### A mathematical wit.

Yesterday, something happened that has never happened to me, before, in my life. It came upon me totally unexpectedly, and was something I could never have imagined happening, in my life. Indeed, even now that it has happened, I find it difficult to believe that such a thing is possible, yet know it was, because I witnessed it.

I was sitting, yesterday, talking to Ainan. Suddenly, as of some inner impulse, he picked up a pencil and started scrawling mathematical symbols, in a book.

It soon became clear that he was scribbling a mathematical proof. I looked carefully at what he wrote, to follow his line of reasoning. Finally, he scribbled his very last symbol and pulled his pencil back from the page. I read what he had written and then, I was ambushed, by an overwhelming sense of the absurdity of what he had done. I laughed explosively, for perhaps twenty long seconds. What he had written was so surprising, yet so obviously true, that I could not help but laugh. Ainan had done something I didn't know was possible: he had made a mathematical proof, HUMOUROUS. I could not have conceived that it was possible for maths to make me laugh - but he had done it. He had written a mathematical joke and proven, beyond doubt, what he had set out to prove, in a way that was outrageously funny.

Now, I know how some of you would like me to share his proof and join in the laughter - but I think I should leave it for him, to share, when he chooses to, in his own way. It was his creation...so I feel I should not write of it, but let him do so, in time.

It was an illuminating moment though. It showed me another side to his thinking. He is able to see humour even in maths. This expands his range of humour further still, since it became clear years ago, that he could make scientific jokes. Now, he had made a mathematical one.

For me, this means that he is thinking very fluidly and seeing possibilities that others might never do. He takes the possibilities and points to their unexpected presence and so creates a moment of insight and a burst of laughter, as one comes to see what he has seen. He is, if you like, a humourist of enlightenment.

My laughter had barely settled, from his mathematical joke, before he made another one: this time, it was the plot of a story he is writing that made me laugh. It was so wonderfully absurd - yet scientifically based - that prolonged laughter was the only viable choice - and I chose it.

I am coming to see that Ainan has a creative insight that opens up many potentials. It takes, I rather think, a significant degree of creativity, originality and insight, to see humour in what to most, are dry topics: science and mathematics. Yet, on Ainan's tongue, they become subject matters of a surreal wit. It is, I must say, quite a revelation.

I have always enjoyed my scientific chats with him. Now, however, I have something else to look forward to: the comic interludes, he sometimes chooses to turn them into.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at: http://imdb.com/name/nm3438598/

Ainan's IMDB listing is at http://imdb.com/name/nm3305973/

Syahidah's IMDB listing is at http://imdb.com/name/nm3463926/

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This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

Labels: a humorist of enlightenment, a new form of comedy, a scientific comedian, a sense of humour, a very special laughter, how to make science fun, mathematical wit, surreality, the biggest laugh of all

*posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:19 AM*8 comments