Math Savant

  • Thread starter Evo
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  • #1
Evo
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Meet Daniel Tammet, a 27 year-old math and memory wizard. He can do things with numbers that will truly amaze you. He is a savant. . . with a difference. Unlike most savants, he shows no obvious mental disability, and most importantly, he can describe his own thought process. Join correspondent Morley Safer as he explores the extraordinary life and mind of Daniel Tammet.

The videos can be slow to play, be patient.

http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/44/brain_man [Broken]
 
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  • #2
Daniel Tammet

I think you'll find this very cool. I know I do.

http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/44/brain_man" [Broken]
 
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  • #3
Kurdt
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Yeah this guy is good. And rather sexy if you're a lady and can stand a man with OCD :biggrin:
 
  • #4
turbo
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Meet Daniel Tammet, a 27 year-old math and memory wizard. He can do things with numbers that will truly amaze you. He is a savant. . . with a difference. Unlike most savants, he shows no obvious mental disability, and most importantly, he can describe his own thought process. Join correspondent Morley Safer as he explores the extraordinary life and mind of Daniel Tammet.

The videos can be slow to play, be patient.

http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/44/brain_man [Broken]
There is a difference between functional, intelligent, and smart. I know a lot of highly functional people who have neither the intelligence nor the smarts to roll with the punches in situations where intelligence and smarts are required and I know a hell of a lot of "intelligent" people who are not smart enough to ask for the creative help that can rescue them from failure when "smarts" are required.

If someone can spout numerical sequences or dates on command, they have a "gift". If someone can refer to texts, papers, etc, and come up with a workable solution to a problem, they have an adequate education. If another person can come in and evaluate the process and put their finger on WHY the engineered process is failing, they are a troubleshooter and are exhibiting "smarts". This is why industries pay serious money to proven talent. I cannot recite pi to x decimal places, but I have solved some very vexing ongoing production problems on paper machines, often within an hour or two, and often which have been costing the mills $10's of $K per day in downtime for many weeks.
 
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  • #5
Meet Daniel Tammet, a 27 year-old math and memory wizard. He can do things with numbers that will truly amaze you. He is a savant. . . with a difference. Unlike most savants, he shows no obvious mental disability, and most importantly, he can describe his own thought process. Join correspondent Morley Safer as he explores the extraordinary life and mind of Daniel Tammet.

The videos can be slow to play, be patient.

http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/44/brain_man [Broken]

That's great I hope he'll make an impression on the world, the world needs clever people. The more the merrier.
 
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  • #6
JasonRox
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There is a difference between functional, intelligent, and smart. I know a lot of highly functional people who have neither the intelligence nor the smarts to roll with the punches in situations where intelligence and smarts are required and I know a hell of a lot of "intelligent" people who are not smart enough to ask for the creative help that can rescue them from failure when "smarts" are required.

If someone can spout numerical sequences or dates on command, they have a "gift". If someone can refer to texts, papers, etc, and come up with a workable solution to a problem, they have an adequate education. If another person can come in and evaluate the process and put their finger on WHY the engineered process is failing, they are a troubleshooter and are exhibiting "smarts". This is why industries pay serious money to proven talent. I cannot recite pi to x decimal places, but I have solved some very vexing ongoing production problems on paper machines, often within an hour or two, and often which have been costing the mills $10's of $K per day in downtime for many weeks.

I think we are aware of this.

Isually categorize it in two parts... street smart or book smart.
 
  • #7
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Well that last thread about worlds smartest man. He might be a bit nutty, but he is no doubt very very smart.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Unlike most savants, he shows no obvious mental disability...
You mean besides the OCD and Autism, right? He's functional, but with some difficulty. Still, he's pretty amazing.
 
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  • #9
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I think we are aware of this.

Isually categorize it in two parts... street smart or book smart.

I know quite a few people who are book smart but life stupid.......
 
  • #10
I know quite a few people who are book smart but life stupid.......

The only thing that worries me is the number of Savants who ever make any sort of contribution to science, it just seems to be that the greatest scientific minds are not mentally incapacitated by autism or OCD, etc. So I worry that his genious for numbers will never get any practical applications.
 
