/ Modified may 12, 2016 10:20 p.m.

18-Year-Old UA Grad: 'Always Been Trying to Be Ahead'

Viputeshwar Sitaraman will shift focus to company he started when earning degree in two years.

5-13-16 youngest grad spot "I’ve just always been trying to be ahead I guess?" Viputheshwar Sitaraman said of his accomplishment. (PHOTO: Courtesy Viputeshwar Sitaraman)

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Among 4,500 undergrads to receive their bachelor's degrees from the University of Arizona Friday will be Viputheshwar Sitaraman, who goes by Vip.

Vip was 16 when he started his studies at the UA, now, two years later, at 18 he will be the youngest person to graduate this year.

5-13-16 youngest grad portrait At 18 Sitaraman will be the youngest person to graduate this year. (PHOTO: Courtesy Viputeshwar Sitaraman)
"I’ve just always been trying to be ahead I guess?" said Sitaraman.

He said usually his age is helpful.

"People are kind of awestruck and like 'oh you’re only 18.' And other times people start to doubt whether I do what I do or question my experience or knowledge just because of my age, so it’s a double-edge sword."

With university behind him, Sitaraman will focus full-time on the company he started while at the UA, DrawScience. The business works with academic publishers to take laboratory research and illustrate it in a way that anyone from a scientist to a layperson can understand.

He has already secured seed funding for the venture.

Sitaraman said he considered grad school, but at least for now, he’ll be taking a break from the classroom.

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