STANFORD (KPIX 5) – He is not old enough to drive or vote. But on Monday, a 15-year-old is starting graduate school at an elite Bay Area university.
Arun Jambulapati said he is ready to study applied mathematics at Stanford’s graduate school. At age 15, he has already earned his bachelor’s degree in math, with highest honors, from the University of Memphis.READ MORE: AC Transit Bus Crashes Into West Oakland Home
Arun said he doesn’t feel like a prodigy or a whiz kid. “I just don’t have anything to compare it to. I’m just doing whatever I feel natural doing,” he said.
At age 2, Arun could already read independently and solve complex math problems. And in preschool, he told his teacher he could read the scientific names of all of the clouds.
“It was a big challenge for me to keep him engaged all the time,” V.J. Jambulapati, Arun’s father, told KPIX 5.
V.J. said at age seven, Arun read like an eighth grader.
“Around fifth grade, I basically stopped trying since there was nothing I could do. Just boring,” Arun said.
Arun skipped high school, and went straight to college. “I was actually learning new things,” he said.READ MORE: Cal Fire Units Respond to Wildland Fire Close to Santa Cruz County Prescribed Burn
He was only ten.
“It was kind of an issue for like the first couple years or so. Then I started growing this beard and that really helped,” Arun said.
But at home, he could still be a teenager and play video games.
To support Arun, his father has already moved from their Memphis home to Palo Alto. The teen’s mother, who works from home, and his younger sister, will soon join them.
“Giftedness comes as a blessing and a burden,” V.J. said.
Back in Memphis, V.J. quit his management job as a plastics engineer, so he could sit in college classes with Arun. It was mandatory. “Because it was a liability for the campus. They wouldn’t let him be by himself,” he recalled.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Witness Claims Oakland Police Searching for Wrong Car in Road Rage Homicide
At Stanford, his father can now look for a job. And Arun can learn to his heart’s content.