  • #11
lol, you just reminded me how a while ago my dad and I came up with this theory that intelligence and stupidity are completely independent of each other; that a person can have high levels of both... think about it: how many incredibly intelligent, yet incredibly stupid/ignorant people have you met? and how many not-intelligent yet not-stupid either people have you met?


the guy on the video is insane with numbers! holy cow! ... I like the part where he describes how he sees numbers as colors and shapes... maybe from a young age when he first started dealing with numbers his brain used the visual parts to understand them, or something like that... they should really do some scans of his brain while he's at work to learn more.

I'm going to try putting a shape and color to every number in my head and see if it helps me in any way (or the opposite)... I'll try it for a week it'll be a fun experiment :) ... I can see how it could help in memorizing numbers, I don't know how he uses it for doing calculations though... do the shapes and colors mix? ...
 
  • #12
Kurdt
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Of course the visualisation of numbers is a good way of remembering them as the world memory champion (Dominic O'Brien) uses this technique for memorising decks of cards for example but he imagines a journey and each card corresponds to someone he meets. Its quite a hard technique to start off with but once you learn it the results speak for themselves. This guy obviously has a natural visualisation ability rather than having to learn it.
 
  • #13
Evo
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I changed the title from what the original news blurb had. I should have known people would get their feathers ruffled. :tongue2:

The guy has an uncanny math and memorization ability. He memorized a list of over 22,500 numbers in a couple of weeks and recited them back without a single mistake, it took him 5 hours to recite them all. That's freaking bizzarre.

Seeing numbers as colors would make him a synesthete.

And it's not just math, he learned conversational Icelandic in a week.

I'm sure they must be studying his brain.
 
  • #14
turbo
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I changed the title from what the original news blurb had. I should have known people would get their feathers ruffled. :tongue2:

The guy has an uncanny math and memorization ability. He memorized a list of over 22,500 numbers in a couple of weeks and recited them back without a single mistake, it took him 5 hours to recite them all. That's freaking bizzarre.

Seeing numbers as colors would make him a synesthete.

And it's not just math, he learned conversational Icelandic in a week.

I'm sure they must be studying his brain.
He does have uncanny abilities - they seem to point to eidetic memory. His his ability to channel his talent to linguistics may have been aided by an ability to visually associate Icelandic words with English ones. I am not familiar with Icelandic, but if sentences can be structured grammatically using common rules for English, having an eidetic Icelandic/English dictionary in your brain would get you most of the way there.
 
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  • #15
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Just a huge memorizing ability!

The guy has an uncanny math and memorization ability. He memorized a list of over 22,500 numbers in a couple of weeks and recited them back without a single mistake, it took him 5 hours to recite them all. That's freaking bizzarre.

Seeing numbers as colors would make him a synesthete.

And it's not just math, he learned conversational Icelandic in a week.
From the title of the thread and this post it is obvious that you don't know what math is.What he is doing isn't math at all.
Capability of memorizing 22,500 numbers or even to perform accurate calculations as fast as a digital calculator is something else,not an extraordinary math talent.Matter of fact some savants are known for their skills of finding huge primes without knowing how to solve very simple (elementary school) math problems.
Good illustration is the movie ˝Rain Man˝.
Thanks for bringing up this subject ,however.
I find it very interesting.One more example of how great the mystery of a human mind is.
 
  • #16
Curious3141
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From the title of the thread and this post it is obvious that you don't know what math is.What he is doing isn't math at all.

I think you're being unduly harsh on Evo. There are many aspects to mathematical ability. Certainly, rapidity in arithmetic calculations counts, because arithmetic is a subset of mathematics. Memory for numbers (numerical memory) can be similarly justified as mathematical proficiency, because numerals are indeed mathematical constructs.

He may lack extraordinary ability in mathematical abstraction, which is what you may consider to be "true mathematical ability" but that doesn't mean that what he is capable of should be considered non-mathematical.
 
