Unlike most 13-year-old middle schoolers, Elliott Tanner has different things on his mind like passing his college final maths examination
A 13-year-old boy is all set to complete his bachelor's degree and begin working on his doctoral degree. Unlike most 13-year-old middle schoolers, Elliott Tanner has different things on his mind like passing his college final maths examination. By next week he is expected to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in physics and a minor in math.
But Tanner doesn't plan on saying goodbye to the university just yet as he plans on earning his Ph.D. and becoming a high-energy theoretical physicist. In about five or six years he wishes to take on the role of a physics professor at the university. "I'm so hoping I can spread the knowledge and joy of physics," said the genius boy while speaking with PEOPLE.
Not only is Tanner a young undergraduate student but he will be considerably younger than his fellow students at graduate school. To put this in perfection, the median age for earning a doctoral degree in the U.S. is 31.5 years old according to the National Science Foundation. Despite the glaring age difference, Tanner does not consider himself different from other kids his age.
Incredible 13-year-old Elliott Tanner graduating college and ready to start his Ph.D. in physics. But he's still a kid who plays dress up! My story: https://t.co/dgS4yRJBwL— Hilary Shenfeld (@HilaryShen) May 5, 2022
"I feel like I'm a regular 13-year-old. I just go to a different school," explained the boy who found a way to balance both his studies and his time relaxing and having fun at home. One day he would be presenting his research on "Determining the Momentum Distribution of Cosmic Muons" and the following day he would dress himself up in a homemade costume created out of cardboard boxes.
"I can still find time to play with friends," revealed Elliot who loves playing Minecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, and board games Catan and Risk. He also enjoys watching his favorite TV show Young Sheldon and listens to the Steely Dan tunes that his dad plays during dinner.
From a very young age, the Minneapolis resident began showing signs of being academically gifted. At the age of 2 or 3, he taught himself to read, and around 5 he was voluntarily memorizing the periodic table, including the weights and atomic masses of the 118 elements. By 6 he was classified as "profoundly gifted" thanks to an IQ test, revealed his 45-year-old mother Michelle Tanner.
After a year in kindergarten, Tanner began homeschooling him as he outpaced his peers. "We kept providing for him. But he was flying through the curriculum and then pretty soon he outsmarted us. So we approached the local community college," she said of herself and her 56-year-old husband. At the age of 9, Tanner began attending Normandale Community College and graduated with an associate's degree at age 11. Following this, he began studying at the University of Minnesota.
While his parents are thrilled about their son's achievements, they have been met with one problem: paying for his studies. His parents never imagined that they would have to pay for his Ph.D. program so soon, especially after the university did not provide her son with any financial aid for his $87,000 course.
Thus, the family has begun a GoFundMe page. You can click here to help Tanner attend Grad school.
Cover image source: GoFundMe | Help 13-Year-Old Elliott Attend Grad School!