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The brain injury that made me a math genius

The brain injury that made me a math genius Salon com


Twelve years ago, Jason Padgett had never made it past pre-algebra. And then a violent mugging changed everything.

Stashed in: Brain, Awesome, Stories, Math!, math, Brain, Mathy, Neuroscience

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This is like a superhero origin story.

I had a brain injury and all I got was this T-shirt! Actually all I got was a scar that most people can't even see. No latent superpowers emerged :(

Post-brain injury you now are more focused, and your writing is crisper.

I'd say that's a superpower as good as becoming a math genius.

He can see a hidden language:

I don’t need a calculator to know that the simple formula most of us learned in school—a2 + b2 = c2—is true; I can see it instantly in the trees all around me. To me, a tree is more than its geometry, but geometry is also far more than most people realize. I think it’s everything.

I remember reading that Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist (and one of my heroes), said that we cannot understand the universe until we have learned its language. Speaking of the universe, he said, “It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it.”

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