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May 27, 2018 1:26 pm

Israeli Math Prodigy Aces ‘Relatively Easy’ National Exams at Age 12

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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12-year-old Israeli math prodigy Ayal Zusiman. Photo: screenshot.

Israeli students prepare for months to take the country’s equivalent of the SATs, but one gifted youngster appears to have aced them at a level far beyond his years.

Ayal Zusiman, who is only 12, simply said of the mathematics exam, “It was relatively easy.” He told Israel’s Channel 2 that he believes he may receive the top score of 100.

Ayal’s mother Racheli said of her son, “In first grade we already understood that he had an unusual talent — he taught himself subjects like fractions and decimal numbers. In second and third grade he already knew subjects like logarithms and exponentiation — and he taught himself all of it, without our involvement.”

“We thought about what we should do with this. Because the child without doubt was on a high level and beyond his age, and he said his dream was to study mathematics on a high school level,” she added.

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Ayal himself said his talents stem from his upbringing. “My mother and father dealt with various subjects connected to mathematics,” he said, “so I was exposed to the subject, like someone who speaks English is exposed to it in his childhood.”

He plans to study for an undergraduate degree at Israel’s Open University and sees mathematics as the wave of the future.

“It’s a subject that is the basis of many subjects that are really the foundations on which the world is built,” he said. “For example, computer science — which is a subject that appears to be fundamental to the future, and that will be far ahead of other things.”

“What’s beautiful about him is his intuitive understanding,” says Ayal’s mother. “He has a natural eye for mathematics. He’s a champion.”

Watch Ayal’s interview with Channel 2 below (Hebrew):

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