8 People Who Received Their PhDs Before Age 20

Ruth Lawerence
Illustration by Christian Sager

Math whiz Ruth Lawrence finished her PhD at Oxford University at the age of 17. Today she's recognized as a scholar in algebraic topology and knot theory. Even though she's an academic, Lawrence won't encourage her own children to follow her own stringent studying practices. Her father attended all of her classes with her at Oxford and tutored Lawrence. They even rode to school together on a tandem bicycle.