Boy­ish fea­tures, bril­liant mind

CityPress - - News - SHANTEL MOSES news@city­press.co.za

How is it pos­si­ble for such a young man, who looks 13 years old, to get a de­gree in com­puter sci­ence – cum laude, to boot? That was the ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips when a photo of Dar­ren van Roodt, a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of the West­ern Cape, was shared on Face­book. The im­age showed him pos­ing with his par­ents at his grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony. Van Roodt, from Gar­den Vil­lage in Mait­land, is 22 years old. The story be­hind his boy­ish fea­tures is that doc­tors dis­cov­ered that he had a brain tu­mour when he was six years old. “The tu­mour was re­moved, but it af­fected my growth,” he says. Van Roodt ma­tric­u­lated in 2012 and at the end of last year, com­pleted a BSc (Hons) de­gree in com­puter sci­ence. For his re­search topic he fo­cussed on cre­at­ing a com­puter pro­gramme that could con­trol a drone us­ing hand ges­tures. Van Roodt is al­ready em­ployed as a quan­ti­ta­tive risk an­a­lyst for Rand Mer­chant Bank. He is responsible for the tech­no­log­i­cal sys­tems that de­ter­mine the credit rat­ing of the com­pany’s cor­po­rate clients. But he swears he is not just a com­puter bof­fin. “I make time for hob­bies. I go for walks with friends and I play soc­cer, as well as watch it.”

Dar­ren van Roodt

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