"Sidis, called to the stand, was quick in his response to questions propounded and seemed, while nervous at times, to be little concerned with the serious charges on which he was in court. He said that his name was William James Sidis, and that he lived at 200 Newbury street, Back Bay. 5
William James Sidis was an American child prodigy with exceptional mathematical and linguistic skills. He is notable for his 1920 book The Animate and the Inanimate, in which he speculates about the origin of life in the context of thermodynamics. Sidis was raised in a particular manner by his father, psychiatrist Boris Sidis, who wished his son to be gifted. Sidis first became famous for his precocity and later for his eccentricity and withdrawal from public life. Eventually, he avoided mathema
Boston Herald, Wednesday, May 14, 1919. Click to enlarge. Distortion of his likeness aside, this article contains some of his trial testimony. William James Sidis, who was graduated from Harvard at the age of 15, told Judge Albert F. Hayden in the Roxbury Municipal Court yesterday that he is a Socialist, a believer in the soviet form of government, that he believed in evolution, that he does not believe in a god, that his god is evolution, and that he believes in our form of government to ...
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him, as a pauper and anti-social recluse.... Bill Sidis was a quiet man who enjoyed the normal things of life. His friends respected him and enjoyed his I am glad to have been one of his friends." S. Smith, Wellesley Hills
William James Sidis was born to Jewish Ukrainian immigrants on April 1, 1898, in New York City. His father, Boris Sidis, Ph.D., M.D., had emigrated in 1887 to escape political persecution. His mother, Sarah (Mandelbaum) Sidis, M.D., and her family had fled the pogroms in 1889. Sarah attended Boston University and graduated from its School of ...
Feb 28, 2020 · William SIDIS was born in 1898 in the family of Boris SIDIS, who came to America from “the capital of the pale of settlement” of the city of Berdychiv (now in Ukraine). He was a disciple of the philosopher William James, engaged in psychology at Harvard University, and in the scientific community earned the nickname “Russian revolutionary”.
- Publications and Subjects of Research
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 Parents and upbringing
William James Sidis was born to Russian-Jewish immigrants on April 1, 1898 in New York City. His father, Boris Sidis, Ph.D., M.D., had emigrated in 1887 to escape political persecution. His mother, Sarah Mandelbaum Sidis, M.D., and her family had fled the pogroms about 1889. Sarah attended Boston University and graduated from its School of Medicine in 1897. William was named after his godfather, Boris's friend and colleague, the American philosopherWilliam James. Boris earned his degrees a...
 Harvard and college life
Although the University had previously refused to let his father enroll him at age nine because he was still a child, Sidis set a record in 1909 by becoming the youngest person to enroll at Harvard College. He was 11 years old, and entered Harvard as part of a program to enroll gifted students early. The experimental group included mathematician Norbert Wiener, Richard Buckminster Fuller, and composer Roger Sessions. In early 1910, his mastery of higher mathematics was such that he lectured t...
 Teaching and further education
After a group of Harvard students threatened physical harm, his parents secured him a job at the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science, and Art (now Rice University) in Houston, Texas as a mathematics teaching assistant. He arrived at Rice in December 1915 at the age of 17. He was a Graduate Fellow working toward his doctorate. Sidis taught three classes: Euclidean geometry, non-Euclidean geometry, and trigonometry (he wrote a textbook for the Euclidean geometry...
Aside from mathematics, subjects on which Sidis wrote or lectured included cosmology, psychology, and Native American history. Some of his ideas concerned cosmological reversibility,"social continuity,"  and individual rights in the United States. In The Animate and the Inanimate (1925), Sidis predicted the existence of regions of space where the second law of thermodynamics operated in reverse to the temporal direction that we experience in our local area. Everything outside of what we would today call a galaxy would be such a region. Sidis claimed that the matter in this region would not generate light. (These dark areas of the universe are not properly dark matter or black holes as they are used in contemporary cosmology.) This work on cosmology, based on his theory of reversibility of the second law of thermodynamics was the only book published under his name. Sidis' The Tribes and the States (ca. 1935) employs the pseudonym "John W. Shattuck," giving a 100,000-y...
The debate about Sidis' manner of upbringing occurred within a larger discourse about the best way to educate children. Newspapers criticized the child-rearing methods of Boris Sidis. Most educators of the day believed that schools should expose children to common experiences to create good citizens, and most psychologists thought that intelligence was hereditary — a position that precluded early childhood education at home. The difficulties that Sidis and other highly gifted young students encountered in dealing with the social structure of a university setting helped shape opinion against allowing them to rapidly advance through higher education. The debate over gifted education continues today, and Sidis remains a topic of discussion. Cast in modern standards, scholars usually classify Sidis as a profoundly gifted individual, and some critics use Sidis as the most vivid example of how gifted youth do not always achieve corresponding success as adults — in either material or c...LaMay, Craig L. (2003). Journalism and the Debate Over Privacy. LEA's Communication Series. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.. ISBN 9780805846263.Wallace, Amy (1986). The prodigy: a biography of William James Sidis, America's greatest child prodigy. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co.. ISBN 0-525-24404-2.
Feb 01, 2021 · William Sidis Spent His Childhood at Harvard. Boris Sidis tried to get William to Harvard at the age of nine but they rejected the application. Still, only two years later, in 1909, William set the record: He became the youngest person to get into Harvard.