Meet Benjamin Lou, the 20-yr-old ‘Asian Stephen Hawking’

Meet Benjamin Lou, the 20-yr-old ‘Asian Stephen Hawking’Meet Benjamin Lou, the 20-yr-old ‘Asian Stephen Hawking’
via CBS 8 San Diego
A 20-year-old MIT student has been dubbed the “Asian Stephen Hawking” for defying physical limitations imposed by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to achieve academic excellence and make groundbreaking strides in mathematics and physics.
Triumph over adversity: Benjamin Lou was just 6 months old when he was diagnosed with SMA, a condition deemed life-threatening by doctors. Lou endured numerous surgeries and medical challenges throughout his childhood, with his mother, Jenny Huang, becoming his dedicated caregiver.
“I tend to be thinking of the worst situation and prepare for the worst situation,” Huang shared in an interview with SMA News Today in 2021. “He’s happy and it makes things lighter. His energy to solve problems is amazing, and he is willing to work hard and think differently. He never gives up.”
Young learner: Undeterred by physical constraints, Lou immersed himself in self-study lessons and online resources as his passion for learning emerged early. By the age of 11, he clinched a gold medal at the Alibaba World Math Team Competition, outperforming 50,000 participants. His mathematical abilities, evident since fourth grade, secured him a spot on the USA Mathematical Olympiad team. 
Following in Hawking’s footsteps: Lou, who currently maintains a perfect 5.0 GPA at MIT, is now under the guidance of renowned physicist Alan Guth, a collaborator of Stephen Hawking. With Guth’s help. Lou has begun delving into cutting-edge research on black holes. Drawing parallels with Hawking’s resilience, Lou’s optimistic outlook and humor mirror the late physicist’s approach to life. 
“I want to have a research career, and also an entrepreneurial career,” Lou was quoted saying. “Research can be somewhat risky in terms of how much your research will benefit people. The entrepreneurial aspect, I know for sure that that’s gonna benefit people. So if I do them both, it’s like a safety net, and I do everything that matters to me.”
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