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What to do with child prodigy: Gabriel See ?

  1. Oct 11, 2011 #1

    rhody

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    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016447952_gabriel09m.html" [Broken]
    and
    for good measure
    So how would you advise such a gifted, curious, off the charts prodigy ? Two-Fish ? Pythagorean ? others ? Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcKZaPAhioQ"...

    Rhody... :confused:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2011 #2
    To answer the question, advise him in what? Where to focus on? He is still figuring things out so I wouldn't put him in a box and have him focus on something too specific, rather allow him to grow accustomed to a particular field of interest.

    The kid may just find out he is interested in painting and philosophy.

    If it is advising him as in helping him with whatever he is interested in, well he'd need someone who is a professional or knows a lot, in the field to help him.

    +1 for Latin!
     
  4. Oct 11, 2011 #3
    This is real? I don't get it, what biological phenomena allows his such powerful skills at such a young age? Autistic?
     
  5. Oct 11, 2011 #4

    DaveC426913

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    The potential of the human mind terrifies me. Mine isn't wired exactly the same, but we all have brains with the horsepower to do these things. Imagine if that were ever unlocked in people in general. They would view us as we view proto-primates - barely more than animals, stumbling around in a fog of dim pre-consciousness.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2011 #5
    Rapid development in the brain. Kids at a young age can absorb and learn very quickly and therefore having such a well-developed brain at a young age allows them to understand difficult topics in depth in a wide variety of fields. Like most prodigies, he'll plateau yet will still be very intelligent. Take for instance Terence Tao, a brilliant student yet was probably out competed at some parts of his graduate studies because his intelligence plateaued but clearly his creativity prevailed.
     
  7. Oct 11, 2011 #6

    mathwonk

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    is he your kid, and do you really need advice, or is this just another endless abstract discussion thread?
     
  8. Oct 11, 2011 #7

    PAllen

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    Terence Tao got a 760 on the SAT math at 8 (to Gabriel See's 720). In other ways, Gabriel See looks more impressive.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2011 #8
    I remember another child prodigy - his name was Ted Kaczynski.

    Anybody remember him?
     
  10. Oct 11, 2011 #9
    Yea, thanks for the Good Will Hunting excerpt (which I happen to enjoy and is slightly relevant), he's the unabomber.
     
  11. Oct 11, 2011 #10
    I'm not sure if you're trying to refute my point because it hasn't really denied anything I said.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2011 #11

    PAllen

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    I wasn't intending to refute anything, just add to the discussion. One idea being that Gabriel See is not completely unprecedented - which is related to the point you were making. I added my own opinion that, based on the news story, there were some ways Gabriel See was more impressive. It appears that Gabriel never tried the International Math Olympiad. Maybe he could have beat Tao's record - gold medal the very day he turned 13.
     
  13. Oct 12, 2011 #12
    The point was that often when kids "grow up" too fast, they end up with emotional problems that far outweigh their intellectual gifts (as I learned studying psychology, not from an said excellent movie =p).
     
  14. Oct 12, 2011 #13
    Besides Tao, i struggle to think of a prodigy who lived up to the hype.

    I mean all great scientists and mathematicians were intelligent as children, but to the extent some of our modern prodigies are made out to be? I doubt it.
     
  15. Oct 12, 2011 #14

    turbo

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    Someone should take this kid out and teach him to fly-fish. Even better, teach him to tie his own flies, too. It's a good idea to engage over-achievers in contemplative exercises, IMO.

    Cameras are so cheap these days that it would be easy to give that kid an outlet in photography, and all it takes is an inexpensive Peterson's guide to get a kid started in bird-watching. Even in the city, birds can be plentiful.
     
  16. Oct 12, 2011 #15

    rhody

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    I like your idea Turbo, get his mind to enjoy nature in a simple non-analytical way. Since he seems to have a photographic like memory, I like the camera idea combined with bird watching as well.

    Perhaps insight into Einstein's brain anatomy may hold a clue, from the "[URL [Broken]
    Rhody...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  17. Oct 12, 2011 #16

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    A cursory knowledge is nice and all, but if he can't really contriubte something meaningful to the subjects he learned it will fade away.

    I can compare to people like myself who know the syntax of some programming languages, but didn't do a lot of long programming projects.

    We can't spread our attention to a lot of stuff simply because time is limited and we should have preferences to take into account.

    I don't believe someone can really understand string theory, chaos theory and quantum mechanics at 13, unless he's connected all day to the chair, and that's a good recipe for quick burnout.
     
  18. Oct 12, 2011 #17

    turbo

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    I concur. When I was writing dB-based application programs for small businesses, I ended up thinking in that structure/language at times when I should have been kicking back, mentally. I had to get out.

    I mentioned photography and bird-watching earlier, because they are a couple of the hobbies that have given me a lot of fun and could chill me out when I was wound-up for some reason.

    Fly-fishing is for the hard-core stress addicts! Go to a gently flowing shallow river or stream in the late afternoon and try to land a well-tied fly in the path of a big brown trout, with no discernible drag or wake (real insects aren't followed by wake-boarders!), and when that guy takes the fly, try to make sure that the hook is firmly set, guide the fish to your net (or hands), remove the hook and let the fish go. That is all such fun that the trials of the day are no more.
     
  19. Oct 12, 2011 #18
    His personality traits are important, I think. I think everybody, not just prodigies, should be in a social environment that fits their personality. Not everybody can adapt easily. I know quite a few brilliant people, who largely because of their environment, didn't live up to their potential.

    Also, the kid isn't some kind of machine. I'm not saying any of you definitely think of him as such but if it so happens that he loves writing fiction, who are we to say he should focus on doing hard math instead of that? Sure, it would be cool but I think one being happy with one's own self is more important. As far as I'm concerned, one gets to live once - might as well try make it a happy existence.
     
  20. Oct 12, 2011 #19

    DaveC426913

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    My bro told me yesterday he would give up everything to fly fish full-time.

    He's going to go out this weekend.
     
  21. Oct 12, 2011 #20
    After reading that,:

    [1] I hate myself for wasting my childhood on video games :cry:
    [2] I'm going to print this out so when my kid grows up and there's no t.v. in the house but just books, he'll shut the f*** up and study!!
    [3] I'm devoting the rest of my undergrad life to studying :mad:
     
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