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Boy, 9, on his way to earning bachelor's degree in electrical engineering

Child prodigy CNN Newssource 5.PNG
A nine-year-old prodigy from Belgium is on his way to receive his bachelor's degree. (Photo: CNN Newsource)

BELGIUM (KUTV) -- A nine-year-old prodigy from Belgium is on his way to receiving his bachelor's degree.

Laurent Simons is studying electric engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - a "tough course" even for students of an average graduate age, according to a Friday report from CNN.

University staff described the young boy as "simply extraordinary" and that he's expected to finish his degree by December. According to CNN, he then plans to go into a Ph.D. program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree.

Simons' parents Lydia and Alexander told CNN they thought his grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a "gift," but his teachers agreed.

"They noticed something very special about Laurent," Lydia told CNN.

Simons was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents.

"[The teachers] told us he is like a sponge," Alexander told CNN.

While Simons comes from a family of doctors, his parents have no idea as to why their child is capable of learning so quickly. According to CNN, his mother had her theory:

I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy.

The TUE has allowed Simons to complete his course faster than other students.

"That is not unusual," stated Sjoerd Hulshof, the education director of the TUE bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He continued in a statement given to CNN:

Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.

Hulshof stated that Simons is "simply extraordinary" and praised the child.

"Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here," he told CNN. "Not only is he hyper-intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy."

Simons spoke to CNN, saying that his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he's also "going to study a bit of medicine."

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he's already being sought out globally by prestigious universities, although Simons' family wouldn't be drawn on naming which of them he's considering for his doctorate.

"The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent," Simons' father stated. "I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things."

While Simons can learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself as well.

"We don't want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes," Alexander told CNN. "We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents."

Simons told CNN that he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone; however, unlike most children his age, he's already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

For the time being, Simons has to finish his bachelor's degree and choose which academic institution where he'll continue his studies. Before that, he's planning on taking a vacation in Japan for a well-deserved break.

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