Today’s presentation by eight year old Mr. Raumaan Ahmad Kidwai at Thinkers Forum meeting was amazing. He spoke about fundamentals of force, Newtons’ theory of Gravity, Einstein’s theory of Relativity, Quantum physics, Black Hole and string theory. It was not memorizing the formulas and just recite them, but this gifted child has the full concept of these difficult topics and answered questions about the significance and applications of these concepts.

The above article is partially related to what we discussed in the Forum meeting today.Today’s participant at the meeting may enjoy it reading and may be easier to understand it after listening to Mr. Rauman. May be in another meeting we ask Raumann to shed light on these 17 formulas who changed the course of humanity.   ( F. Sheikh)



Mathematician Ian Stewart’s recent book “In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World” takes a close look at some of the most important equations of all time.

A great example of the human impact of math is the financial crisis. Black Scholes, number 17 on this list, is a derivative pricing equation that played a role.

“It’s actually a fairly simple equation, mathematically speaking,” Professor Stewart told Business Insider. “What caused trouble was the complexity of the system the mathematics was intended to model.”

Numbers have power. In this case, people depended on a theoretical equation too seriously and overreached its assumptions.

Without the equations on this list, we wouldn’t have GPS, computers, passenger jets, or countless inventions in between.

The Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem

What does it mean: The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the SUM of the squares of its legs.

History: Attributed to Pythagoras, it isn’t certain that he first proved it. The first clear proof came from Euclid, and it is possible the concept was known 1000 years before Pythoragas by the Babylonians.

Importance: The equation is at the core of geometry, links it with algebra, and is the foundation of trigonometry. Without it, accurate surveying, mapmaking, and navigation would be impossible.

Modern use: Triangulation is used to this day to pinpoint relative location for GPS navigation.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

The logarithm and its identities

The logarithm and its identities

What does it mean: You can multiply numbers by adding related numbers.

History: The initial concept was discovered by the Scottish Laird John Napier of Merchiston in an effort to make the multiplication of large numbers, then incredibly tedious and time consuming, easier and faster. It was later refined by Henry Briggs to make reference tables easier to calculate and more useful.

Importance: Logarithms were revolutionary, making calculation faster and more accurate for engineers and astronomers. That’s less important with the advent of computers, but they’re still an essential to scientists.

Modern use: Logarithms still inform our understanding of radioactive decay.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

The fundamental theorem of calculus

The fundamental theorem of calculus

What does it mean?: Allows the calculation of an instantaneous rate of change.

History: Calculus as we currently know it was described around the same in the late 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz. There was a lengthy debate over plagiarism and priority which may never be resolved. We use the leaps of logic and parts of the notation of both men today.

Importance: According to Stewart, “More than any other mathematical technique, it has created the modern world.” Calculus is essential in our understanding of how to measure solids, curves, and areas. It is the foundation of many natural laws, and the source of differential equations.

Modern use: Any mathematical problem where an optimal solution is required. Essential to medicine, economics, and computer science.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

Newton’s universal law of gravitation

Newton's universal law of gravitation

What does it mean?: Calculates the force of gravity between two objects.

History: Isaac Newton derived his laws with help from earlier work by Johannes Kepler. He also used, and possibly plagiarized the work of Robert Hooke.

Importance: Used techniques of calculus to describe how the world works. Even though it was later supplanted by Einstein’s theory of relativity, it is still essential for practical description of how objects interact with each other. We use it to this day to design orbits for satellites and probes.

Value: When we launch space missions, the equation is used to find optimal gravitational “tubes” or pathways so they can be as energy efficient as possible. Also makes satellite TV possible.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

The origin of complex numbers

The origin of complex numbers

What does it mean?: The square of an imaginary number is negative.   

History: Imaginary numbers were originally posited by famed gambler/mathematician Girolamo Cardano, then expanded by Rafael Bombelli and John Wallis. They still existed as a peculiar, but essential problem in math until William Hamilton described this definition.

Importance: According to Stewart “…. most modern technology, from electric lighting to digital cameras could not have been invented without them.” Imaginary numbers allow for complex analysis, which allows engineers to solve practical problems working in the plane.

Modern use: Used broadly in electrical engineering and complex mathematic theory.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

Euler’s formula for polyhedra

Euler's formula for polyhedra

What does it mean?: Describes a space’s shape or structure regardless of alignment.

