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Prodigy Profile: Santiago GonzalezWEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2014 16:43 PM

Prodigy Profile: Santiago Gonzalez While some teenage boys are just starting to think about relationships, parties and other types of high school drama, Santiago Gonzalez wonders about efficient computer programming and dreams of solving bugs in a set of code. The Littleton, Colo., native is a child computer prodigy and can write in more than a dozen programming languages. Santiago's aptitude test scores at an early age revealed an incredible mind. Barely a teen, Santiago has developed more than 15 iOS applications and hopes to achieve much in the future.

Early life
As a child, Santiago showed signs of a very high IQ. He understood adult conversations and was consumed with the desire to learn as much as he could. His parents noticed Santiago's love for geology, and by the time he was in first grade, he was reading college texts and adult-level books on rocks and minerals. When Santiago was first given an aptitude test, he scored in the 99.9 percentile.

Santiago's intelligence was a bit of a burden in elementary school. His teachers could not meet his needs and classroom lectures seemed endless and boring because he was not challenged at all. Other students had trouble accepting Santiago's above average intelligence and excluded him from social activities. By sixth grade, Santiago's parents saw that their son needed more than what elementary school could offer, so they brought him to the Colorado School of Mines, a reputable and nationally recognized engineering school. He was tested and accepted into their computer science program. Santiago is expected to graduate college by the age of 16 and complete his master's degree by 17.

Daily routine
Santiago's daily routine is simple, but far from easy. He wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and immediately writes code for one of his applications. After breakfast, he goes to school where he attends classes that he actually finds challenging and interesting, like Elements of Computing Systems and other general education courses. Santiago spends most of his time with faculty. He works as a research assistant for Professor William Hoff, whose focus is on energy efficiency in computer networks. Santiago helped Hoff develop sensor systems now used by the university.

Future of the programming prodigy
Early aptitude tests revealed to Santiago's parents that he needed more than what elementary, middle or high school academics could offer. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez knew that their child was gifted, and with the help of the aptitude tests, Santiago was given a chance to excel in school, love learning and work toward his dream of becoming an Apple software developer.


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