The dark side of being a child prodigy
Eugenie de Silva has a master’s degree and braces. When working on her Ph.D., she often sits on a bed decorated with stuffed animals. She’s preparing to teach a college course in terrorism and listens to Nicki Minaj. She has a modest collection of colorful purses and world records, including being the youngest person to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis.
At home in East Tennessee, she’s preparing to become the Secretary of Defense. The job is about to be vacant but she’s not quite ready for the nomination. First, she needs to turn 18.
At 16, Eugenie is a child prodigy by any standard. She obtained her master’s degree from Harvard University this year, is in the process of completing her Ph.D. at the University of Leicester, taught herself to play piano, and helps her father, a physics and chemistry professor, with his course work. In her spare time, she writes and edits books on cyber espionage and Edward Snowden, among other topics. This all comes naturally to her.
“Before I could write, I could type,” Eugenie told msnbc in a recent interview at her home.