In a matter of seconds, 6-year-old Aakash Ahuja Jr. can calculate the answers to some of the most difficult math problems. He breezes through equations like 4,000 divided by 1,100 and 70 times 70, confidently stating that the answers are 3.63 and 4,900 respectively.
“His past time is looking at my cellphone and looking at any time and telling me that ‘Oh 15 minutes is equal to 900 seconds’ and then he will say ‘30 minutes is equal to 1,800 seconds,’” said Dr. Aakash Ahuja, Aakash Ahuja Jr.’s father. “It’s not like I’m asking him to do that, it’s just him wanting to do it on his own.”
The first grade student at Golden Oak Community School has mastered the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, intervals and some square roots. On his own, Aakash Ahuja Jr. has discovered patterns in equations to solve complicated problems.
“Division, fraction and under root [square roots] are my favorites,” Aakash Ahuja Jr. said. “I can solve everything with math.”
His teachers will sometimes have him teach his class hard math problems and will ask him how he completes his work in his head.
“They say ‘how can you do that?’” Aakash Ahuja Jr. said. “I say by regrouping and adding what’s first.”
Most recently, Aakash Ahuja Jr. developed a method to accurately tell the day of week if given any date from the calendar. For example, when given the date of Jan. 5, 2021, he will think for a few moments, conduct calculations in his head and then state that the date will fall on a Tuesday.
“We discovered that on Christmas Day,” Aakash Ahuja said. “We were at home and… I think I asked my wife a random question like, ‘When is my birthday?’ to plan things and he answered.”
That day, Aakash Ahuja asked his son four questions about calendar dates and he got them all right. Now, the 6-year-old sees the calendar calculations as another fun way to complete math problems.
“I usually just use my iPhone and open the calendar app and just ask him and pick any day,” Aakash Ahuja said. “Sometimes it’s a little challenging he says ‘no problem’ and then he answers it.”
Aakash Ahuja Jr. said to discover the day of the week a calendar date will fall on, he will add up all the days, months and years and follow numerical patterns.
“I didn’t teach him these things,” Aakash Ahuja said. “When he asks me something I tell him, but he hates that. He wants to figure it out on his own.”
Already, Aakash Ahuja Jr. has been recognized for his work. This schoolyear he received a Wise Owl Award, a Principal’s Certificate and Scholarship in All Areas of 1st Grade.
Three months ago he competed in an annual “TriMathalon” contest held by Mathnasium. Although the competition was limited to students above second grade, Aakash Ahuja Jr. was allowed to join the competition and won the second prize.
He also wrote a short book about numbers titled “I’m a Number Boy” and submitted it to Golden Oak.
Aakash Ahuja said that he and his wife, Sarika Ahuja, are not pushing their son to study all the time. They instead encourage him to continue learning and offer help when he needs it, while still allowing him to be a kid, play videogames and watch his favorite TV shows.
“We want him to pursue this big time, but don’t want to put him in a box,” he said.
If he continues to maintain this focus, Aakash Ahuja said he hopes his son will do something good for the world in the math and science field.
“I do think that in some math capacity he might be able to create something which can solve some big problems or begin something related to NASA or astronomy,” Aakash Ahuja said. “He might create new computer software because kids have a different perspective and sometimes think outside of the box.”
Right now Aakash Ahuja Jr. has one career path in mind: president. And, his father said he will support him no matter what he chooses to pursue in the future.
“Aakash, mine and his name, in Hindi and Sanskrit means sky and I truly believe that the sky is the limit,” Aakash Ahuja said.
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