Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Prodigy offered Cambridge place

Arran Fernandez (Photo credit: Neil Fernandez/PA Wire)
Arran Fernandez hopes to be a research mathematician at Cambridge

A 14-year-old mathematics prodigy has been offered a place at the University of Cambridge.

Arran Fernandez, who was home-educated in Surrey, was offered a conditional place at Fitzwilliam College after passing exams set by the university.

To enrol on the course, Arran now needs to pass his A-level physics exam.

Arran, who was tutored by his father Dr Neil Fernandez, a political economist, already has A-levels in maths and further maths.

Arran first made headlines in 2001 when, at five years old, he gained the highest grade possible in the foundation maths paper.

'Space explorer'

He went on to sit the intermediate GCSE paper the following summer and gained A* in the advanced level paper in 2003.

Reports at the time said Arran aspired to be "a mathematician, lorry driver or space explorer".

Speaking about his latest ambition, Arran said he now hopes to be a research mathematician.

"It would be nice to work for Cambridge. There are a few things I want to work on. I'd like the solve the Riemann Hypothesis."

Arran Fernandez with his teddy bear Pudsey after he became the youngest person to pass a GCSE.
Arran Fernandez became the youngest person to pass a GCSE in 2001

The unsolved theory about the patterns of prime numbers has baffled the greatest mathematicians for 150 years.

Arran said: "Maths has been my favourite subject for as long as I can remember.

"I enjoy being home-schooled because I'm more involved. I can see the mark schemes and help my dad decide the curriculum."

The degree, or tripos as it is known to Cambridge students, is widely regarded as one of the most difficult in the world.

Former scholars include Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.



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