The Fields Medal, known as the “Nobel Prize in mathematics,” announced the winners on the 5th. One of the winners was Xu Xianer, a 39-year-old Korean-American. Although Xu Xianer has won the highest honor in the mathematics world, his academic past is quite special. His mathematical ability was once abandoned by teachers, and even dropped out of high school. In college, he was considered a multi-subject, but now he has become a mathematics master.
According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, Xu Juner was born in California, USA, and returned to South Korea with his parents when he was 2 years old. He was educated in South Korea from elementary school to university. Xu Xianer’s family background is also quite prominent. His father was a professor of statistics at Korea University, and his mother was a professor of Russian language at Seoul National University. Xu Xianer grew up in a family with a rich academic environment.
Although Xu Xianer has rich academic resources, his road to study has not been smooth. In an interview, Xu Xinger said that he wanted to participate in the math competition when he was in the third grade of middle school, but was told by the teacher, “It’s only now, it’s too late.” Xu Xinger’s mathematical ability was completely abandoned by the teacher, which made him suffer a lot at that time. Not only did he not participate in the competition, but he also began to think that “I’m a man who can’t be saved in mathematics”.
When Xu Xianer was in high school, because he wanted to be a poet, he took a leave of absence and devoted his time to literary studies. Afterwards, Xu Xianer passed the scholastic ability test and supplementary courses and was admitted to the Department of Physics of Seoul National University. However, Xu Xianer admitted that after he went to university, he began to “do not work properly” and was interested in many things. Therefore, his grades in multiple subjects in school were taken as a result, which led him to study in university. 6 years after graduation.
Xu Xianer was officially interested in mathematics and became a professional researcher. It started from his 6th year of life, when he took the class of Fields Medal winner Hironaka Heiyou, which allowed him to embark on the road of mathematics research. After receiving a master’s degree in mathematics from Seoul National University, he went to the United States for further studies, and finally obtained a doctorate qualification.
Regarding the problem of “math is difficult”, Xu Xianer also admitted that many South Korean students have been traumatized by mathematics. He believes that mathematics was originally a subject, but under the system of entrance examinations, mathematics has become a pressure for students. Xu Xianer believes that mathematics is a game culture accumulated by mankind for thousands of years. “We should let more people know the charm and value of mathematics.”
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