I walk around in a near-constant state of inspiration with a great hunger of knowledge, and I read everything I can about math and physics, often developing my own theories along the way.
Jason Padgett is an American mathematician who became notorious for being one of the rare recorded cases of Acquired Savant Syndrome. He sees numbers in fractals and is the only person in the world capable of drawing these shapes, which are highly abstract, by hand. Because of this, Padgett has been called by some a genius of mathematics of unprecedented proportions.
Padgett was a furniture salesman in the city of Tacoma, Washington, who had very little academic interest, and made no progress beyond pre-algebra in his mathematical studies.
In 2002, two men assaulted Padgett at a karaoke bar, leaving him with a severe concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder, which made him develop an ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and intuitive physics concepts. The day after the accident, when he woke up, he could only see complicated mathematical formulas. Wherever he looked, he mathematically understood the phenomena around him. When he passed the formulas onto the sheets, instead of writing, he drew beautiful structures called fractals.
Padgett has developed an amazing mathematical drawing ability. He began to draw circles made of overlapping triangles, which helped him to understand the concept of pi, the reason for the circumference of a circle and its diameter. Since then Padgett has worked as an artist who illustrates the complex geometric shapes he sees around him. One day a physicist saw him making these drawings in a shopping mall and urged him to pursue mathematical training.
From that moment on, Padgett became the subject of several researches. When neurologists studied his brain they realized that part of it had been damaged forever (due to the kicks). To compensate for that damaged part, the brain was using parts that are rarely used more. Coincidentally one of the activated parts of the brain had made him a mathematical genius.
The conclusion of this research suggests that he had Acquired Savant Syndrome in which a normal person develops prodigious skills after a serious injury or illness. Other people have developed remarkable musical or artistic skills, but few have acquired mathematical skills like Padgett. He also seems to have acquired synesthesia , which is a phenomenon in which one sense mixes with the other, which allows him to perceive mathematical formulas as geometric figures.
In 2014, the memoir “ Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel ” was released in which Jason tells his story. In September of the same year, according to information from the American magazine "The Hollywood Reporter", this book will receive a cinematographic adaptation, with no release date yet.
- 2014 - “Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel”