Like all of this year's graduates, Moshe Kai Cavalin is excited that he completed college, with a degree in astrophysics.
But unlike the majority of college grads, Cavalin is only 11 years old and stands 4 feet, 7 inches tall.
At the age of an average sixth-grader, Cavalin has gradated from East Los Angeles Community College. But, graduating college at 11 may not be his highest goal in life.
"I want to be a movie actor and compete in the 2016 Olympics in martial arts," Cavalin told NBC affliate Wood TV.
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Cavalin has maintained an A-plus average in such subjects as algebra, history, astronomy and physical education.
"I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way," Cavalin told Wood TV.
One of his primary interests is "wormholes," a hypothetical scientific phenomenon connected to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. It has been theorized that if such holes do exist in space, they could — in tandem with black holes — allow for the kind of space-age time travel seen in science fiction.
"Just like black holes, they suck in particulate objects, and also like black holes, they also travel at escape velocity, which is, the speed to get out of there is faster than the speed of light," Cavalin says. "I'd like to prove that wormholes are really there and prove all the theories are correct."
Cavalin's professors can't recall having a younger student in their classes.
"He is the youngest college student I've ever taught and one of the hardest working," says Daniel Judge, his statistics professor. "He's actually a pleasure to have in class. He's a well- adjusted, nice little boy."
Cavalin was an 8-year-old freshman when he enrolled in Guajao Liao's intermediate algebra class in 2006. By the end of the term, Liao recalls, he was tutoring some of his 19- and 20-year-old classmates.
"I told his parents that his ability was much higher than that level, that he should take a higher-level course," Liao says. "But his parents didn't want to push him."
Cavalin's parents avoid calling their son a genius. They say he's just an average kid who enjoys studying as much as he likes playing soccer, watching Jackie Chan movies, and collecting toy cars and baseball caps with tiger emblems on them. He was born during the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac.
Cavalin has a general idea what his IQ is, but doesn't like to discuss it. He says other students can achieve his success if they study hard and stay focused on their work.
His parents say they never planned to enroll their son in college at age 8, and sought to put him in a private elementary school when he was 6.
"They didn't want to accept me because I knew more than the teacher there and they said I looked too bored," the youngster recalls.
His parents home-schooled him instead, but after two years decided college was the best place for him. East L.A. officials agreed to accept him if he enrolled initially in just two classes, math and physical education. After he earned A-pluses in both, he was allowed to expand his studies.
"He sees things very simply," says Judge, his statistics teacher. "Most students think that things should be harder than they are and they put these mental blocks in front of them and they make things harder than they should be. In the case of Moshe, he sees right through the complications. ... It's not really mystical in any way, but at the same time it's amazing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.