A child genius in Pennsylvania is studying to be an astrophysicist so he can become the person who finally proves the existence of God. Nine-year-old William Maillis graduated from high school in May and is now attending a community college as he develops his theories as to how the universe was created.
William, who lives in Penn Township, Pennsylvania, is among the youngest people ever to attend college.
He’s currently taking a full slate of classes at Community College of Allegheny County as a way to ease into life as a college student and plans to enroll next fall at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, according to his father, Peter Maillis, a Greek Orthodox priest.
“It doesn’t bother me” being the youngest student in class by far, William tells People. “I’m used to it by now.”
William, who wants to study the physics and chemistry of space, earn a doctorate degree and work as an astrophysicist, is at ease tossing around concepts like “displacement of space-time” “singularity” and “pure gravity” as he patiently attempts to explain why black holes aren’t “super massive” as theorized by such other brilliant minds as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
Bottom line, according to William: “I want to prove to everybody that God does exist,” he says, by showing that only an outside force could be capable of forming the cosmos.
William’s parents, Peter and Nancy Maillis, also have a daughter, 29, and son, 26. “[William] was our 17-year-surprise,” the elder Maillis said. He told People that he realized William was advanced when he “started accurately identifying numbers at 6 months old and speaking in complete sentences at just 7 months old.”
Maillis told CNN that he would put little William down in his crib and say, “now go to sleep,” and the baby would protest, “I don’t want to.”
“William was just very sharp,” said Maillis. “William remembers everything he sees.”
He followed with a range of impressive academic feats, including doing addition at 21 months; multiplication, reading and writing at 2 years old; algebra, sign language and reading Greek at age 4; geometry at 5 and trigonometry at 7.
After finishing third grade last year, William then simultaneously attended fourth grade and high school while also taking some college classes and this year enrolled in college full-time, his dad says.
William’s parent’s are allowing him to decide for himself what courses to study. “Whatever classes he wants to take, that’s okay with me,” Maillis said. “I don’t want to push him.”
The boy’s history professor, Aaron Hoffman, said William fits right in with his other college kids. “We haven’t steered away from any topics: Hitler, Mussolini, the Holocaust, wars,” Hoffman says. “If he’s here for college, he’s going to get college-level material.”
He said the only difference he’s noticed is that “William doesn’t take notes like the other students, but simply listens, reads and absorbs the material.”
Through it all, Maillis says his son remains grounded. “I just want him to appreciate the gift he has, which I think he does,” Maillis said. “I tell him, ‘God gave you a gift. The worst thing would be to reject that gift and not use it for the betterment of the world.’ ”