. Earth Science News .

Chinese-Brazilian superkid insists he's no 'genius'
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (AFP) April 15, 2012

Moshe Kai Cavalin insists he is not a "genius" -- even though he earned an associate's degree when he was 11, and is soon to graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), at 14.

The young teenager, who has a Chinese mother and Brazilian father, says he began studying at the age of two and simply does not waste time -- so calling him a genius doesn't do justice to the effort.

"'Genius' is just a word, it's like an IQ, it's a number that's created by people that only classify with one point, and they ignore everything else that makes the individual," he told AFP in the UCLA cafeteria.

"I don't like being called a genius and I don't want to be a number... What I do is try to get wisdom through knowledge and I think practicing wisdom is much better than being a genius," he added.

That's why Moshe Kai wrote "We Can Do" -- first released in Mandarin in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, where it became a bestseller -- and now in English -- "to help parents encourage their children to reach for the stars."

"I reached a point that many people considered impossible for my age. (...) I reached as high as the Moon, but anybody who really tries can reach beyond the Milky Way," he writes in the book.

Born in Los Angeles, Moshe Kai was already doing simple math at the age of four, when his parents launched him on an intensive learning program including math, music, martial arts and reading.

After he was turned down by a number of schools that feared he might distract other students, his mother Shu Chen Chien and father Joseph Cavalin decided to home-school him.

With television and videogames kept to a minimum, he came on in leaps and bounds, winning international martial arts contests, learning to scuba dive and enrolling in college at the age of eight.

"I just took advantage of what I have. Everybody has some potential to be special, however you have to take advantage of that potential," said Moshe Kai, who remembers all his birthday gifts and says his favorite movie is "Wall-E".

"And I think everybody can have the potential to be just like me. However they just don't take advantage. That's why people consider me special. I work hard, I plan ahead and I achieve my goals for a better life."

His mother rejects critics who suggest she is a so-called "Tiger Mom," putting enormous pressure on her child to succeed.

"People say 'Why are you pushing him so hard?' But I'm not pushing him, he's happy," said the 47-year-old, who lives with her son and 61-year-old husband in a family residency on the UCLA campus.

She notes that normally the Family Union accommodation is for students with their own children. "He's the only one with parents ... it's the other way around, it's very funny," she said.

But for all his intellectual accomplishments, Moshe Kai does not seem like a mini-adult. He still has a certain shyness and innocent sense of humor, even if his answers are more sophisticated than those of most 14-year-olds.

"My book is not about how to become a genius or how to be intelligent. It's about how to have a better life... If you don't have parents like mine, it's going to be harder."

When he graduates from UCLA, probably this year, Moshe Kai says he hopes to specialize in pure mathematics astrophysics and theoretical physics. "But I'm only 14, you know -- I have a lot of time to decide," he said.

And the teenager -- whose birthday is on Valentine's Day, February 14 -- has no time for girls, yet.

"I'm too young to get involved in a relationship -- after I get my PhD or after I get my Masters," he said.

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Apr 16, 2012
The discovery, using state-of-the-art informatics tools, increases the likelihood that it will be possible to predict much of the fundamental structure and function of the brain without having to measure every aspect of it. That in turn makes the Holy Grail of modelling the brain in silico-the goal of the proposed Human Brain Project-a more realistic, less Herculean, prospect. "It is the d ... read more

New underwater images show damage at Fukushima

Quake-hit Christchurch to build cardboard cathedral

Indonesia warns runaway prisoners after quake chaos

Indonesia's disaster-ready schools pass quake test

SciTechTalk: Rude awakening for Mac owners

Controlling the cut - Nottingham engineers top the leader board

Moody's downgrades Nokia's rating, keeps negative outlook

Twitter alive with talk of dead rapper hologram

South Africa issues shark warning around washed-up whale

Study shows adaptive capacity of reef corals to climate change may be widespread

Hatchery, OSU scientists link ocean acidification to larval oyster failure

New insights into when beach sand may become unsafe for digging and other contact

No ice loss seen in major Himalayan glaciers: scientists

China seeking to expand role in Arctic

Penguins aplenty in Antarctica, satellite map shows

Long-term studies detect effects of disappearing snow and ice

Poor Spring Rain Projected in Africa

Which plants will survive droughts, climate change?

Fuelling the agricultural energy debate

Climate said threat to Asia's 'Rice Bowl'

Indonesia revises quake toll to 10 dead

Thieves compromise Indonesian tsunami alert system

Asian tsunami warnings test post-2004 systems

Two strong quakes strike off Mexico: USGS

G.Bissau army says coup bid over secret deal with Angola

ECOWAS council asks regional leaders to okay Mali force

Coup attempt in G.Bissau, attack on PM residence

DR Congo must arrest war crimes suspect: rights group

Chinese-Brazilian superkid insists he's no 'genius'

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience

The Neurogenics of Niceness

Scientists find evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement