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Boy, 9, Becomes World's Youngest Microsoft Tech Specialist

Agoura Hills' Pranav Kalyan passes his certification test giving him the official title.

OUTSIDE LOS ANGELES, CA -- A local boy has become the youngest person on record to earn recognition as a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.

Pranav Kalyan, a Willow Elementary fourth-grader, unseated former record holder Babar Iqbal, 12, of Dubai.

Pranav, who was 9 when he took the exam on Jan. 12, received official word of his achievement in ASP.NET Framework 3.5 on Jan. 14, according to his parents. He is now listed in Wikipedia's List of Child Prodigies under "computer science."

Pranav, who just turned 10 on Thursday, said he took this particular test because "it was the only one I was allowed to take."

"He wanted to accomplish something in his life," said Pranav's father, Mohan Kalyan. "And he tried to take AP Mathematics, but you have to be at least 13." 

When asked if he was surprised that he passed, Pranav said, "Not suprised but excited."

Word quickly spread to his family's native country, India, where Pranav has become an overnight star. Several international publications, including The Times of India, have already contacted the prodigy.

Pranav became interested in computers at the age of 2 and started doing simple HTML computer programming at 6, said his father, a computer programmer with the same certification.

Pranav began working earnestly toward his goal about 18 months ago, studying up to 8 hours a day on weekends and working with mentors who happen to be close family friends.

"He also reads large college texts in mathematics and science," his father said. "He is currently mastering calculus."

Pranav's teacher, Sharlene Church, said she is not surprised by his accomplishments. "I remember seeing Pranav in second grade and noting that he catches on very quickly ... He stands out," she said of the straight-A student.

Pranav studies after school at Kuman and also recently found out that he has been ranked 55th out of 26,000 students at his grade level.

In spite of his achievements, Pranav's parents are not pushing their son to succeed and, in fact, don't plan to accelerate his education.

"He doesn't want to miss out on his childhood," said his mother, Visalakshi.

Pranav is currently developing his own software, P-studyware on Windows and is building his own website. He hopes one day to become an astronomer.

Betsy January 18, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Pranav and family ...CONGRATULATIONS!! again ...l am so glad to see your achivements are now given the recognitition you deserve. I wish for all of you a life of success, health and love.Family love is very important to include in any career!!..and yes... Do not forget to be a kid!! Many blessings! .
Bobbie Noel January 19, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Exactly . Dont forget to be a kid.
BK January 19, 2013 at 05:50 AM
These kids are sure clever, and I hope these diplomas will provide them with source of money till they get into real IT skills and real programming. But after all, these are pre-teens with only TV knowledge of anything. This just shows how narrow scoped and diploma mill those MS courses are, just a licence to print money on extremely limited skills, and definitely not a proper IT knowledge. It is just a single cookbook manual, not IT skill. Microsoft is still a huge chokehold on development everywhere. Good luck kids, and be 5-minute sensations, but try to learn real skills, not MS diploma mills.
Tom L. January 19, 2013 at 07:11 AM
It's easy for a gifted child to lose his childhood by not providing opportunities for him to advance. The late Professor Julian Stanley, founder of Institute for Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, used to say that when extremely gifted kids are put together in a classroom, a remarkable change happens. At their regular schools, each child was known only as the "class brain," but in the SMPY program, when they were surrounded by other very able children, they quickly sorted themselves out into categories like class brain, class joker, class athlete, class lover, class politician, etc. None of these categories would have been apparent when they were in their "regular" school.
Tom L. January 19, 2013 at 07:12 AM
They even found a "class brain!"
Dhandy L. January 19, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Congratulation !!!,Pranav and family !!! wish you all the best in life and of course the parent did a great job for raising him and the influenze of his Dad as a computer programmer ..God Bless !!!
Bambi Haddad January 19, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Wow!!!! Amazing! His mother is right to encourage him to enjoy his childhood.
Patrick C January 21, 2013 at 07:28 PM
My son is a friend of Pranav and I can assure everyone he is a well-balanced kid with a mischievous streak. (Young Steve Jobs maybe?)
TJ January 24, 2013 at 05:45 PM
It is typical of Indian and chinese parents in USA to destroy their children's childhood by pressurizing to succeed...eventually these kids grow up to be depressed.

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