Barnett Appears on '60 Minutes'
Mathematics whiz Jake Barnett, the 13-year-old IUPUI student who has been acing college math and science courses since he was eight, was featured this winter on a segment of the popular CBS news magazine 60 Minutes in a feature hosted by veteran newsman Morley Safer.
When he learned Barnett was fascinated with astronomy, Safer asked him if he wanted to be an astronaut. But Barnett — who could probably calculate how much fuel it would take to get to his favorite planet, Saturn — told Safer he would rather run things from the ground. “Not an astronaut — that’s like, too dangerous,” Barnett told Safer. “I’m going to be the guy controlling the astronauts. If anyone’s an astronaut, it’s going to be my brother” Wesley, one of his two male siblings.
Barnett’s unique talent is enabled by his ability to remember any numbers he wants. The boy can name 200 of the infinite numbers of pi all because he memorized them in a few hours. But that doesn’t mean he is not creative. His mind overflows with new physics problems and theories he often writes down on walls and windows. Does his head ever get cluttered? “Not at all. I remember math and numbers. I don’t remember other things,” he told Safer, laughing. “If someone asked me where something is in the house, I tell them ‘I don’t know.’”