Remember the 11-Year-Old Who Got 3 College Degrees? He’s Set to Start His Doctorate at 15
Tanishq Abraham got international media attention in 2015 when, at only 11, he graduated with no less than three college degrees from Sacramento’s American River College. And yes, he was the youngest graduate in the history of the college, and yes, he graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
But thanks to his loving family and confidence in his abilities, even at 11, Tanishq was cool and collected, telling CBS San Francisco “Even on the first time I came to a college class, I wasn’t really nervous, so, this isn’t much of big thing to me.” And in case you’re wondering, Tanishq graduated high-school at 10.
— Eduardo Silva’s Lab (@silvalabUCDavis) June 22, 2018
Making impressive progress
But Tanishq was barely getting started. A year later, news outlets covered how the then-12-year-old kid got acceptance letters from both the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of California Davis.
But Tanishq spoke about how at first students are generally a little confused by his presence in class, “but once they get used to me, they don’t treat me that differently. We’re all just friends and have fun,” per NBC News.
That doesn’t mean Tanishq wasn’t pumped about continuing his studies, saying “I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time now. I’ll finally be working on my bachelor’s.” And work he did, graduating less than two months ago with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at UC Davis – with honors, of course. In fact, his undergraduate research work on revolutionary new drug delivery methods landed Tanishq his first author’s credit.
— Tanishq Abraham (@iScienceLuvr) May 31, 2018
And although he won’t officially start his doctoral studies in biomedical engineering till later this year, Tanishq – who just turned 15 – is already taking graduate courses. Then again, considering his drive and the fact he’ll be attending as a Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellow, it’s not that surprising. Neither is the fact that he’s a member of two of the most prestigious honor societies in the U.S: Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa.
Just like other kids
What may be surprising to some is how much like other youngsters Tanishq is. His team’s design project was inspired by Star Trek tricorders and consists of a prototype device that measures heart rates by only scanning the patient – no touching is involved, something that could revolutionize treatment protocols for burn patients. And long before he was actively working on new treatments, Tanishq’s passion for learning was ignited by something countless kids love: dinosaurs.
My 4th academic honor initiation ceremony ! Meet the newest & youngest @PhiBetaKappa member ! Proud to be in company of 17 US presidents, 136 #NobelLauretes & 40 US Supreme Court Justices! – “Love of Learning is Guide of Life” – #PhiBetaKappa motto pic.twitter.com/rmPdHgCKSS
— Tanishq Abraham (@iScienceLuvr) May 10, 2018
He’s also rather active on social media, just like any other teen and likes to take joking jabs at his parents, laughing about their dislike for his all-nighters or taking shots at their supposed obsolescence. “You can still get a lot of knowledge and ideas from older people,” Tanishq said in an interview featured on US Davis’ webpage but couldn’t resist laughingly tacking on a little jibe. “Even my parents.”
Setting his bar high
And what’s next after he nabs his Ph.D.? An M.D., of course. And after this real-life Dougie Howser becomes a full-blown doctor and discovers a life-changing protocol to help humanity? Tanishq has his eye on the presidency, something he’s been vocal about for years – like so many other kids.
Met 14-year-old, soon-to-be UC Davis biomedical engineering graduate, Tanishq Abraham, and his family today. What an impressive young man! pic.twitter.com/IrAUxu2Puz
— Gary S. May (@Chancellor_May) June 13, 2018
Genius runs in the family
As for Tanishq’s younger sister Tiara, many may think of what a burden it would be to grow up in the shadow of a genius brother. But parents Dr. Taji Abraham, a veterinarian, and Bijou Abraham, a software engineer, are proud and supportive parents who encourage their kids to have fun and explore the world and knowledge at their own pace.
“In spite of their radical acceleration in certain areas of their lives, we let them be kids and make sure they enough rest and sleep,” mom Taji told Phi Theta Kappa.
Besides, Tiara is a genius in her own right. While her older brother – whom she adores and looks up to – is fascinated by engineering and biomedical sciences, Tiara is a polyglot, math enthusiast and a singer.
The 12-year-old has already played Carnegie Hall twice, released a Christmas album in six languages at age nine, has been a member of the Mensa society since she was four and started college classes at brother Tadishq’s Sacramento alma mater at age seven. And she will soon be transferring to UC Davis herself.
For those wondering if being the little sister of a certified genius came with any perks? “I did not get special treatment, except I sit in the front row so I am not covered by the big people,” she said in an interview with Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society she too is a member of.
Last year during Pi Day celebrations Tiara recited 530 digits of Pi in well under fove minutes! Other things Tiara is passionate about? Cats Tubby and Lucky, Nancy Drew books, golf and spending time with her family. After all, Tiara has a great relationship with her super smart family:
“Our parents always advise us, and I think their advice is the best. They tell us to be good to people, stay humble, work hard, do our best, and leave the rest to God.”
— Tanishq Abraham (@iScienceLuvr) August 30, 2017