Autistic 14-Year Old University Student Teaches Us – Forget and Think

By Daniel Nilsson on May 19, 2013 in Inspiration
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It is not every day a 14-year old blows your mind

I recently found this TED talk where Jacob Barnett enlighten us why it is important to forget what you know. From a business perspective I find this talk really inspiring. Working for the same company for several years we get stuck in the same loop of thinking and this is really dangerous. The world evolves and we need to constantly question what we do and make sure we don’t get stuck. For an example Bill Gates had his Think Week every year where a lot of Microsoft innovations where evolved. Jacob gives us his reflection on why it is important to think.

About Jacob Barnett

Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school’s special ed. program, Jacob’s teachers and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.

At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein’s field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college student and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world’s youngest astrophysics researcher. His paper was subsequently accepted for publication by Physical Review A, a scientific journal shared on sites such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and Harvard’s webpage. Jacob’s work aims to help improve the way light travels in technology.

Jacob is also CEO and founder of Wheel LLC, a business he started in his mom’s garage, and is in the process of writing a book to help end “math phobia” in his generation.

Jacob’s favorite pastime is playing basketball with the kids at his charity, Jacob’s Place. It is a place where kids with autism are inspired every day to be their true authentic selves…just like Jacob.

Jacobs’s mother has created a webpage where she tells her story. Visit the page by clicking here.


Also published on Medium.

About the Author

Daniel NilssonView all posts by Daniel Nilsson
Growth Strategist from Sweden. Believe growth is founded in a customer centric approach and he uses this focus when helping people and organizations grow. He creates strategies, tools and processes that once implemented, creates a shift, moving people and organizations from good to amazing. Daniel has over 18 years’ experience of growing organizations. He is the co-founder to Sweden’s leading student magazine, Metro Student. He is the creator of the world's leading tool for building partner programs. He has helped several organizations transform from good to amazing.

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