Carson Huey-You just completed his final exam at Texas Christian University on Tuesday and will be graduating Saturday with a degree in physics and a double minor in math and Chinese. Oh, and Carson is only 14.
“It didn’t come easily. It really didn’t,” the wunderkind told NBC DFW. “I knew I wanted to do physics when I was in high school, but then quantum physics was the one that stood out to me because it was abstract. You can’t actually see what’s going on, so you have to sort of rely on the mathematics to work everything out.”
Carson says it didn’t come easy, but that’s a relative term coming from someone who first expressed an interest in math at the thumb-sucking age of 3.
“He asked me if he could learn calculus and I thought, ‘Hmm, OK,'” his mother, Claretta Kimp, said.
Kimp took her curious young boy to a public school where they soon realized Carson had an eighth-grade comprehension of math, which was clearly “too advanced” for his age group. This discovery led to Carson skipping several grades and graduating from high school at only 10 years old. He was a freshman at TCU by 11.
But Carson isn’t the only prodigy in the family. His younger brother Cannan, 11, will begin classes at TCU in the fall and plans to major in astrophysics and engineering. He wants to be an astronaut one day.
Kimp joked that to her knowledge, there’s nothing special in their home’s water.
“I would hope what’s in everybody else’s water,” she said. “A lot of love and patience and understanding and commitment.”
The brothers work with TCU professor Magnus Rittby, who took Carson under his wing as a mentor.
“It was challenging enough with one of them,” Rittby said. “As I grow older, I want to tell people that age is not what people tend to think it is, and the same is for young people. I think you can take young people very seriously.”
Rittby said he made a concentrated effort not to “cocoon” Carson so that he would learn quantum mechanics and little else about growing up in other aspects.
“Just give him as many tools as possible to do good in the world,” Rittby said. “His potential is enormous to be able to do things nobody else has done.”