History: The relationship was first described by Descartes, then refined, proved, and published by Leonhard Euler in 1750.

Importance: Fundamental  to the development of topography, which extends geometry to any continuous surface. An essential tool for engineers and biologists.

Modern use: Topography is used to understand the behavior and function of DNA.

Source: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

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Posted By F. Sheikh


  1. The childish innocence and playful demeanor of little Master Kidwai was both exhilarating and awe inspiring at the same time. The complete absence of arrogance and natural craving for pursuit of knowledge on his part was a breath of fresh air. The wonder kid has no airs about himself, a tribute to his immaculate upbringing. His ease at explaining away of complex concepts of Physics relating to different kinds of Force, creation of the Universe, and understanding of how scientific concepts evolved from the crude to the refined, over the years, by the founding fathers of natural sciences like Newton and Einstein, was simply spell-binding. I wish the very best of luck to his parents and grand parents, in dealing with the parenting process of a uniquely gifted genius. I hope he escapes the lime-light and showering of excessive and obsessive attention by the media, until he has become an accomplished major, shielded from distracting publicity that might cause detours and hurdles in his magical pursuit of knowledge at angelic pace. God Speed Roumaan ! You are a pride possession of mankind.

  2. The presentation by young Raumaan was indeed very impressive and as Wequar Sahib pointed out, apart from his knowledge, you couldn’t miss noticing his innocence and playful demeanor. At that age I probably didn’t know who Newton or Einstein were and never bothered about how the universe worked. This is how time has changed and pace of advancing knowledge seems to be approaching speed of light, metaphorically of course, but as I heard Morgan Freeman telling (in the new series on science channel – Through the wormhole with Morgan Freeman) this fast pace is evolving humans into a collective brain where Internet and social media (Google, facebook, Twitter etc.) exchanges are like neurons firing in one human’s brain…so sort of literally as well, the pace of knowledge and communication of this knowledge is getting close to the speed of light via electrons speeding in the Internet cables.
    Before my comments, following shortly, are misunderstood I would again like to agree that indeed Raumaan’s performance was excellent so please don’t think I am being judgmental and trying hard to find something to criticize; Raumaan certainly loves the equations as many people find equations “beautiful” in addition to the use of equations and in my opinion he has yet to actually understand these equations, and he will one day – when he learns calculus. His parents must not be forgotten who have nurtured him successfully so far with great achievement. And, here is my point – he has reached a point where parents from my generation, okay may be some 15 years younger than me, can not channel his brain to excel in some specialized branch. He must not continue home education any longer as there is no replacement of highly qualified teachers who can guide him to reach his full potential. There are special schools for gifted children and he should be presented there for evaluation. Secondly a school is where children learn to fit in with the real world and not only benefit from education in the sciences or arts, they learn to interact with other people and go through the mill to become independent and take off on their solo flight.

    • I couldn’t agree more with the suggestion of Baber Mustafa Saheb. I’m sure Roumaan’s parents realize that they have a rare genius, a gifted brain, on their hands, to nurture and carefully help him reach his maximum potential. They could perhaps seek professional guidance from pediatric psychiatrist/psychologist, or a guidance counselor who specializes in gifted children, among other things. I recall having read about some child prodigies who were sadly squandered away and did not reach their optimum for lack of guidance. This is not to suggest that Roumaan’s parents and grand parents may not be conscious of their situation. But in our culture, a child is reared by the whole village, hence my two bits.

    • BismillahirRahmanirRahim

      I am the father of Raumaan Kidwai. I myself was enrolled in a few gifted programs during my school age, and I suffered tremendous boredom in class, due to the fact that such educational programs still target the ‘majority’ and always adjust themselves for the least common denominator.

      It is somewhat easy for someone who has only heard of gifted children in the news to offer an arm chair diagnosis of what is best for the child, however it remains the parents who are burdened with the ultimate moral responsibility as to raising the human being who will be able live a life properly able to find his own happiness while fullfilling his entire potential. So this comment is just to inform you as to the actual level of Raumaan and the educational process for which the grandparents may not have articulated at your meeting.

      As far as testing:

      Raumaan took standardized tests for testing his aptitude for gifted programs, at the age of 4, at a Prometric testing center (alongside adults testing on a range of professional subjects). This was an age when he was still learning to use the bathroom, however he was able to read, write, and do math at an 4th grade level and his other peers were singing ABC’s in preschool.

