David Van Valen set the bar high for overachievers everywhere when he enrolled at the prestigious and highly selective MIT as a freshman at the tender age of 14.
Yes, while you were rushing home from your first year of high school, or maybe even eighth grade, in order to watch 106 & Park and learn the newest dance moves from the latest music videos, David was busy taking classes at one of the most rigorous academic institutions in the nation.
*Insert Kermit pic here cus that’s none of our business*
Halfway through the sixth grade and feeling entirely unchallenged, David looked to his mother to help him find a better suited academic environment. After his mother’s attempts to have him sent directly to high school were dismissed, she decided the best thing for him was to be home schooled, where she could customize lessons for him that would keep him constantly growing and avoid the stagnation that often falls on more advanced students in standard classes.
By the time he entered high school at the age of 10, (no, that’s not at typo) he was already ahead of his peers and solving complex Calculus equations. While in high school, he took 25 college courses, finishing with mostly As and Bs. While at MIT, he majored in Physics and Mathematics, getting degrees in both. He went on to obtain a PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2011 and an MD from UCLA Medical School in 2013.
He has won many awards and accolades along the way, including the Johns Hopkins Mathematics Talent Search and Honors at the National Chemistry Olympiad. He currently works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. All of this and he’s not even 30 yet.