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14-year-old to graduate from UCLA this year

March 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of this year's UCLA graduates will be earning his third college degree, but he's anything but your typical graduate. He's a 14-year-old phenomenon who believes anyone can accomplish what he's done.

Most other students his age are looking forward to high school. Moshe Kai Cavalin already has two degrees from East L.A. Community College, graduating at the age of 11 with a 4.0 GPA.

"Genius is like a word, just like IQ is a number. It just classifies (them) to one point and ignores everything else that makes the individual who they are," he said.

The math major has become something of a phenomenon on campus and has his own circle of college friends.

"I actually prefer hanging out with some of my peers here at UCLA than hanging out with kids of my age because I used to say, like it sounds like I'm babysitting them," Cavalin said.

Cavalin's friend Zach Wagner said he's able to have intelligent conversations with the teen.

"He obviously understands the mathematics. He's obviously at the same level as us. And it is in my opinion that the age makes relatively little difference," Wagner said.

His mother Shuchen Chien said she knew something was different when he picked up her college book and started reading it at the age of 2. Now, she sits in advanced mathematics classes with him.

"He's a happy kid, and he's learning so well and doing a fantastic job for himself, so we're just really happy to see that," Chien said.

Cavalin said he's too young to consider plans for his long-term future. For now, he's just going to focus on graduating college and getting his driver's license.

"There's almost 7 billion people in the world and everybody's smart in his or her own way," Cavalin said.

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