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Sacramento, California, United States
Tanishq Mathew Abraham (born June 2003) is an American child genius and a child prodigy with an Asian Indian ancestry.
When Tanishq's younger sister, Tiara Thankam Abraham (born December 2005), became a member of Mensa at 4 years old in 2010, the two became the youngest siblings to join the high-IQ society. Tanishq and Tiara are the youngest South Asians (by ethnicity) to join Mensa and among the youngest Americans in Mensa. To join Mensa, one needs to score in or above the 98 percentile on a Mensa-approved standardized IQ test. Tanishq scored 99.9 percentile and Tiara scored 99 percentile on the test. In June 2014, he graduated high school.
Born in Sacramento, California, USA, to Bijou Abraham, a software engineer, and his wife Dr. Taji Abraham, a doctor of veterinary medicine, both children showed signs of a high IQ at an early age. Tanishq began to show this when he was a baby. At four months, he would flip the pages of children's story books and could answer questions on the stories and events in the books. At five years old, it took him fewer than six months to complete the math courses offered by Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) in five grades (kindergarten to 4th grade). At six, he took online high school and college level classes in subjects such as chemistry, paleontology, biology, and geology.[dead link] His prodigious talent became even more evident when, at seven years old, he enrolled at American River College and completed courses in Geology & Astronomy, earning As in both courses and emerging as the top student in both classes. He was the youngest student ever to enroll in on-campus graded courses at the college.
During his first astronomy course, Tanishq became interested to join an astronomy club at the college. Unfortunately, there was no such club still in campus. Seeing his enthusiasm and the need to have such a club, the astronomy professor began the official process for starting an astronomy club on campus. Tanishq was actively involved in the formation of the club and became its Founding Vice President for the term 2012-2013. He was re-elected as the Vice President for 2013-2014. In February 2013, with Tanishq's original research idea & leadership, he and the bioteam of the club are working on his proposed research project about the effects of near-space (Stratospheric) environment on Hydra's aging and regenerative properties.
During Summer 2011, at 8 years old, he completed an intensive biotechnology semester course, earning an A. At the end of the Fall 2012 semester, 9-year-old Tanishq completed about one-third of the college units needed to graduate with an Associate's degree. He also finished a chemistry course from UC Berkeley (online) scoring an A grade. Apart from being the top student in most of his college classes, he has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average. At the end of Spring 2012 semester, with a GPA 4.0, 8 year old Tanishq became the youngest student eligible to be a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In December 2012, he became a member of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. At 10 years old, Tanishq became the youngest office bearer of Phi Theta Kappa when he served the role of Vice-President of Communications from 2013 to 2014 at American River College.
Despite his clear aptitude for the physical sciences, Tanishq has broad interests. Musically inclined, he has received formal training in piano since he was three and is a chorister with the San Francisco Boys Chorus. His other passions include chess, swimming, dancing, and soccer. Because of the challenges his school and the school district have had in meeting his educational needs, Tanishq's parents decided to take on much of the responsibility for educating him. In addition to the classes he is taking at American River College, he is also being home-schooled, and the curriculum involves college courses.
Abraham officially passed his high school requirements in March 2014 and received his high school diploma in a private graduation ceremony on June 8, 2014.
In 2011, he became the youngest person to discover astronomical bodies and events. 8-year old Tanishq volunteered for an on-line citizen science project (Zooniverse) where he scanned hundreds of NASA/Kepler images and helped to find two Supernovae, an exoplanet candidate and a solar storm in 2011. His identifications were confirmed by other volunteers. Tanishq did similar identification projects with MoonZoo & MoonMappers. He presented his results at the NASA Lunar Science Conference 2012.
Tanishq was featured in the premier episode of the PRODIGIES show by THNKR, a YouTube educational channel by @radical media. The show was released in July 2012 and the episode immediately became viral. Tanishq has appeared in local, national, and international news media and shows on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, FOX, Yahoo, Huffington Post, etc. Tanishq became the youngest TV medical correspondent for a national syndicated show, 'The Doctors' CBS. His first episode aired on September 12, 2012 where he & his sister Tiara, played the game 'Do you want to be an MD?'. His reporting segments were aired on October & December 2012. In May 2013, he was featured in a Japanese TV show "Unbelievable" by Fuji TV. He was invited by Esquire magazine to be in their 'Life of Man' special for the 80th anniversary Oct 2013 issue. In November 2013, Tanishq was a guest in the Queen Latifah show on an episode of 'Americas Most Talented Kids'
Tiara Abraham is the younger sister of Tanishq Abraham. She is a child genius, who at 4 years old joined the American Mensa. At 5 years old her reading skills were close to a 5th grader. Like her older brother Tanishq, she enjoys learning the sciences especially about animals. Tiara is also home schooled by her parents. Just like her brother, she has skipped a grade but working at 3 higher grade levels than her peers. At 6 years old, she has started showing her prodigious talent in education as well. Tiara is a gifted child artist: a painter, sketcher and a singer. Her art work done at 3 and 4 years old, titled, 'My Brother, My Friend' and 'Rainbow Over Lake' has been judged and awarded Honorable Mention at the California State Youth Art & Design Exposition 2011. Her artwork done at 5 years old, titled 'My Unicorn' was judged and awarded Third Place for the acrylic painting category at the California State Youth Art & Design Expo 2011. For the 2012 California State Youth Art & Design Exposition, Tiara won First Place for her acrylic painting 'Golden Gate At Sunset', Third Place for 'Humpty Dumpty' mixed media collage and Honorable Mention for 'Talking Parrot' painting. 6 year old Tiara had her first public sale request for her acrylic painting, 'Golden Gate at Sunset'. Tiara showed her prodigious singing talent at 5 years old, when she began singing vibrato or the opera style which is something that only some adult singers are capable. She sings several songs, including the American National Anthem in the vibrato style. This style of singing comes naturally for her. At 6 years old, she became the youngest to join the performing group of Sacramento Children's Chorus. Apart from her passions of painting and singing, Tiara loves to swim, sprint, read, write and work on the computer. Tiara has been involved in extra-curricular activities such as gymnastics, dancing, soccer, swimming and art classes. Both children at a young age have taken up volunteering and raising funds for charity. They have actively participated for UNICEF's Trick-or-Treat. Tanishq & Tiara has taken part in the North South Foundation's Science, Spelling and Vocabulary Bees that help raise scholarship money for the need-based gifted students in India.
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- Lambert, Diane (June 20, 2011). "Gifted boy seeks to learn, but where?". http://www.sacbee.com. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- Vorn, Sarah (October 12, 2011). "A Big Deal in a Little Package". http://www.arcurrent.com. Retrieved February 1, 2013.