Kim Ung-yong

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Kim Ung-yong
Revised Romanization Gim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-yong (Hangul: 김웅용; born March 8, 1962)[1] is a South Korean professor and former child prodigy, who once held the Guinness World Record for highest IQ, at a score of 210.[2][3]


Early life[edit]

Kim Ung-yong was born on March 8, 1962 in Seoul, South Korea. His father was a physics professor and his mother was a medical professor.[1] By the time he was one year old, Kim had learned both the Korean alphabet and 1,000 Chinese characters by studying the Thousand Character Classic, a 6th century Chinese poem.[4] At three years old, he was able to solve calculus problems, and he also published a best-selling book of his essays in English and German, as well as his calligraphy and illustrations.[1] By the age of five, Kim could speak Korean, English, French, German and Japanese.[4] That year, he enrolled at Grant High School in Los Angeles after an article was published about him in Look magazine that caught the attention of the school.[5] He also audited a physics class at Hanyang University.[1]

Fuji TV appearance[edit]

At the age of five, Kim appeared on Fuji Television in Japan and shocked the audience by solving differential equations.[1] He appeared on Japanese television again on November 5, when he solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems.[citation needed]

NASA and education[edit]

When he was eight years old, Kim went to study nuclear physics at the University of Colorado.[1] After graduating with a master's degree, he went to work for NASA, where he worked for ten years. In 2010, Kim said of his years at NASA, "At that time, I led my life like a machine―I woke up, solved the daily assigned equation, ate, slept, and so forth. I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I was lonely and had no friends."[6]

Upon returning to South Korea, Kim was required to formally complete South Korean schooling in order to get a job. He earned his elementary, middle, and high school degrees in just two years.[6] He later enrolled in Chungbuk National University where he studied civil engineering and earned a Ph.D.[1]


As of 2007, he served as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University. In March 14, 2014, he became associate professor in Shinhan University, and became vice president of North Kyeong-gi Development Research Center.

In 2010, Kim criticized the idea that he is a "failed genius" and additionally said, "Some think people with a high IQ can be omnipotent, but that’s not true. Look at me, I don’t have musical talent, nor am I excelling in sports. [...] Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards – everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that."[7][8]


At age four, Kim scored over 200 on an IQ test normally given to seven-year-olds.[5][dubious ]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Song, Joo-hyun (2014-01-22). "IQ210 소년, 교수가 되다…김웅용 신한대학교 교양학부 교수" [Boy with 210 IQ Becomes Professor...Kim Ung-Yong, Professor of Liberal Arts at Shinhan University]. Joongboo Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  2. ^ Yoon, Min-sik (2014-01-14). "Former child genius to become full-time university professor". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  3. ^ McWhirter, Norris (1978). Guinness Book of World Records 1978. Bantam Books. p. 49. ISBN 0553112554. 
  4. ^ a b Yoon, Sa-rang (2016-08-04). "김웅용 교수 누구? '천재소년' 8세때 NASA 스카우트" [Who is Professor Kim Ung-yong? 'Genius boy' recruited by NASA at age 8]. Korea Sports Economy (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Korean genius, 4, poses problem for high school". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 1967-04-10. p. B5: 1. 
  6. ^ a b Hwang, Jurie (2010-10-06). "'Record IQ is just another talent'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  7. ^ Hussaini, Ambreen Shehzad (September 28, 2013). "Intelligence quotient: The world's smartest people". Dawn. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ Jurie, Hwang (October 10, 2010). "Life in the high IQ lane". The Star. Retrieved September 10, 2017.