# The Life Chronicler

Project

## My Story - The Early Days (cont.)

me. One, by offering me special tests in addition to the normal tests all students had to take, he ensured I was the most tested kid in the school for math that year. Two, he gave me considerable autonomy in how I learned math. And three, he inspired me to discover mathematical relationships unrelated to normal schoolwork. While I came up empty quite often, I did succeed on two occasions. Completely unbeknownst to me at the time, I perfectly duplicated the work of two famous mathematicians who lived long before I came along. Learning this imbued in me a tremendous sense of confidence in my abilities to solve logistical problems. I would need to play that card in a big way later in life. Today, solving problems in this manner is known as "thinking outside the box."

My first question was, “Is there a quick way to add up a series of structured, increasing numbers?” Well, as I discovered, there is a formula for that. It was first discovered by the famous mathematician Carl Gauss who, like me, solved the problem as a schoolboy. His (my) one variable formula probably appeared in your high school math book. It was in my grade 12 book. That was when I learned I actually did something real. Unlike Gauss, I decided to take the one variable formula further and arrived at a two variable solution and then, while in university, a three variable solution that encompassed all realistic scenarios. I suppose, secretly, I feel as though my three variable equation is the one that should be in the high school math books. C’est la vie.

My second question was, “If I know the product of X raised to the nth power, how would I know X+1 and X-1 raised to the same

power?” Well, I discovered a framework for this problem. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the name of the mathematician who first discovered that framework. The interesting thing about his work is that it was deemed significant enough to be included in a history book about mathematical breakthroughs. I read that book during my first year at university. Again, this is how I learned that I had done something real. The reason it is considered a breakthrough is that the software developers, probably writing in binary or assembler in the 1950’s, were able to use the framework as a means to optimize code when writing math functions. Your cell phone calculator undoubtedly uses such optimized code. Highly introverted behavior, right?

I have two more comments about my youth. I had my first real conversation with my mother at the age of 20. During that conversation I learned that after skipping grade 1, my parents re-enrolled me in grade 2 after moving back to the city that summer. They wanted me to be with kids my own age. I wonder how many kids determined to have a gift ever had that experience. Secondly, in response to my parents’ non-involvement in my life, I started to compensate in grade 4. That year I had my first epileptic seizure and began reading biographies about great people where I learned how to think and to dream. I escaped my environment as confirmed by my teacher, and later my siblings, who wrote to my parents that “Gregory often appears to be living in his own world.” I have recently researched the impact of reading biographies as a child. It can be profound. In reading more biographies between the ages of 9-17 than most people will read in a lifetime, I am positive it has been for me.