“Yes, I hated maths but after a brain injury, I became a mathematician” said Jason Padgett. Sounds weird but it’s real.
Mathematics is a subject that children often do not like. Nobody likes maths teachers. Children give their own arguments for not reading this subject. They think addition to addition, subtraction and multiplication is fine. But, what is the use of complex issues like geometry and algebra in everyday life?
So why should we learn so much about it? The same argument was given by the American resident of Alaska, Jason Padgett. He was not interested in learning mathematics. But an accident made him a mathematician. That too in that part of the age when people have reached the second stage of life.
Jason was expelled from school for his lack of education. After leaving school, Jason started working at his father’s furniture store. Life was passing normally. Going to the shop everyday, meeting friends, partying, etc became common activities of life.
But after 12 September 2002, his life changed completely. This day, he was returning after party with his friends, when some miscreants attacked him and he suffered a deep head injury. Jason faints on the way. People nearby took him to the hospital. Where his condition remained serious. Along with his head, the internal part of the body was also severely damaged. Although he survived.
The injury was cured but his behaviour suddenly changed. They started feeling scared to get out. If someone comes close to them, they would immediately wash their hands. Even when his daughter came near, he used to wash her hands and feet. In medical science, this behaviour is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Life changed completely after the accident
“I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life” — from the geometry of a rainbow, to the fractals in water spiralling down a drain, Padgett told here “It’s just really beautiful.”
Along with his changing negative behaviour, Jason saw another major change in himself. They started watching everything very carefully. His concentration was high. His interest in mathematics started growing. They began to see the shape of everything geometry. Even in the water droplets coming from the tap, shapes started appearing. His mind began to find a relationship between mathematics and physics.
One day his daughter asked him how TV works and from here it became easier for him. “Actually, the picture we see on TV is made up of very small pixels, but if you look at these pixels at close range, they are not in the shape of a zig-zag “- said Jason.
He had to know the language of mathematics to convey his passion for geometric figures. So he took admission in Community College to learn mathematics and started learning mathematics.
At the age of 31, he emerged as a maths expert. When the doctors tested Jason, they found that due to the injury on Jason’s brain, his brain started functioning better than normal.
If the raindrops fall, then Padgett finds innumerable shapes in the droplets that wave at each other like stars or snow drops.
Jason thinks that whatever he can see, wish the world could see it too. He has no regrets for that night . Today he is leading a happy life.
Today Jason is 45 years old and is one of the few people who make fractals (related to geometry) by hand.
What does science say
After talking to Jason for hours, Doctor told that he has ‘synesthesia’. This is a kind of mental state when the nerves of the brain become confused.
The brain starts working in some other direction. Whatever the mind thinks of, it either stays in the mind or it starts appearing according to its thinking.
Doctor performed several brain scans of Jason in the Brain Research Unit of Alto University, Helsinki. From that it was revealed that some parts of Jason’s brain do not have the power to understand. But, he can carve some special kind of pictures.
Jason wrote a book on the foundation of his experience called ‘Struck by Genius’.