He said some of the students at the college “were intimidated” by him but a lot of others “were really happy” to have a kid in their classes. He graduated with three associate degrees from the college.
Professors at the college didn’t initially want him in their classes because of his age. But finally a professor agreed to let him attend if his mother, a doctor of veterinary medicine, also took the class. “There were times when I had to explain general relativity and special relativity to my mom,” he said.
Tanishq had first asked his parents — father Bijou Abraham, a software engineer and mother Taji who is a veterinary doctor — to allow him to take a college course when he was six years old. Later, he convinced his parents who then enquired about him attending a class at American River College. Abraham’s parents migrated to the US from Kerala.
Biology professor Marlene Martinez said he was never afraid to ask lot of questions. “In lecture he would always pop up with ‘so, does that mean ...’ or ‘what about this?’” Martinez said.
Tanishq, who joined the IQ society Mensa at only 4 years old, has always picked up knowledge quickly, his father, Bijou Abraham, told NBC News. “We tested him and discovered that he was pretty smart,” he said. “We were surprised when we started giving him advanced stuff and he was picking it up really fast.” Tanishq says child geniuses are often seen as odd. “When you think of a genius, you think of a mad scientist kind of thing,” he said. But he pointed out he’s just an ordinary kid who likes learning and microscopes but also playing video games. “I just think learning is fun,” Tanishq said.