World’s Youngest Author in Paleontology
World Science Scholar 2018
Future Stars-Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2018
Sharjah Book Authority’s ‘Incredible Talent’ 2017
UAE resident paleontologist and astrophysicist
Aspiring theoretical physicist and mathematician
Author of six books on prehistoric beasts, rare dinosaurs,
radiation, nuclear waste and mutation
♦ Prize for Mathematics for Outstanding Contribution: Dubai College
♦ Science Award for Outstanding Contribution: Dubai College
♦ Computer Science Award for Outstanding Contribution: Dubai College
♦ Femina Middle East’s Young Achiever
♦ Young Science Ambassador by British Science Association
♦ Emirates Environmental Group’s Crystal Trophy winner
♦ Year 10 student of Dubai College, UAE
Pritvik Sinhadc was just seven years old when his first book titled When Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth made him the world’s youngest author in paleontology.
His appetite for going beyond the obvious, unseen, unknown, and the unheard, motivated him to research on prehistoric mass extinctions and its untapped link with cosmic radiation and the result was a perfect canvas for his second book titled Planet Radioactive: A Mutant World: Impact of Nuclear Waste on Marine and Land Species.
His exclusive talk on this subject at the Emirates Environmental Group’s 9th Community Lecture in 2012 fetched him standing ovation from a packed crowd of over 75 environmentalists, professors, academicians, scientists and students. He was eight then, and next year in 2013, at the age of nine, he gave another lecture on the same topic at Dubai International Academic City. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Chairman of the Board of Directors-Director General, and Ms Jo Maher, Chief of Strategy, Research and Engagement, who were present at the lecture, offered him a unique opportunity to undertake a special training under the KHDA. In the same year, he was invited by the Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt, Germany, to exchange book with paleontologist Dr Bernd Herkner and talk about the prehistoric era.
As his interest in paleontology grew, his penchant for the unchartered cosmos, its dark matter and energy, encouraged him to foray in to astrophysics. He started researching on black holes, their relation to quasars, mathematical concept of white holes, wormholes, how they are linked to black holes and white holes, exoplanets and their ability to support alien life, communication and detection of alien life, Kardashev Scale, etc. This made him delve further in to quantum mechanics, including quantum entanglement, how it can be used in quantum computing, quantum superposition, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, etc.
Along with his growing interest in astrophysics, his penchant for paleontology continued, and at the age of nine, his lecture on his third book titled Walking With Prehistoric Beasts (a sequel to When Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth) at the PAN-Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Meet in April 2014, in Dubai, earned him the title of being a ‘Wonder Boy.’ Felicitated by Pan-IIT and commended by acclaimed scientists, engineers, businessmen, philanthropists and environmentalists, the media wrote: “The nine-year-old boy took the 350-strong mammoth audience through a mind-blowing journey into the fascinating world of prehistoric life starting 550 million years ago till the era when modern man evolved.”
On April 24, 2017, after five years of rigorous research, at the age of 12, the Sharjah Book Authority felicitated him as an ‘Incredible Talent’ at the cover launch of two of his books: Planet Radioactive: A Mutant World: Impact of Nuclear Waste on Marine and Land Species and Walking With Prehistoric Beasts. The venue was Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival and he was honored with a stipend to continue his research on paleontology and nuclear science.
In the same year, at 12, in order to quench his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he completed two courses in paleontology titled Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds and Dino 101 — Dinosaur Paleobiology, both under Dr Philip John Currie, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Dinosaur Paleobiology, University of Alberta, securing 92% and 100% respectively. He also completed another course titled Paleontology — Ancient Marine Reptiles under Professor Michael Caldwell, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, scoring 100% in total, and yet another at 13, titled Paleontology — Early Vertebrate Evolution under Professor Alison Murray, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, scoring 100%.
His love for astrophysics simultaneously encouraged him to complete a course titled Super-Earths and Life under Dr Dimitar Sasselov, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University. He scored 92%. He also completed a credit-based proctored program titled Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy from Arizona State University under Professor Frank Timmes, School of Earth and Space Exploration. He achieved 94% in total and earned university credits.
