9-Year-Old Boy Graduates High School and Starts College, Wants to Become Astrophysicist: ‘I Want to Prove That God Does Exist’
At 9 years old, William Maillis is like a lot of other boys his age, enjoying video games, knock-knock jokes, sports and hanging out with friends. But William is no ordinary kid when it comes to academics.
In May, he graduated from high school and is now a college student already working on his own theories of how the universe was created. Most other 9-year-olds are in fourth grade.
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 “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.
Maillis said he and his wife, Nancy, who also are parents to a daughter, 29, and son, 26, – “[William] was our 17-year-surprise,” Maillis says with a laugh – realized their young son was advanced when he started accurately identifying numbers at