Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jacob Barnett

Autism Light #227 is Jacob Barnett.

Jacob Barnett is a 13 year old college student from Indianapolis, Indiana who has Asperger's. He is a child prodigy for his amazing talents in mathematics and physics. Dr. Joanne Ruthsatz, a Psychology Professor at Ohio State University, says that Jacob's talent is 1 in 10 million (Source: See 60 Minutes Segment on Jacob Barnett below). Jake Barnett is an Autism Light for demonstrating the exceptional achievements that some people with autism possess as he excels in the important fields of math and science. Only a small percentage of those with autism have the talents that Jake Barnett has, but he demonstrates the amazing potential in some people who are diagnosed with autism. 

Here is a 60 Minutes segment done on Jacob Barnett in January, 2012. 

In the 60 Minutes segment, Jacob was told that his parents say he is proud of his autism and Jacob responded by saying:
That [Autism] I believe is the reason why I am in college and I am so successful. It is the rise as to my love for math and science and astronomy. It is the reason why I care. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten this far.
At age 10, Jacob Barnett was accepted into Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  His academic achievements are described in this way on his website:
Barnett is quickly running out of advanced math classes that he can actually take. He often tutors fellow students, normally graduate and post-graduate students. He is also developing an alternative theory to the Big Bang Theory, his hypothesis being that the Big Bang couldn’t have happened through advanced math. Barnett has a tested math IQ of 170, the highest that can be tested for. IUPUI is seeking to move him from a student to a paid researcher’s position (Source).
The following video is Jacob Barnett giving a talk called "Forget What You Learn" for TEDxTeen.

Jacob's mother, Kristine Barnett, started Jacob's Place in 2000. It is now an autism charity that helps 200 children with autism in Indiana. 

Social Media: You can follow Jacob Barnett on the following social media pages.
Jacob Barnett is on pace to graduate from college next year at age 14 and then plans to go on for his PhD.  He was the youngest person ever to be published in Physical Review A, a physics journal. He is also working on writing a book to help reduce the phobia people have toward mathematics.

Special thanks to Jacob Barnett for being an Autism Light. We expect to continue to hear amazing things from this young man from Indiana as he makes the transition from student to contributing to society as a math and science expert.  

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.