In summer 2018, at 13, he completed the Brown University’s on-campus Pre-College Immersion in STEM II program titled: The Grand Tour: Our Solar System Up Close and Personal, where he used NASA data collected via spacecraft, rovers, and astronauts, to work as a team on a group project titled, Mars 2020 Rover Mission. Throughout the two-week course, he not just solved problems, but was thrilled to share his solutions with his team and teachers. Moreover, his hands-on experience with real data, analytical methods such as satellite imagery and the use of past and present planetary missions as his lens, helped him present a talk titled: What does Mission 2020 expect to find from target Jezero? What makes this crater so desirable? He also conducted a range of laboratory experiments, including impact cratering into slabs of various materials and collected spectra of rocks and minerals. This pre-university course was his tiny step towards his dream of becoming an astrophysicist. He learnt how to research extensively on rovers and astronauts, conduct rover-based sample analysis, computer modeling and crater counting. He mastered the GIS mapping software, geologic processes like volcanism, impact cratering, tectonics and the complexities of the solar system and planet formation.
At 13, he was also declared as the World Science Scholar 2018, the first and only person from the Middle East and Africa, along with 45 exceptional under-18 mathematicians in the world. Under the World Science Scholar, he completed his first course titled Beyond the Cloud of Everyday Experience: A Course on Physics and Reality, under Prof Brian Greene, Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University, which served as a solid foundation for his future studies in special relativity, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. He has also just completed his second course titled, A Beautiful Universe: Black Holes, String Theory, and the Laws of Nature as Mathematical Puzzles under Prof Cumrun Vafa, Hollis Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy, Professor of Physics at Harvard University. The course focused on not just math and physics, but also the partition function, black hole thermodynamics and String Theory.
As a World Science Scholar, He is currently doing a course titled Life as the Next Frontier in Physics: Exploring the New Science of Astrobiology under Prof Sara Walker, Deputy Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Associate Director of the ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems, Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration Arizona State University, co-founder of the astrobiology-themed social website SAGANet.org, and a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Marble Space.
Being a World Science Scholar, he is also studying university-level math content over and above pre-calculus, calculus, advanced algebra, topology, graph theory, etc, and doing courses that are immersive, dynamic, and interactive. He is also participating in core lectures by world-renowned experts and using an extensive array of online resources. In total, he will be doing 16 courses as a World Science Scholar, some of which are, Algorithm Analysis and Design; Cognitive Neuroimaging; Essentials of Game Theory; Essentials of Graph Theory; Essentials of Probability and Stochastic Processes; Multi-objective Optimization; Probabilities in the Universe; Quantitative Finance; Quantum Reality; Quantum Theory and Applications; Computational Chemistry; Computational Epidemiology; Digital Signal Processes; Evolutionary Ecology; Transport and Communication Geography, etc. He will also be brainstorming on a group project, wherein collaborative learning experiences will allow him to examine how applied mathematics can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
World Science Scholars need to be high school sophomores or juniors (ages 15-17). While he did not exactly meet the age criteria, he did manage to meet all other requirements — exceptional mathematical ability, highly motivated to master math, understand and communicate complex mathematical and scientific ideas and of course, work in teams — and that is why he was selected among the exceptional young mathematicians from seven different nations.
While he was always passionate in math, his quantum leap in the subject took place when he started Year 9. Four days before his school reopened, on September 6, 2017, he underwent a critical surgery on his right arm to remove four (thankfully benign) tumors. His right arm was cut at four places and a near-3kg platinum fixator was screwed on to eight holes to hold the arm together. Unable to use his right hand, his brain became his asset as he found himself absorbing new concepts in mathematics: Nonlinear geometry, matrices, complex numbers, topology, calculus, advanced algebra, etc. Reading about new discoveries like time crystals, algebraic topology, unravelling a mathematical challenge like the Dirac Equation, fathoming new concepts in math and physics, mastering courses in quantum mechanics, calculus and astrophysics, etc, became his best medicine to survive the pain — thanks to his failing kidneys, he was not allowed to take any painkillers.
Invariably, mathematics, which was already his passion, became super-close to his heart. His Mathematics mentor at Dubai College further gave him extensive challenges and he found himself immersed in them completely. It was then that he started thinking how math can significantly link scientific disciplines, especially how it can be applied to physics. Soon, he became a die-hard fan of quantum mechanics and relativity and it was then that he decided to pursue this passion in math and theoretical physics by continuing his research on the development of a theory that unifies all fundamental forces and matter: A grand unified field theory. All along, by the way, even from his hospital bed, he continued shouldering his responsibilities as a member of Dubai College Math Society and leader of Paleontology Society and Astrophysics Club. He survived pretty well with this metallic friend for seven long months, until, right in in the middle of Term 3 of Year 9, he went in for another surgery to remove it from his arm.
