In the future, children with take advanced math and science courses at a drastically younger age than is the norm right now. This is often used to show that in the future education standards are higher and more demanding than in the present. From what we know of history this is Truth in Television
; in the Middle Ages algebra was the highest level math one could study. Now it's taught to thirteen year olds.
Not to be confused with E = MC Hammer
which is when characters are doing course work laughably too advanced for their level in works set in the present.
- In the original Superman comics by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, there's an establishing scene on Krypton wherein a mother bemoans that their child is in third grade and cannot yet do Calculus. The father comments that "He's a trifle backward", but it's okay, because he should understand it next year, when he's three.
- In much of the Alice, Girl from the Future series, the titular heroine is around 11-12 year old, and is part of a genetic engineering research team. The rest of the team is the same age.
- In the Animorphs series, Ax is fluent in physics, mathematics and computer science far beyond the level of human experts, due to having what amounts to a high school level education in the more technologically advanced Andalite culture, despite Andalites not being appreciably smarter than humans.
Live Action TV
- In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data's observations of human behavior include a boy, about 10-11, complaining about calculus and his father assuring him that he'll need it "in today's world" when he's older.
- Phil of the Future: A boy from the future, Phil, is sent back to our present where he is forced to attend public high school where his teacher asks the class to solve a problem that even the brightest minds have trouble with. Phil is able to solve it in seconds, since, where he's from, they teach that problem in kindergarten.
- In The Jetsons, George laments the declining standards of education that Elroy (age 6 1/2) is only just beginning calculus.