      Raumaan continues to be involved in a program that requires ongoing testing and in on track for requiring a perfect score on the SAT’s by the age of 13 to complete the program (a goal he will likely surpass by a few years).

      As far as supposed ‘gifted schools’ vs home-schooling:

      What qualifies a ‘gifted child’ to earn that label? Is it someone who is 1 grade in advance of their age? 2 grades? 3 grades?

      If we assume that you would only qualify a gifted child as someone 4 grades in advance of their age, how many such children are geographically located in proximity to each other in order to establish such a regular school?

      Now here is the reality, Raumaan is taking and passing and excelling at math at the 8th grade level from classes by Johns Hopkins university.

      That is 6 grades above his 2nd grade age level. No, he has not reached calculus yet, but according to the program, he will as he enters 12th grade level, which is only a few years away.

      John’s Hopkins, quite literally, one of the best universities in the world, and their gifted children’s programs and their directors are already guiding Raumaan’s education. Raumaan is on a particular track which is guided by professionals who have seen the “gifted of the gifted”.

      Another reality, the ‘gifted programs’ you find at some private schools are geared to the ‘gifted’ criteria being somewhere between 1-2 grades in advance.

      There is simply no system built for children such as Raumaan outside of home schooling. Please keep in mind, that home schooling does not necessarily mean “parents teach” nor does it mean social ineptitude or shyness, which you should have witnessed.

      Home schooling is the only accurate phrase to represent an alternative form of education, outside of the classroom and ‘grade system” setting which is, as mentioned previously, always geared to the lowest common denominator. If any child does not understand something, the entire class slows down to accommodate them. Further, entered into these private and public schools (gifted or not) at a particular ‘grade’, escaping out of those boundaries is not in the interest of any school, so the pace of education is now locked in as well.

      In this brand new age of education, with leading thinkers such as Salman Khan of Khan Academy and programs such as John’s Hopkins Center for Talented youth, as well as new initiatives in integrating technology to the learning process, it becomes more apparent that the classroom environment of the 1900’s is outdated and completely backwards.

      A structure where 30 some odd students listen to 1 lecture, and attempt to apply the result of the lecture by working at the home (home-work), is clearly archaic in today’s age.

      The alternative of ‘home-work’ is ‘home-school’.

      The above process can be completely redone in today’s world by simply listening to a video of a lecture at the students most comfortable and attentive time and doing their work collaboratively with other students and teachers (online or in school). This is the approach that geniuses such as Bill Gates are funding, and the direction of the entire educational system is heading. However, such systems move at a snails pace due to government involvement and I need to guide my son today.

      In fact, access to the best teachers in the world is through modern technologies, without needing to be restricted by issued of travel or issues of time, and this is at the home.

      As far as social integration:

      Raumaan is a avid horseback rider, swimmer, blue belt in Tae Kwon do, and has participated in an active spiritual community which promotes brotherhood and progress. All of these programs are independant and excel in their particular area, and involve social integration with children in his actual age group, but not necessarily at his grade level, which will be the type of world in which Raumaan will likely have to live in for the rest of his life.

      I hope this message is able to ease peoples unfounded fears on the matter of Raumaan’s education, and that you are able to therefore appreciate the process which got him to where he is today to be sophisticated, well though-out, and planned.

      Ultimately, our goal is to not exploit Raumaan’s capabilities for our fame, fortune, or even his own fame or fortune. Our goal is offer him all the doors for him to reach his total human potential as a happy well-adjusted man, who has reached his total potential while not sacrificing his happiness as a man. The sad stories of many well-known geniuses is a warding tale.

      • I salute you Kidwai Saheb, for doing a fine job of raising a unique child wonder like the one and only Roumaan who is a heart stopper.
        Your project is infinitely challenging.
        I’m sure that Roumaan, beside being who he is, is your pride and joy and a totally unique and a hundred-facet project in your life.
        I am now relieved to no end with the realization that Roumaan has a parent worthy of being his parent.
        I wish you all the luck for making every right move, at all the right moments to realize every single potential Roumaan is blessed with.

      • Thanks for writing a such a wonderful, comprehensive and informative response. All the participants enjoyed Raumaan’s delightful presentation and your response adds to that rare delight.

