Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Super Humans - Kim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-Yong (born March 7, 1963) is a South Korean civil engineer and former child prodigy. Kim was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ"; the book gave the boy's score as about 210.  Guinness retired the "Highest IQ" category in 1990 after concluding IQ tests were too unreliable to designate a single record holder. Kim Ung-Yong was born in Hongje-dong, Seoul, South Korea. His father is Kim Soo-Sun, a professor. He started speaking at the age of 6 months and was able to read Korean, Japanese, English, German and many other languages by his third birthday. By the time he was four years old, his father claimed Ung-Yong had memorized about 2000 words in both English and German. He was writing poetry in Korean and Chinese, and wrote two short books of essays and poems (less than 20 pages). At age four he scored over 200 on an IQ test normally given to seven-year-old. An article was published about him in Look magazine. After reading the article, a teacher and students at Grant High School in Los Angeles began writing to him. In February 1967 his father applied for Kim to be enrolled at Grant High School. In November 2, 1967, at the age of 5, he appeared on Fuji TV in Japan and amazed guests by solving Differential Equations. During that show, he wrote poems in different languages including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Japanese and Korean. On November 5, 1977, Kim solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems on Japanese television. Later on, he entered Chungbuk National University. He has majored in civil engineering and received a PhD. As of 2007 he served as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University. In March 14, 2014, he became associate professor in Shinhan University, and became vice president of North Kyeong-gi Development Research Center. 

But more interesting is the story of his choices related to life. As he is one of the "Ones that get away", geniuses that choose a normal, fulfilling life. At the age of eight, the child was invited by America’s NASA and conducted research work for 10 years. He also received a PhD in physics at Colorado State University. But by 1978, he was burnt out and returned to his homeland. He surprised everyone by switching to civil engineering and later chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation. The Korean media soon denounced him a “failed genius”. 
But for so-called failed genius Kim Ung-yong, his life is anything but a failure. He’s happy to be an ordinary company worker, he said. He’s happy with his station in life and exactly the way he is. 
“Apparently, the media belittled the fact that I chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation,” Kim said regrettably. “People expected me to become a high-ranking official in the government or a big company, but I don’t think just because I chose not to become the expected it gives anyone a right to call anyone’s life a failure,” he explained. Kim says his life is a great success and we agree that to the extent he has found his bliss, he surely is a successful man. Indeed, at the end, isn’t that what we’re all ultimately after? Everything else is mere empty prop. I have only admiration for everyone whom will choose a happy family life over some career, doesn't matter how extraordinary.

And what advice would the world’s smartest man give to the rest of us? “Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that,” Kim said. We agree. Like nature herself, we should value a diversity of talents and abilities. And know that in the end, happiness is the ultimate success.

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