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Home / Latest News / Meet the maths genius awarded a masters degree

Meet the maths genius awarded a masters degree

He passed an A-level at 12, graduated at 15 and now a teenage student has just completed his latest stunning mathematical feat – gaining a masters degree at 18.

Alex Thorne has just been made a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) after completing a three-year part-time research-based course – at a time when he is preparing to sit his A-levels.

Alex, from Gwaelod-y-Garth, North Cardiff, said: “It’s difficult to explain exactly what my research involves but it is essentially themed around Einstein’s theory of relativity, gravity and things like that.

“I have been looking specifically at the mass of an isolated system, the mass of something like a black hole, and trying to prove something called the positive mass theorem in higher dimensions.”

Alex secured a first in maths from Cardiff University three years ago and just months later returned a clean-sweep of A* grades in GCSE.

But the computer enthusiast actually took his first GCSE, in mathematics, during the last year of primary school and his A-level in the first year of secondary, six years ahead of time.

He began juggling an MPhil with the rest of his schoolwork in 2011.

Grandmother Norma Procter, who also lives in Gwaelod-y-Garth, said: “Until recently, Alex’s mother has had to sit with him at university because he was underage and university staff are not police checked for being with children.

“He has no mathematicians in the family – let alone anyone who even understands what he is doing now.

“Thus, no one to help, push or advise.”

Alex was initially self-taught and was turned away from state schools unable to facilitate his rapid learning abilities.

He eventually found a home at Cardiff’s Kings Monkton private school where he earned a scholarship.

Mrs Procter added: “He taught himself A-level maths at 12, where he achieved nearly full marks.

“In his degree, he achieved

the highest ever recorded mark, almost 100%.

“And when completing the MPhil the university could not find an examiner in the UK qualified to assess him, so they had to call on a Japanese expert who interviewed Alex on his work over a two and a half hour video call.

“From what I gather only Alex and a few individuals in Japan and Germany are currently exploring this area of science.”

Outside of education Alex runs an online blog teaching

computer literacy and is a keen photographer.

His brother Ben, meanwhile, despite being two years younger has also made headlines in the past, having penned his first gothic novel at the age of 13.

Alex has received an unconditional offer to study for a PhD in mathematical physics at Oxford University regardless of his A-level results.

And he is looking forward to entering the world of full-time  academia.

“Thankfully when I was at Kings Monkton the university’s science block was right next door and so I could easily go over there when I needed,” he said.

“But I’m now looking forward to full-time study and the chance to concentrate solely on one subject.

“What I go on to do in the future, at the minute I’m not sure, but  if I enjoy Oxford then I could  well stay in academia and  science-based research.”

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