China: British Maths Wizard Marries Chinese Girl! (29.10.2007)

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Danial & Xiao Yan (小颜)

Original Chinese Language Text By: http://www.lzbs.com.cn/

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

According to a daily British tabloid newspaper (published on the 27.10.2007), there is a real life example of the hit film character ‘Rain Man’ living in the UK. The ‘Rain Man’ character suffers from Autism, but because of this cognitive disability, is also renowned as a maths genius. In fact, this fictitious movie character is very similar to British student Daniel Lightwing – who currently studies at Cambridge University. Daniel suffers from autism, but also has amazing mathematical skills. When Daniel visited China recently, he met a young Chinese woman, and they both fell in-love and decided to get married.

According to Daniel’s mother Caroline, when Daniel was very young, she found her son to be out of the ordinary, because he was able to recite the alphabet at the age of just 2, whilst at 4 years old, he could do complex mathematical calculations. When Daniel was four years old, he would stare at the kitchen and accurately report how many tiles were on the kitchen floor, the walls and the ceiling. He was even able to work-out exactly the correct number of bricks used to create a structure, and he did all this in his mind, without the aid of calculators or computers. In 2006, Daniel – on behalf of the United Kingdom – participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad competition, and won a silver medal.

However, Daniel, due to his autism, is very ‘incompetent’ in other ways, and cannot communicate with others in the normal way, or complete some simple tasks, such as making a cup of tea for himself. Daniel’s love for China began when he witnessed 6 outstanding Chinese competitors performing at the International Mathematical Olympiad. This experience prompted the 19 year old Daniel to take a year out from university, and spend it touring China – this is where he met his future wife – Xiao Yan. In just 4 months, Daniel learnt to read and write the Chinese language to a very precise degree – and speak fluent putonghua (i.e. ‘Mandarin’) as if he had been born in China. Prior to this he had studied simple French for 8 years – and achieved no progress. Daniel explained this by stating that he has no interest in France, and so could not be bothered to learn the language. People with autism often have problems feeling and expressing emotions – but Daniel explained that as soon as he met Xiao Yan (who was working at one of the hotels he was staying in, he immediately fell in-love with her, and she with him. Xiao Yan stated that she fell in-love with this hard-working British man – and after 6 months of dating, decided to get married.

According to the British medical experts, autism appears in boys around 4 times higher than in girls, whilst typically, autistic patients have problems communicating with others, and cannot usually understand the significance of emotions. This autistic disability was diagnosed by Hans Asperger, a paediatrician from Vienna, 50 years ago. The depiction of Raymond Babbitt in the film ‘Rain Man’ shows a man suffering from some form of ‘Asperger Syndrome’. However, medical experts say that autistic patients like Daniel or the ‘Rain Man’ character exhibiting a bizarre mathematical genius, is a very rare phenomenon.

Original Chinese Language Article:

http://www.lzbs.com.cn/sh/2007-10/29/content_1281082.htm

英国数学奇才迎娶中国姑娘

据英国《太阳报》27日报道,看过电影《雨人》的人都不会忘记电影中那个患有自闭症、但却拥有超常数学天才的“雨人”。事实上,在英国剑桥大学就生活着一个名叫丹尼尔·莱特温的真实版“雨人”。丹尼尔从小患有自闭症,但却拥有惊人的数学才能。丹尼尔到中国旅游期间,从来不会表露感情的他竟对一名中国女孩一见钟情,两人坠入了爱河,目前他们已经幸福地走上了红地毯。
生活无法自理

据丹尼尔的母亲卡罗琳称,当丹尼尔很小时,她就发现儿子与众不同,因为他两岁时就能够倒背字母表,4岁时就能做复杂数学运算。当丹尼尔4岁时,他只往厨房中看一眼,就报出了厨房地板、墙壁和天花板上共有多少块磁砖,丹尼尔并没有一块块地数,而是用一个方程式正确地计算出了磁砖的数目。2006年,丹尼尔代表英国参加了国际数学奥林匹克竞赛,并夺得了一枚银牌。

然而,患有自闭症的丹尼尔在其他方面却非常“无能”,他无法和其他人进行正常的情感交流,甚至不能做一些简单的工作,包括为自己泡一杯茶等。

喜欢中国爱上中国姑娘

由于当时6名中国选手在国际奥数赛中表现出众,导致丹尼尔对中国文化产生了浓厚的兴趣。去年,19岁的丹尼尔决定到剑桥大学上大学前,先利用一年的时间到中国去旅行。

令人感到不可思议的是,丹尼尔只花了4个月时间学习,就迅速掌握并精通了中文,他不仅能够自如地阅读和书写汉字,并且还会说一口流利的中国普通话。而此前,丹尼尔曾在中学了8年法文,结果他至今仍然不会说一句法语。丹尼尔解释说:“因为我对法文不感兴趣,所以我从来没有真正用心学过一句法文。”

丹尼尔在中国旅行期间,从来不知道如何表露感情的他竟和一名叫做小颜(音译)的中国女孩坠入了爱河,小颜是丹尼尔所住旅馆的一名接待员。尽管对于自闭症患者来说,和别人发展感情是难如登天的事情,但丹尼尔却对小颜一见钟情。

数学奇才震惊专家

小颜也渐渐喜欢上了这个“勤奋好学”的英国男孩,6个月后,他们就幸福地举行了婚礼。

据英国医学专家称,自闭症在男孩身上发生的概率比在女孩身上高4倍,自闭症患者与他人交流的技巧非常薄弱,也无法理解情绪。这种自闭症疾病最初是在50年前被奥地利维也纳儿科专家汉斯·艾斯珀格诊断出来的,电影《雨人》中的数学天才雷蒙·巴比特就患有某种形式的“艾斯珀格综合征”。不过医学专家称,自闭症患者像丹尼尔或《雨人》主角这样拥有离奇的数学天才,是非常罕见的现象。

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