Carson Huey-You: On Physics, Minecraft and Pot Pies

He's just like any other teen — except with a college degree.

Many call 15-year-old Carson Huey-You a genius. Others refer to him as a prodigy or a savant. But this physics major, the youngest to ever receive a degree from TCU, is a quintessential teen who loves playing video games, watching superhero movies, roughhousing with his younger brother and raiding the fridge. He may have received a degree in physics and minored in Chinese and math, but that is not what defines him. His mother taught him to always be a gentleman and ensured his social life hasn’t suffered despite his elevated studies. Carson is also big brother to 12-year-old Cannan, who is a freshman at TCU studying astrophysics and engineering.

Q. Was there a moment in the classroom that you realized you were more advanced or had a better understanding of the concepts being taught than the other students?
A. I never really thought that I was doing stuff at a higher level than the other kids. I just enjoyed being in a classroom environment learning interesting concepts and taking in knowledge.

Q. You must have visited several college campuses; why was TCU the right choice for you?
A. I was considering schools in Texas because I wanted to stay close. When we were considering colleges, I was interested in TCU because of their excellent physics program. I knew TCU was best for me because everyone on campus was so nice and willing to help.

Q. Was it difficult to make the transition from your high school in Granbury to a major college campus at the age of 11?
A. Yes, definitely. Not in the sense that I wasn’t used to being around older people, but going academically from a private school to a larger campus was hard the first and second years.

Q. What was it about physics that intrigued you?
A. I have always been interested in general science. I love to know how things work and put two things together to see how they react. With quantum physics, you can’t see what is going on, which is more intriguing to me. You’re dealing with the fundamental building blocks like atoms, electrons, protons and matter in general.

Q. What campus activities are you involved in?
A. The first few years at TCU, I went to some of the football games. I still keep up with how TCU is doing during the season, but I am really busy. As far as being a part of any organization, I recently worked the physics and astronomy booth during the eclipse.

Q. Outside of the classroom, what are your interests or other hidden talents?
A. Eating is my favorite activity. I also love swimming with my little brother, Cannan. We have a pool in our backyard. I like playing with my puppy Klaus and making sure he’s happy. We don’t play any violent video games, but I love playing games like “Minecraft” or “Portal.”

Q. What’s your favorite movie or book?
A. It’s really hard to pick just one book. I really like the Lord of the Rings series and thought The Westing Game was really good. As far as movies, I enjoy superhero films … both Marvel and DC.

Q. So your little brother is also attending TCU; how old is he and what is he majoring in?
A. He’s 12 years old, and he’s double majoring in astrophysics and engineering. He wants to be an astronaut.

Q. Was there an advisor or mentor at TCU who has helped you learn the ropes around campus?
A. Dr. [Magnus] Rittby [senior associate dean for administration and graduate programs at TCU’s College of Science and Engineering] showed us around and helped with enrollment. Along the way, he’s given me tips for general success.

Q. What does the future hold?
A. My goal is to go into research in quantum physics. That might be teaching or with a private company. It might be doing research for my own company.

1. A notebook, along with his textbooks, makes his backpack very heavy.
2. Scientific Calculator
3. No. 2 Pencils. Carson says he only uses mechanical pencils.
4. Carson's backpack
5. Laptop. Carson prefers Mac over PC.
6. The Westing Game is one of Carson’s books of choice.
7. Carson’s mom makes sure his mini fridge stays stocked with groceries and meals like kale for salads, meats and yogurt. On the day of the shoot, his mom had made a chicken pot pie — one of Carson’s favorites.