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12-year-old Sussex maths whizz set for university
12:30pm Saturday 8th September 2012 in News
He is too young for Facebook and is only allowed a mobile phone for emergencies.
But aged just 12 years old, maths whizz Xavier Gordon-Brown is the youngest university student in Britain.
Brainy Xavier has started a degree in maths at the Open University. The child prodigy only celebrated his 12th birthday last month but while his classmates at Oathall Community College are just getting to grips with algebra, Xavier is studying abstract structures, vector calculus and Newtonian mechanics in his spare time.
He fits his degree into the free hours, between practicing for Grade eight on the clarinet, piano and violin, learning three languages and playing football with his friends.
Despite his intellect, Xavier has to be accompanied to his lectures on Monday evenings by his mother because of his age.
But even in a room full of students twice his age he is still top of the class.
His proud mother Erica, of Haywards Heath, said: “He absolutely loves it.
“It’s one of those things we thought about for a while, but seeing how much he enjoys it has made it all worthwhile.
“People make a lot out of keeping children in their age group, but it is good for him to be amongst his intel- lectual equals too.
“When he’s with kids his own age he’s fine, but when it comes to maths he needs to be with people on his intellectual level.
“He’s at school full time and then goes to Open University lectures in East Grinstead two to three times a month.
“When he goes to his lectures he has to have an adult with him because of his age. When I go I absolutely don’t understand a word of what’s going on.
“But he’s not falling behind. If anything he’s top of the class.
“And everyone gets on with him really well. He plays football every Sunday and it is good to give him something to talk about with his age group.”
Intelligent Xavier enjoys all his normal lessons at Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath and has also taught himself Latin in his spare time.
However, he is not always perfect in everything.
“He gets 100% in most things, ”said his mum.
“But if he gets 95% he’s not very happy.”
Xavier knew his times tables before he was four and could do double-digit mental arithmetic before starting school.
He got an A* in his maths GCSE when he was just eight. By the age of ten he had his maths A-level and could recite and memorise 2,000 digits of Pi.
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