Dubai kid is region's first World Science Scholar
Pritvik Sinhadc, World Science Scholar
Dubai - He said that a health scare back in 2017 could have helped him secure his nomination.
Despite a major operation that saw 14-year-old Pritvik Sinhadc hospitalised for three weeks in 2017, the Dubai student has been declared a World Science Scholar by the World Science Festival (WSF).
Picked alongside 45 other students worldwide who have demonstrated extraordinary mathematical talent, Sinhadc, a Year 10 Dubai College student, is the first and only person from the Middle East and Africa to receive the honour.
Speaking to Khaleej Times on Sunday, he said that a health scare back in 2017 could have helped him secure his nomination.
"I guess my quantum leap into quantum physics started in Year 9. On September 9, 2017, I underwent a major operation and had several tumours, which thankfully turned out to be benign, removed from my right arm."
Left with a big metal fixator on his arm for seven months, he said his hand was "rendered useless after the operation".
"I spent three weeks in the hospital initially, and because I couldn't use my hand to write, my brain became my best friend. That's when I started exploring other subjects like quantum mechanics."
Known in the UAE as a bit of a whiz kid, Sinhadc has always had a flair for academics from a young age; especially paleontology.
But his thirst to know more grew as he got older. Picked among thousands of applicants, Sinhadc was unsure as to who nominated him for the honour, however, was pleasantly surprised when he received a personal e-mail from Mark German, director of the World Science Scholars.
"On behalf of the World Science Festival, we'd like to congratulate you on becoming a World Science Scholar. You are joining an extraordinarily talented group of 45 students from five countries, and we're excited to get to know you better, and for you to meet other members of the summer 2018 cohort," the e-mail read.
So what does he think got him noticed? During the summer this year, aged just 13, Sinhadc completed Brown University's 2018 Pre-College Immersion in STEM II programme titled, 'The Grand Tour: Our Solar System Up Close and Personal'.
"I used Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) data collected via spacecraft, rovers, and astronauts, to work as a team on a group project titled, 'Mars 2020 Rover Mission'. That landing mission could be the most exciting space exploration of our time, so that pre-university course was my tiny step towards my dream of becoming an astrophysicist."
Going forward, Sinhadc will now be part of a community of exceptionally talented math students who will work on research projects that look to "better humanity", linking up with esteemed professors, dedicated teaching fellows, and mentors, including renowned scientists Brian Greene and Cumrun Vafa.