Get your rusty hacksaw's ready.

Agreed. He is not M’n’A’in on the Buyside at KKR. Off with his sack!

A 16 year old doing something that the science community hasn’t been able to do in years. Pancreatic cancer runs rampant in my family so this is awesome.

^ That is not good.

But yeah, I heard about him last year. Definitely keeps your accomplishments in perspective.

Even if Mr Andraka didn’t work in ER or PE or have a Top 3 MBA.

Andraka…where are his parents/grand parents from? can’t guess from the name…greek/czech?

What’s even better about this story is that the guy doesn’t seem to be a freak of nature, but rather a very smart kid who was well guided by his parents and who decided to put the time and effort to pursue worthy learning experiences that ultimately led to this.

When you’re born really smart but have no guide whatsoever, you make plenty of mistakes and get over-confident that your intelligence is going to solve everything on its own with minimal effort, therefore inevitably leading to poor decisions, especially when you’re this young.

Good for the kid and his parents.

Definitely not good. Dad, paternal aunt, and both grandmothers died of pancreatic cancer. It’s one of the most painful cancers to have and incredibly aggressive. 1 year survival rate of 20%, 5 year survival rate of 5%. The problem is that most people get diagnosed at later stages because there hasn’t been an early detection method. People go see the doctor after having pain, jaundice, or some other system. By then, they’re at stage 3 or 4. Surgery is the best bet but only possible in earlier stages. There are many major blood vessels running through that area so later stage cancer usually encases those blood vessels making surgery impossible. Unfortunately, even with surgery the survival rates are pretty low. I decided to stop eating sugar. Sorry for rambling – the issue just hits close to home.

Even without Mr Andraka’s test, you should probably find a way to get screened regularly. For example Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a malignant pancreatic tumor removed a few years ago and they caught it at an early stage, which I believe is rare. Maybe she had waited a few mos, it would be different.

Interestingly Jimmy Carter’s 3 siblings and father died of PC, he’s perfectly fine though!

That was my takeaway as well. You have two talented but not overly gifted parents and good upbringing, and he’s doing at 15 what most PhD’s are struggling to do, largely due to nuture rather than nature. His brother is equally successful as well at a similar age. It’s an indictment of the education system and the time wasted teaching dumbed down soft courses to children in middle school and high school that have apptitude to be learning advanced calc and biochem if they were properly indoctrinated.

On the other side, I was contemplating this in terms of my own hypothetical child and trying to determine where the breakeven point was between societal and professional gain versus your kid not really having the childhood experience of being carefree, and possibly introducing them to too much structure and pressure at a young age. I was also contemplating the benefits of sports versus a purely intellectual lifestyle. I’m not voting one way or another here, just it’s gotta be tough being a parent knowing you’ve only got one shot to do it right and knowing the balance is different for each child and trying to guess what their optimal upbringing is. I mean, in some cases kids gets accelerated through programs their entire life and wind up with a PhD at 22, but are awkward around girls and are robbed of a satisfactory relationship, was it worth the tradeoff?

Tricky questions, but as far as I can tell this kid’s just kickin @ss and taking names and seems to have an awesome life going, so more power to him.

Alrite alrite, I think we can all agree… he’s allowed to use a normal clean hacksaw instead. Either case, it does say something about education. Everyone is different, you can’t force people to learn the exact same way when certain brilliant minds just dont work best that way. Then it becomes a waste of talent. It’s why you get kids who are brilliant but guided poorly and dont realize their potential

I agree that it depends on the kid. A gifted kid should get all the help they can get to help them realize potential. The problem is when parents push these expectations to kids, regardless of their ability. The kids become psycopathic, obsessed with studies, and sometimes have nervous breakdowns in college. We probably all know people like this.

^ This brought memories of a couple of bad breakdowns I saw in business school. The best was in my first year when this PhD candidate was defending his dissertation and people in the MBA program were invited to attend.

The guy was known as one of the best of the PhD program, so probably he was a little full of himself. It turned out however that people in his thesis committee were really famous professors who wouldn’t take any BS from a hotshot. So rumor was that during the private dissertation defense the guys on the committee grilled him as expected, but asked him to make the last minor changes to get ready for the final defense just as a mere protocol. Although this guy decided he was too good to listen to professors who have stuff named after them and didn’t change anything. He brought his family from Asia and a couple of friends. The committee asked about the changes but he said I didn’t do anything because the spirit of my work would be modified. The committee told him “alright, I guess we have nothing else to add. Call us when you’re done with the changes”. The guy in disbelief asked if he wasn’t graduating and they said of course not, then he started to part crying and part nervously laughing. His voice changed and he told the guys: you can’t do that … you can’t do that. One of the professors told him: “listen, just change what we asked to do, call us when it’s ready, and then you graduate. It’s not the end of the world, but you need to do that”.

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this could happen in that school, but it was funny.

perhaps that was the most valluable lesson he learned in the phd programme.

And most are probably Asian, Koreans in particular.

Yes. I did not want to be the one to say that specifically, though…