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  • Chris McMillan

Handicap no barrier to becoming math whiz

China Daily

13th April 2023

Handicap no barrier to becoming math whiz

From undergraduate to PhD, Lanzhou student has published three theses and is preparing to defend the latest

Though physically challenged, 31-year-old Xie Yanting, who has cerebral palsy, does not inhabit a small world.

He has been auditing courses at Lanzhou University in Gansu province for the last 12 years, and he recently submitted his doctoral thesis.

The years of study, which have taken Xie from undergraduate to postgraduate and now doctorate, have not been easy, but for both Xie and his mother, it has been a happy time filled with love and encouragement.

One day in March, he left at 7 am to audit a class at the School of Mathematics and Statistics as usual. In fact, even when he doesn't have a class, Xie still goes to school to study alone or read in the library.

He doesn't talk much, mainly because he's unable to speak clearly, but when he gets onto the subject of graph theory, the branch of mathematics he is studying, Xie becomes quite chatty.

"I particularly like all the graphs," he said.

For Xie, mathematics is not just work and study, it's also a hobby and an interest.

"When I lie in bed at night, math graphs come to mind. They are so clear and so beautiful," he said.

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