        • BismillahirRahmanirRahim

          On behalf of the Kidwai family, I want to extend our thanks for the opportunity to give Raumaan an outlet to express his love for mathematics and science by the Thinker’s Forum. Thank you so much!

          • I take this opportunity to thank all those who joined the June 30th meeting for their efforts to hear Raumaan. Their encouragement meant a lot to me and to Raumaan . I Want to expressly thank to Dr. Fyyaz Sahib, Noor Salik Sahib, Wequar Azeem Sahib, Dr. Nasik Sahib, Babar Mustafa Sahib and Chaudhry Sahib for their encouragement, without any prejudice to all, who equally expressed their enthusiastic support. This helped a lot to Raumaan building his confidence and he will cherish for years to come. I, once again thank Thinkers Forum for the opportunity. I will continue to seek help from any and all intellectual quarters which will help Raumaan towards building his future.
            Thanks again
            Nisar Kidwai

  3. It seems i missed the most important meeting of the TF. Hopefully Raumaan will come back.

  4. Raumaan is a beautiful soul, to suggest that his upbringing should be changed or that there are better ways is short sighted at best if not egotistical at worst.

    I hope to see **ALL** the boys again soon, it’s been too long.

    • This comment is in response to Aaron’s comment about Raumaan’s presentation.

      Any comment is highly appreciated by the Editorial Board of TF USA.
      Comments by the affiliates bring intellectual enrichment to all affiliates who read, analyze, rebut and relish intellectual interactions.

      This brief comment by Aaron caused me some intellectual uneasiness and little discomfort.
      I think the comment is condescending as well as unfair.
      I read all the comments and none of the comments in my humble judgment even suggested ” that Raumaan’s upbringing should be changed” or “There are better ways”.
      All comments were highly appreciative of Raumaan’s intellectual capabilities.
      At the time of Raumaan’s presentation, none of the TF USA affiliates
      (except Raumaan’s grandfather and father) knew that Raumaan is linked to John Hopkins University intellectually gifted children program, Raumaan knows horse riding and he is Judo karate expert as well.

      All of us were astonished and amazed at his level intellectual capabilities at the age of 8 years.
      All comments by various affiliates were appreciative and expressed nothing but well wishes and bright future for Raumaan.

      TF USA affiliates will make a better judgment if a reference/example is given on which this comment is based.

      This last sentence of the comment does not represent the intellectual standards of TF USA.
      “I hope to see **ALL** the boys again soon, it’s been too long.”

      Noor Salik

  5. That’s a maniacal observation by some one who has grandiose ideas about his own intellect. The commentator evidently does not understand English that well. What in the heavens gave him the idea that other commentators suggested that Roumaans’ upbringing was faulty or needed change ? And how were other’s comments egotistical?
    I’m appalled at the Editors too for circulating that insulting comment by Aaron, whoever he is.

  6. After attending Rauman’s presentation I had made some comments (posted above) and had tried to not be misunderstood – by acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of Rauman and also giving due credit to his upbringing, by his parents of course. However
    I am a little disappointed by the way my comments were, nevertheless, taken as “armchair diagnosis” and now “short sighted at best and egotistical at worst”.
    First of all, the only reason I attended that presentation was due to the extremely poor acceptance by TF USA members of the repeated invitation by Salik Sahib, and before me, two days prior to the presentation, there were only 5 confirmations and some confirmed ones were dropping out. I just couldn’t find anything more important than encouraging an eight years old taking on such an advanced topic. I went to Banes & Noble to buy a gift for him, a book or video for Rauman but children’s section had very basic books that I was sure were below Rauman’s standard and the rest seemed a bit too boring for him – my basic problem was that I had no idea what material he already had or what would interest him and so I abandoned the idea until I had more information about him.
    Once I arrived there I was handed a paper with the points that Rauman was supposed to present and found mathematical equations staring me in the face…mathematics not my
    forte and I was wondering who else understood these equations. I don’t think any one else could make head or tail of those equations, no offense intended. I don’t think that anyone there including myself could actually explain even E=mc2, its enough for me that mathematicians found this equation sound and it meant that energy and mass are interchangeable. I thought to myself at that moment that Rauman was not guided in choosing the subject of his presentation. The presentation should match the audience otherwise its like “Bhainse kae agae bean bajana”. Einstein himself would have lost me there. Any way all of us listened to him with full interest and though all of us could see even Rauman didn’t understand the calculus and couldn’t explain what the equation was saying…totally not his fault, I say this knowing well that I couldn’t even reproduce those equations from memory even if I tried. His enthusiasm was a pleasure for me to witness. This is the reason I raised the concern if Rauman was getting the guidance he needed. I had no idea how he was attending Johns Hopkins university’s program, had no idea that his father too was “gifted”, or that he mingled with his age group going swimming and learning Tai Kuwando etc. Not knowing all these things about him it wasn’t, in my opinion, an “egotistical” and uncalled for concern. I am very happy that all my concerns are being taken care of by his Dad and if I knew that the Dad himself was a gifted child once, I wouldn’t have raised those concerns. I am glad the dad also clarified the “home schooling”, and that his home schooling, as I was afraid, was not due to religious and cultural reasons like some people who are misfit in this country.

