There are fast learners, and there is Laurent Simons. The Amsterdam boy is about to receive a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology at age 9, making him the world's youngest college graduate ever. "The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent," says his father, Alexander, though no one is sure quite why, CNN reports. His is a family of doctors, and his grandparents first spotted Laurent's abilities. Teachers then gave him a battery of tests. "They told us he is like a sponge," his father says. His mother, Lydia, jokes that it's because she ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy. Laurent's tutor estimates he's three times as intelligent as his next-best student. He only started college in March, per the Independent. Until now, the youngest graduate ever received a degree from the University of Alabama in 1994, at age 10.
His next stop is graduate school, of course, and US universities have joined the recruiting battle. Laurent's plans include a doctorate in engineering, as well as a medical degree. He hasn't picked a university yet, but he knows where he'd like it to be. "I really want to go to California; the weather is nice there," Laurent said. He plans to someday develop artificial organs, or be a heart surgeon, or become an astronaut. Or do all those things. For now, his parents try to keep Laurent from feeling too much pressure to be brilliant. "He does whatever he likes," Alexander Simons says. "We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents." (Read more child prodigy stories.)