Greek-American Will Maillis, aged 10, is not your usual 10-year-old boy. No sooner did he turn 9 years of age that he took on a full load of courses at the Community College of Allegheny in Pennsylvania. A child genius, he started speaking full sentences at 7 months. “I don’t want to sleep,” he would say to his father while his parents reasoned with him to sleep. By 18 months, he could add and by two years of age, he was able to multiply just as most kids were entering kindergarten.
As one of the youngest people ever to attend college, he was accepted into Carnegie Mellon following his graduation from Penn Trafford High and he dreams of being an astrophysicist after graduating from studies in the physics and chemistry of space and earning a doctorate degree. He is working on his own theories of how the universe was created. His goal is to prove that God exists, and that is something his Greek Orthodox family are proud of, especially his father, Peter Maillis, who is a priest.
Father Peter says his son remains grounded. “I just want him to appreciate the gift he has, which I think he does,” says Maillis. “I tell him, ‘God gave you a gift. The worst thing would be to reject that gift and not use it for the betterment of the world.'”
He tosses around concepts like “displacement of space-time” and “Pure gravity” while attempting to explain why black holes aren’t super massive; tackling the same theories that Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking dealt with. When he isn’t studying the universe or grappling with life’s most profound issues, he does what other boys his own age do, such as enjoy video games, knock-knock jokes, doing sports and just hanging out. As for being one of the world’s smartest people and youngest ever college undergraduates, William says that it doesn’t bother him that he is the youngest student in the class, he is used to it.