    I have a question here about TF USA; Are we all expected to be “Qasida Go”, is it bad to raise a concern if one has, in good faith and good intentions also? I can read lots of good articles directly on different websites and newspapers, it will be more interesting if every one could freely raise concern, disagree and be a little less formal.


  7. (The Comments below by Mr. Kidwai are the final comments on this subject. Any further comments should be directed to Mr. Kidwai through Mr. Noor Salik. Thinkers Forum thanks all those who participated at the meeting and in discussion. The Thinkers Forum especially thanks Mr.Raumann for the exceptional presentation and parents to explain and educate the participants of Thinkers Forum about the process involved in raising a gifted child. It may help other parents with gifted and exceptional children. Editor}
    i all,
    I want to interject, at this point of hot discussion, over the misunderstanding of those who are so kind to get themselves deeply involved in well-wishing my grandson Raumaan, may it be Yursil, my son and Raumaan’s father, or participant at the meeting. I have already expressed my gratitude to the ThinkersForum and all the participants of the meeting, for the opportunity provided to Raumaan. I think that should suffice and override any and all extraneous comments, though made with good intentions, which could have been construed as shortcomings of one or the other. And regretfully, I guess, some of the comments have been construed as such. Please, all of us should take a deep breath and a step back. We must refrain from degrading comments on any of us on public forum. I am sure Yursil knows that he is not negligent of his responsibilities towards Raumaan and I concur with that. I always complement him for that. I, once again acknowledge that all of us in the meeting were enthusiastically engaged, wished well and expressed their support for Raumaan. Just like Br. Wequar’a first email. That was the feeling of all the participants. Dr. Nasik and Dr. Fyyaz wrote a brief very gracious email very encouraging for Yursil as well as supporting for the family. We all appreciate.
    I remember Raumaan expressed his love for mathematics and he is working on it. As I mentioned in the discussion session after the meeting, Raumaan is currently enrolled in the 8th grade math of John Hopkins distance learning program. As for as calculus branch of mathematics is concerned, it is on the menu for the near future as it is course of undergraduate class. The emphasis is on subjects which might be part of SAT. Right now for Raumaan what is important is to have comprehensive knowledge whatever subject he is learning, and be ready to get good score. I don’t think it is advisable for Raumaan to have distributed attention. This is the principle, John Hopkins have advised and that’s what it is being followed.
    Although I perfectly understand the concern shown by Baber Saheb and others as followed by Wequar Azeem sahib’s 2nd email, who fell affectionately in love with the child’s presentation and only naturally felt to bring into limelight area of importance for Raumaan and not to miss out any. Your advice is most welcome, however it’s also a sensitive matter for any responsible and loving father because it is the domain of parents and rests with father. Yursil is a good caring father. Yursil’s feelings might have been hurt as if he is negligent of his responsibilities. Yursil wrote his comment after Wequar Azeem Saheb commented in support of Baber saheb’s comment . Thanks for adjoining the recommendation for emphasis. I want to make sure all to know that recommendations are always appreciated even if inconsistent with the scope of current program.
    We should make note that dwelling on any irrelevant and superfluous arguments is not productive. What matters most is your well wishes. Further aggravating the situation is not the answer.
    I personally welcome all the suggestions and appreciate any help in this regard. However implementation of such advices rest with the parents. I am sure rest of us including me understand that. Please contact me for any private comment or suggestion. You may have my email from Noor Salik sahib.
    Thanks again
    Nisar KIDWAI
    Raumaan’s Grand Father

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