Mike Wimmer is not your average 12-year-old. Sure, he likes spending time with friends and playing video games, but he also likes coding, robotics and technology — so much in fact that he is set to graduate “high school and college” next month, both in the same week.
And, in between his classes and studying and just being a kid, he is busy running his companies. One of them is Next Era Innovations, a company that hopes to redefine the future in AI, IoT, Robotics, STEM and Machine Learning. He is also the founder of the company, Reflect Social.
In fact this pre-teen prodigy said mostly everything he knows about programming and robotics was self-taught which he said, he learned through trail and error while watching online videos.
“One of the greatest things about teaching myself programming is that I learned all my math skills before I was even out of the second grade because I needed it for programming,” Wimmer said during an interview on the podcast “Worldwide Engineering.”
Remarkable, no doubt.
Wimmer, described as a “profoundly gifted forward thinking 12-year-old” is ‘already’ redefining the future and sees major advancements ahead in the interaction between humans and AI robots.
“I really want to build technology to help people build better lives whether it be through IoT, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence,” Wimmer said during an interview on the Dave Reger show, “Let’s Talk Robotics.” He explains what it is about robots that may frighten people both in the aspect of jobs and what they, he explains, see in the sci-fi movies.
“Teaching society robots are in no way at the point of taking over the world like everyone tries to think they are,” Winner expressed. “If we teach people that robots are being built to augment human jobs rather than replace them I think that can reduce the fear surrounding them a whole lot.’
Wimmer completed four years of school in one year — two years of high school and a two-year associate’s degree. He will graduate from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on May 21, and from Concord Academy High School on May 28, where he is valedictorian.
Over the past year, Wimmer completed four years of school in one year. He completed two years of high school and a two-year associate’s degree. And, next month he will be celebrating his outstanding achievements. On May 21, he will graduate from Rowan Cabarrus Community College and, on May 28 from Concord Academy High School, where he is valedictorian.
Wimmer said he took dual enrollment classes and realized that at the pace he was going, he just needed a few more classes to get his associate’s degree by his high school graduation. He said his GPA at Rowan Cabarrus Community College is 4.0, while his high school GPA is 5.45, according to CNN.
Clearly, he wasted no time. He said he already applied to all the Ivy League schools in the U.S.- MIT, Harvard, Stanford, WPI, Georgia Tech, Cal Tech, he said, and also applied for a fellowship. He isn’t exactly sure of his exact major, he’s thinking computer science (of course), business, and entrepreneurship, could be on the table too.
“I’m weighing all my options,” he said to the host of the show “Worldwide Engineering.” “Do I grow my projects? Or do I go to college? Definitely a big decision at 12.”
Wimmer already has quite a lengthy list of achievements. Some include when he spoke at Mensa’s annual gathering (twice). Another, when he presented in front of Congress. He won the Educational Application Development Award. And, in 2019, he was the first minor to be awarded a position and hired by the United States Special Operations Command USSOCOM, one of only five people to be awarded the USSOCOM “Science and Technology Military Challenge Coin,” according to the Next Era Innovations website.
The gifted pre-teen said his parents knew how advanced he was early on (before kindergarten) but it really sank in jut how much of a genius he was when he was six, he said, when his parents got him into a robotics program held at a major university in the U.S.
“I quickly realized I was ahead in robotics and technology when I started interacting with others doing robotics,” Wimmer said during one of his interviews. “I was the youngest there. I was quite proficient and skillful in developing robots and the construction of robots to complete a task. Even though the other participants were twice my age I quickly became the TA, definitely wasn’t what I envisioned when I started out,” he laughed.
At the ripe age of six, Wimmer took that experience, and ran with it.
“I decided I wanted to learn more about this,” he said. “I remember I had taken over my dad’s desk. I put my computer next to my dad’s. I remember sitting on my knees because I wasn’t tall enough to reach the desk. When I came home from school I would spend hours in there and lose track of time.”
Winner spoke about a photo his mother took when he was seven (just about 5 years ago) that he loved. “I was strapped in my car seat holding onto my favorite stuffed animals, wearing pajamas and covered up in a Star Wars blanket, but I was reading a college textbook on “Object Orient Programming in Python.”
He adds, “I have this high intellectual age, but I’m still a kid.”