Elon Musk Just Hired a 14-Year-Old Prodigy

Kairan Quazi is graduating from Santa Clara University this week
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2023 3:27 PM CDT
Elon Musk Just Hired a 14-Year-Old Prodigy
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a batch of Starlink satellites launches from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, seen from Cocoa Beach, Fla., Sunday, May 14, 2023   (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

Kairan Quazi isn't even old enough for his first prom, but he's got a date with Elon Musk. As CBS News reports, the 14-year-old Californian is graduating Santa Clara University this week and heading directly to Redmond, Washington, (with his mom) where he'll take up a position with SpaceX, specifically as a software engineer with the company's Starlink division. For those wondering if SpaceX is flouting child-labor laws, Kairan meets Washington state's minimum age to work. And while his peers might be contemplating jobs that involve flipping burgers, Kairan went with SpaceX because he saw it as "one of the rare companies that did not use my age as an arbitrary and outdated proxy for maturity and ability." Kairan's trajectory and resume:

  • His mom, Jullia Quazi, says she noticed something was up when her son started speaking in complete sentences when he was 2.
  • He finished third grade and enrolled in Las Positas Community College at age 9—while still taking fourth-grade classes during the day.
  • He transferred to SCU at 11. He'll graduate on Saturday with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering. The Seattle Times notes that he's the youngest grad in the school's 172-year history.
  • While at SCU, he interned at Intel as an AI research fellow.
  • Kairan can code in not one or two, but 12 different languages.
  • For fun? He told KRON when he was 10 that he was into martial arts, playing the piano, and following current events.
  • His reaction: "Next stop…SpaceX!!!" Kairan wrote on social media. "I accepted a position as Software Engineer at one of the coolest companies on the planet! Thank you everyone for continuing to follow my crazy journey!"
(More child prodigy stories.)

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