Kyle Loh Reflects on the World of the Gifted and Talented

Question: What is it like being a 15-year-old junior at Rutgers?

Loh:    I’m an undergrad at Rutgers University in New Jersey and so currently I’m a junior and I have about a year left in my undergrad so I took what my friends liked to call sabbatical to Harvard to try to do some work but I hope to return and to be able to finish my undergrad degree and I once wanted to go to med school but then one of my mentors sat me down and said very prophetically, “Kyle, you’re never going to medical school, you’re going to graduate school.”  So I guess I’m going to grad school now.      

Question: Did your parents pressure you to pursue science?

Loh:    I’ll have to say, I’m very surprised when I say this is that a lot of it came from myself so that I know when I was very young, my parents would bring home books just to read for themselves or something and that I would just pick off these biology books just ‘cause I was bored or something and that I just really got excited into it and I think that it’s really impossible to do something if someone is telling you that you have to do it.  So I think that it’s really been important to me that I’m always really excited about science and that I pursue a lot of it by myself and I keep on trying to read and talk to new people and try to get new ideas and I think that’s what the fun is.   

Question: Are you interested in disciplines outside of science?

Loh: I think if you stay at one thing too much, it’s really unhealthy like staying in science too much can really be unhealthy, staying… being with girlfriends and in a relationship for a long time can be also unhealthy.  So in Rutgers, I tried to take a balanced course load so that I can advance my science goals but also liberal arts as well.

Question: What is your advice to other gifted and talented students?

Loh: I think that it’s really impossible to do something unless you really care about something and I think that’s a way for science and for academics and for friends.  And I think most importantly they just need to be some kind of functional connection that once you hit something, you know, it just kinds of clicks and that you need to aggressively pursue that a lot.  So I was very fortuitous that my first experience with science was stem cells and that was just a very natural fit and I think that the first really, really big step is just finding something that you believe in and then after that you can definitely make things happen.  And I know there’s been a lot of road blocks personally in my way but that I think if you really believed in something, you and your family and your friends can really make it go through.  And it’s a matter of finding good mentors and that knowing good professors at universities and those can help you just infinitely.

The researcher contemplates his rare academic talent.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.