10-year-old takes Zurich university maths class

GENEVA (AFP) - A 10-year-old boy who passed a Swiss final high school maths exam for fun is taking a special course in the subject at prestigious Zurich University, the institution said on Wednesday.

Maximilan Janisch, whose father is a retired maths professor, is the youngest child to ever be allowed to follow such a course at the university, its president Michael Hengartner told AFP.

"He's a very intelligent child," Mr Hengartner said, pointing out that the boy, whose parents are German, "understands a lot of concepts for his age".

Gifted Janisch has already skipped three grades in primary school, but cannot officially enrol at the university since he does not have a complete high school diploma.

Instead, he will follow a specialised course aimed at talented high school seniors wanting to get a leg-up on the university curriculum.

The boy told the SonntagsZeitung weekly earlier this year that he was "not a specialist at making friends" since his classmates were so much older than him.

"I can't find anyone with whom I can discuss Archimedes (a mathematician in ancient Greece), and most people don't even know who (renowned 19th-century German mathematician Carl Friederich) Gauss is," he complained.