First-class maths degree for boy, 13

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The Independent Online
A CHILD mathematics genius has became Britain's youngest graduate at the age of 13, with first-class honours.

Ganesh Sittampalam studied for his BSc maths degree at Surrey University just one day a week.

'I jumped up and down and yelled 'Yippee]' when I found I had a first,' Ganesh, from Surbiton, south-west London, said. 'I'm quite proud. I'm happy because I've done it, not because of my age. I would have felt the same if I was 20.'

Now he is thinking of giving up maths to concentrate on his GCSEs at school. Ganesh finished his degree with six three- hour exams last month, aged 13 and four months - beating previous record-holder Ruth Lawrence by seven months. He is already the youngest person to attain an A grade at O-level, aged eight, and the youngest to pass an A-level, again with the top grade, aged nine.

But unlike other child prodigies, Ganesh has succeeded while following a normal school career. He spent four days a week with children of his own age at King's College Junior School, Wimbledon, south-west London.

Professor Ron Shail, Surrey's head of Mathematical and Computing Sciences, said: 'He must be as near to a genius as anybody I have ever met or taught.'

(Photograph omitted)