Jacob Barnett: Forget what you know

Jacob Barnett: Forget what you know

Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school's special ed. program, Jacob's teachers and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.


At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein's field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college student and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world's youngest astrophysics researcher. His paper was subsequently accepted for publication by Physical Review A, a scientific journal shared on sites such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and Harvard's webpage. Jacob's work aims to help improve the way light travels in technology.

Jacob is also CEO and founder of Wheel LLC, a business he started in his mom's garage, and is in the process of writing a book to help end "math phobia" in his generation.

Jacob's favorite pastime is playing basketball with the kids at his charity, Jacob's Place. It is a place where kids with autism are inspired every day to be their true authentic selves...just like Jacob.

Featured image, video and caption: Credit: TEDx (www.ted.com)

Tags: ted


nasir germain 5 years ago

maybe we could work together one day i am 13 and already developing theories i have also discovered a replacement for pi to check out some of my work go to vixra.org/nasirgermain PLEASE REPLY!!!!!

Anna 5 years ago

I am a thirteen year old girl and I have been listening to some of Jacob's fascinating ideas and theories. I believe his motto, "stop learning and start thinking," can help with many situations. If we thought for ourselves more, rather than letting others think for us, we may be able to grow through society and the people of the world's thinking processes could develop greatly. This brings me to the conclusion that if I stop learning and start thinking, (regardless of my parent's beliefs,) I too, could develop in my theoretical skills and process the world's ideas differently. Just a theory. Thought I would put out my thoughts on a possibility.

Andrew Kermode (@Anna) 3 years ago

There are reasons behind this. If you want to realize more of what we all know but don't realize we know, simply reply.

Michael Barnett 5 years ago

Kudos @Deanne for catching that point. 11 minutes is barely enough time for one to properly introduce themselves, ignoring the ability to get into theological discussion. For the record, and it should be in The Spark to some degree, Jacob is MASSIVELY spiritual. Thank you

Deanne 5 years ago

I loved the whole thing...I especially loved the fact that he explained Autism (and what goes on in an Autistic mind) in 3 seconds. You keep on, keeping on, little man. I have no doubt that you are put here to do amazing things. You are proof that Autism isn't a disability, it's the next human evolution.

Pope-not 5 years ago

So if a kid with a challenge is out to teach the world, then its the world that is challenged....

G 5 years ago

This kid is working in a branch of science that desperately ignores the fact the that we humans are NOT spiritual beings. They try to submit our spirit to the level of bricks and stone. Therefore, he got not much respect from me. There are so many people in this world with strong left-brain capacities. Its not a gift, its a curse. He got an occupation that is good for the bank account tho so good for him and his professional lifetime. -G

Jonathan (@G) 5 years ago

Hi G, I think your post is quite interesting. Mainly because in fact, you have to ignore much of what is innately human in order to hypothesize that man is not a spiritual being. Are you completely denouncing the metaphysical? Or solely it's connection to human beings? I look forward to your response, Jonathan

Julian (@G) 5 years ago


Deanne (@G) 5 years ago

Who's to say that he doesn't think on a spiritual level? You only got a glimpse of him in 11 minutes and what I got from that, I am going to apply it to my autistic daughter. It isn't a curse, it isn't a disability, it is a different way of thinking and we humans force people to think on a linear level. If we don't go with the flow, we are outcasts. I applaud this kid and I can't wait to see what he does in life. You don't need to completely live in the spiritual to BE spiritual. Life isn't just spirit.

Miles 5 years ago

How do you know what you know?

Chillymanjaro (@Miles) 5 years ago

How could we know all that we know if we don't know what we do not know?

Loki King 5 years ago

I wonder if I could interest him in designing a generator to power a house or a car from the Earth's electro-magnetic field!

Heather 5 years ago

I love Jacob! He did a great interview with Glen Beck, but his Ted Talk was AMAZING!! Can't wait to show my kids Jacob's talk - I'm really interested to see how they're going to react when I tell them Jacob is studying math in COLLEGE (both my kiddos love math!)

Lorilee 5 years ago

Wow. What an amazing Story and truely amazing young man. This is the first time I have heard about Jacob and his foundation. I worked with Autistic Adults in a group home for years. They were so heavily medicated all the time there was never anyway of knowing if they had this kind of talent. Thank God Jacob never ended going down that same path and ended up in an Instituation. God's little miracles and good parents letting him find his own way through. Cheers.

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar