Youngest college professor-world record set
by Alia Sabur
22] SEOUL, South Korea--Alia Sabur, who was appointed as a
full-time faculty Professor at Konkuk University in Seoul,
South Korea as research liaison with Stony Brook University
set the world record for the youngest College professor.
The child prodigy from Northport enrolled at Stony
Brook University at age 10 and played clarinet with the Rockland
Symphony Orchestra at 11.
Photo by Toby Armstrong (enlarge
Sabur was three days shy of her 19th birthday
in February when she became a professor at Konkuk University,
The previous record was held by a student
of physicist Isaac Newton, Colin Maclaurin, who set the mark
"He's in every calculus textbook there is,"
she said. "When I found out about it, I thought, 'I can't
replace him.' But it's been 300 years and someone had to replace
him, so why not me?"
Konkuk University has an academic partnership
with Stony Brook University, where Sabur received a bachelor's
degree in 2003 -- when she was 14. Sabur starts in Seoul next
She will be doing some classroom instruction,
but mostly will focus on research into developing nanotubes
for use as cellular probes, which could help discover cures
for diseases such as cancer, she said.
Down the road, she would like to develop a noninvasive
blood-glucose meter for people with diabetes, she said. Her
mother, Julia, and her father, Mark, both have diabetes.
said classroom teaching in Seoul will be challenging because
she doesn't speak Korean. "I can speak math and music," she
said. For now, she is teaching math and physics courses at
Southern University in New Orleans. The college was devastated
by Hurricane Katrina and remains largely housed in trailers,
While there, she is staying at Mt. Carmel
Mother House, a convent occupied by relief workers. She said
she wanted to teach in New Orleans to help the city recover.
"They consider me a relief worker in a different way," she
Despite her numerous accomplishments
-- she started reading at age 2 -- Sabur said she never had
earned world record before. "I think one is pretty good,"