Photo by Yanik Kleibrink on the website of the Institute of Mathematics Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main (Goethe Univetsität Frankfurt am Main) attracts attention. With a broad smile, a researcher at the Faculty of Mathematics immediately stands out – he is very young, and his age is clearly significantly lower than the average age of the department’s employees!
Bachelor, Master and now – dissertation
And yet, the name of Yanik in the list of employees of one of the leading profile institutes is far from accidental. Yanik is really only 18 years old, and he is not just a researcher, but also a graduate student! Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main proudly announced on its page at the end of July: German Abitur (Abitur)”.
Janik’s story was immediately picked up by the leading German media, calling him “an outstanding talent in mathematics”, “superbrain” and “the youngest graduate student”. The young mathematician finished school and at the same time received two diplomas at once – a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. At the age of 12, Janick began his studies at the University of Frankfurt, and all this – in parallel with the school. Such an opportunity is provided by the German law on higher education – for the development and support of especially gifted children. It is curious that Yanik studied in the USA for several years, where his father moved with his family for work. It was the American education system that made it possible for Yanik to attend all available courses in mathematics – regardless of his age. As a result, when Janick returned to Germany, it turned out that at the age of 12 he had already completed the entire high school program. This is what prompted the parents to look for new opportunities for their son. And the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main turned out to be the perfect place.
One of the youngest students in Germany
Mathematics for Yanik is not just a science, but a fascinating pastime. Yanik felt a craving for numbers and calculations as early as elementary school. When a young man talks about his favorite subject, it immediately becomes clear that the love of mathematics for him is for life. Being the youngest student in the audience, Yanik was not at all taken aback. “Age in mathematics is a secondary issue, the main thing here is teamwork,” says the young man. According to the German online portal Statista, there are approximately 200 students aged 17 in Germany. Yanik is one of the youngest.
Until now, the most outstanding young talent in the field of mathematics was Peter Scholze, who in 2012 became a professor at the University of Bonn at the age of 24. Yanik speaks rather modestly about his plans for the future, the most important thing is that “it should be connected with mathematics”. In his free time from computing, Yanik likes to swim and play tennis.