  • #17
Kurdt
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He does have uncanny abilities - they seem to point to eidetic memory. His his ability to channel his talent to linguistics may have been aided by an ability to visually associate Icelandic words with English ones. I am not familiar with Icelandic, but if sentences can be structured grammatically using common rules for English, having an eidetic Icelandic/English dictionary in your brain would get you most of the way there.

He does speak many other languages as well with grammar structures completely different to that of English.
 
  • #18
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Certainly, rapidity in arithmetic calculations counts, because arithmetic is a subset of mathematics.
How much?Haven't seen "Rain Main" movie ha?

BTW, "arithmetic is a subset of mathematics" is very brilliant definition of arithmetics.I beleive mathematicians would be very satisfied with it :rolleyes:
 
  • #19
Kurdt
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I think if you're going to have this argument tehno should define his terms, more specifically mathematics.
 
  • #20
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I think if you're going to have this argument tehno should define his terms, more specifically mathematics.
I will not define it.I don't know what mathematics is.Do you?
Perhaps,I'm ignorant or just dumb but I don't know how even set should be rigorously defined .:smile:
 
  • #21
Kurdt
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I will not define it.I don't know what mathematics is.Do you?
Perhaps,I'm ignorant or just dumb but I don't know how even set should be rigorously defined .:smile:

Then what was all that stuff addressed to Evo about then? you clearly have an idea of what mathematics is to you and what Daniel Tammet is doing does not fall within those parameters. With the statement above you have completely contradicted yourself.
 
  • #22
Curious3141
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How much?Haven't seen "Rain Main" movie ha?

BTW, "arithmetic is a subset of mathematics" is very brilliant definition of arithmetics.I beleive mathematicians would be very satisfied with it :rolleyes:

When you improve your spelling, diction and punctuation, you can assume the right to be arrogant.
 
  • #23
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Then what was all that stuff addressed to Evo about then? you clearly have an idea of what mathematics is to you and what Daniel Tammet is doing does not fall within those parameters.
No I haven't.
But if we are to measure math skills by fast number processing and short term memory capability than my pocket calculator is better mathematician than me (or you).
That was my point.
 
  • #24
ranger
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I saw this on the Science Channel along with "The Real Rain Man". Its awesome how Daniel leaned Icelandic.

tehno said:
From the title of the thread and this post it is obvious that you don't know what math is.What he is doing isn't math at all.
Dude, lighten up.
 
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  • #25
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I saw this on the Science Channel along with "The Real Rain Man". Its awesome how Daniel leaned Icelandic.
I agree.That's fascinating indeed (althought far from being math either :smile: ).

Curious :Don't u find necessary to correct his spelling of "leaned"?
Might be of a hig imprtantce 4 your understanding of what he is trying to say.:biggrin:
 
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  • #26
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If you had noticed, that was a quote from the article, not my words.
Ha! Lucky escape Evo :smile:
Of course,I can continue pointless discussion that I assume you silently agreed with them by quoting them.I'm kidding don' t worry;I won't.:wink:
 
  • #27
Evo
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From the title of the thread and this post it is obvious that you don't know what math is.What he is doing isn't math at all.
If you have a problem with it, take it up with 60 Minutes. What would you classify his ability to do chain multiplication in his head so quickly? Are you claiming that's not a form of math?

He's not referred to as an idiot savant because he doesn't have the severe mental impairment normally associated with this condition.
 
  • #28
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He's not referred to as an idiot savant because he doesn't have the severe mental impairment normally associated with this condition.
Yes,that's extraordinary.
I'm much more fascinated by his ability of learning Icelanding so fast than by fast multiplication .(The latter can be actually learned,trust me.As teenager I used to impress chicks with similar stunts).
I wonder if he has got so called "photographic memory".
I suspect it is something else in his case.
 
  • #29
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He's not referred to as an idiot savant because he doesn't have the severe mental impairment normally associated with this condition.

This is what I've always found the most interesting about Daniel. Unlioke someone like Kim Peek, one imagines that if he worked at he could actually be a great mathematician (or some other sort of academic).
 

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