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University challenge: Baby-faced 12-year-old genius starts maths degree... even though he hasn't left school yet

A schoolboy is studying for a maths degree at the age of 12.

Cameron Thompson has been accepted by the Open University on its BSc Honours course and expects to graduate when he is 16.

The child prodigy already has A* grade GCSEs in Maths and Additional Maths.

Cameron Thompson
Prodigy: Cameron Thompson, 12, has been accepted by the Open University on its BSc Maths Honours course

He still attends Maelor School near his home in Penley, Wrexham, and studies in the evenings for his degree.

Despite his advanced intelligence, Cameron attends normal lessons at school with his classmates.

His parents Roderick, 35 and Alison, 32, said they first noticed Cameron's natural mathematical ability when he was just four, the age that he began long discussions with his infant school teacher about negative numbers.

But his incredible talent really began to shine through when he started at secondary school in Prestatyn, Clwyd - where the family then lived - and took a specialist test in quantitative maths.
Although the top score was 140, Cameron ended up with 141.

Recognising they had someone with an extraordinary gift on their hands, his teachers then tried him out with foundation, then intermediate and high levels of GCSE work.

Cameron Thompson
Looking to the stars: Cameron, who is also a keen astronomer, already has A* grade GCSEs in Maths and Additional Maths

The youngster, who suffers from a form of autism called Asperger syndrome, scored 100 per cent in all of those tests, so his teachers decided to put him in for the exam proper last May.

Cameron's father said: 'He is in the second year of the course and in the first unit last year he had a final score of 89 per cent.

'That unit usually starts in October and ends the following June - Cameron finished it a couple of weeks ago.

'The second unit starts in February and he says, quite seriously, that he is going to have letters after his name by next October.

'He also plans to have graduated with a BSc honours degree by the age of 16 and he is on course for that.'

Mr Thompson, who works in IT, added: 'His abilities are remarkable but all this does have its challenges as we have thought for some time he has Asperger Syndrome.

'This means he has trouble dealing with other children and tends to lock himself away for days.
'He has never been officially diagnosed but we are thinking of having that done.

'However, Maelor School have been brilliant with him and have provided well for his special needs.

'I think the other children at the school are a bit intrigued by him and come up to him in the corridor and ask him to do a sum for them.'

The Thompsons have two other children, 10-year-old Emma, who is severely handicapped, and eight-year-old Bethany.

Mr Thompson says that Bethany has shown some signs of sharing her brother's mental abilities but they have not subjected her to any tests, preferring to let her develop at her own pace.

Mr Thompson has a Maths degree and his wife studied the subject at GCSE level.
But he added: 'Cameron is already well ahead of me.'

Many people with Asperger syndrome are obsessed with complex topics such as maths, history, or the weather. They often become intensely focused on one particular issue

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