001). Ramanujan: Essays and Surveys. Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society. pp. 9. ISBN 0-8218-2624-7.
- "Knowledge". google.com. 1889. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
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- Bergmann, Peter G.; De Sabbata, V. (30 April 2002). Advances in the Interplay Between Quantum and Gravity Physics. ISBN 9781402005930. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- Amaldi, Edoardo; Battimelli, Giovanni; Paoloni, Giovanni (1998). 20th Century Physics. ISBN 9789810223694. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
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- "On William Cullen Bryant". vcu.edu. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- "Kitten on the Keys", (archived page) Time Magazine Jan 28, 1957.
- "The unfading colours of child prodigy". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- "The Hindu : She spells hope and happiness". hinduonnet.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2015.