Professors out of two different Shanghai Universities have analyzed Zhou Wei, the 23-year-old man from Shanxi province dubbed China’s ‘Rain Man’, and concluded that while he possesses remarkable mathematical ability, he’s ‘no genius’, Beijing News reports.
Zhou became a subject of wonder when, earlier this month, he appeared on the Chinese TV show “The Brain” and stunned audiences by correctly calculated the 14th root of a 16-digit number within one minute.
Skeptics called his performance a fraud, and believed that he was memorizing possible results instead of calculating them in his head.
According to ECNS:
But Li Xianchun, associate professor at the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science of East China Normal University, said Zhou did the arithmetic in his head during the test. “Zhou has a unique way of calculating,” Li added.
Xu Zhenli, a researcher at the Department of Mathematics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said a brain scan revealed that Zhou is a very special case, but that his mental arithmetic ability isn’t at the world top level. “Defining him simply as a ‘genius’ or ‘idiot’ is not proper,” Xu added.
Zhou’s mother had told professors in Shanghai that “I don’t want to become famous, I just want my son to be confident.”
During previous interviews, she’d explained that her son, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, has been turned away from schools. Entering him on “The Brain” was a last resort to draw attention from specialists who could help give her son a proper diagnosis that could lead to better treatment.
Liu Qiaoyu, another professor at East China Normal University, said that Zhou has a partial communication impairment and is uncertain whether or not it can be improved.