Just to let you know, his failing health at that time failed to create any barrier in his passions and life. While he performed exceedingly well in Year 9 at Dubai College and was awarded the Year 8-10 Prize for Mathematics for Outstanding Contribution to the Subject, he regained full use of his right arm, and is, in fact, currently playing his favorite sports lawn tennis with as much rigor and enthusiasm as he did before.
Sinhadc has also just won the Future Stars (Stars of Tomorrow) Award at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2018. By way of introduction, the Awards have for over a decade been the most prestigious on the calendar, with previous winners and attendees including former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, etc. The Awards recognize outstanding achievements across the global business stage along with the achievements and potential of 10 Future Stars — the young people who will be the stars of tomorrow. The authorities and judges thought that Sinhadc made an excellent choice as one of 2018’s Future Stars winners.
Today, at 14, Sinhadc is Year 10 student of Dubai College, a UAE-resident paleontologist, a budding nuclear scientist, a part-time astrophysicist and an aspiring theoretical physicist and mathematician. He runs his own Paleontology Society (have launched it three years back and have been running it to date) and Astrophysics Club (took over from a sixth former to lead the club for one whole year) at Dubai College. He gives lectures, conducts workshops and takes classes on astrophysics, quantum mechanics, mathematics, prehistoric life, paleontology, sustainability, nuclear science, DNA mutations, limb and organ regeneration, etc.
He is also one of the founding members of the STEM Talks Society at Dubai College, along with the Year 12s and 13s, he being the only one from Year 10. He has already given lectures on ‘Time Crystals’ and ‘Supernovae and stellar fusion’ at the STEM Talks Society and shall be organizing a Dubai College STEM Talk TEDx event in March 2019.
Further, He is a member of the Dubai Astronomy Group, a senior member of Dubai College’s Science Council, Stem Council, Mathematics Society, Puzzle Committee, Raiders of the Lost Quark, Astronomy Club and TEDx Club, and the Editor-in-Chief of Dubai College Science Magazine. He has represented Dubai College on several occasions for the Gulf Debates, Dubai Maths Super League, Bunsen Burger Competition, etc, and have won several times. He is also tutoring Year 8 MAB in the Study Skills Program for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, for which he is being currently trained.
He is also writing three more books, namely, Rare Dinosaurs, The World of Paleo-Science and another yet-to-be-titled series on the potentials of combining the wonders in astrophysics and paleontology, which explains the origin of life on Earth.
He is involved in a few critical ongoing research works, namely on freshwater green algae for cleaning up spent nuclear fuel (waste), regeneration of lost limbs — a unique characteristics found in the DNA of some reptiles, Middle East Cretaceous marine invertebrates and late Miocene Arabian continental vertebrate fossils, how high energy charged particles or HZE in long‐term space travel poses significant risk of complex DNA damage and induce lung cancer in astronauts, and an extensive work in M Theory and a possible way for it to be combined with loop quantum gravity, thereby paving the way for the development of a theory that unifies all fundamental forces and matter: A grand unified field theory. He is in the process of writing a few papers on them for international scientific journals. However, before he goes into his research, let us tell you that all these started when Sinhadc was very, very small.
According to his parents, his unusual interest in astrophysics and paleontology, and their various sub-disciplines, began when he was just nine months old. His unquenchable penchant for paleo-science, evolution, nuclear hazards, its effects on mutations, limb and organ regeneration, the alien world, future of space exploration, etc, at such a tender age, forced them to wonder if he was actually autistic.
Hoping it to be a passing phase, his parents consciously tried not to take his unusual, undying and ever-increasing passion for the pre-historic world and our universe seriously, despite the fact that increasing questions on the origin of species forced them to get me books on paleontology. Barely two then, he soon turned into a voracious reader of books on the prehistoric era and the cosmos.
His interest in paleontology took extreme proportions when he started enlightening his teachers at Dubai British School on the prehistoric world and the biomechanics of its creatures in the Precambrian, Cambrian, Silurian, Ordovician, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. He had turned three then.
Surprised by his knowledge, his then Year 1 teacher at Dubai British School, decided to assess him and his parents were called by the school and informed that he was not autistic and instead, extremely ‘gifted in the science of paleontology’ with an IQ of 165.
It was then that he, a five-year-old Year 1 student, was asked to teach Year 4 and 5 students on dinosaurs and also students at the Dubai British School Science Club. He started giving presentations on dinosaurs in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods to these senior classes and that was when he was asked by his teachers to write a book.
At six, he wrote his first book, When Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth and published it at seven and since then, there has been no turning back.