Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 15 News List

The numbers control my brain 滿腦子數字

Lemaire, center, is fast, but not as fast as a supercomputer. He's pictured here at the New York Hall of Science, in New York City, Nov. 15, 2007.Photo: AFP
樂邁爾〈中〉計算速度雖快,但仍不及一台超級電腦。本張照片攝於本月十五日,紐約市的紐約科學館 照片:法新社

French "mathlete" Alexis Lemaire showed off his rare mental agility earlier this month, claiming a new world record after working out in his head the 13th root of a random 200-digit number in just 72.4 seconds.

Lemaire, a 27-year-old doctoral student, sat at a laptop computer that randomly selected the figure.

He then took just over a minute to identify two quadrillion, 397 trillion, 207 billion, 667 million, 966 thousand, 701 as the 13th root.

"The first digit is very easy, the last digit is very easy, but the inside numbers are extremely difficult," the mental gymnast said.

"I use an artificial intelligence system which I use on my own brain instead of on a computer," he explained, matter-of-factly.

"Personally, I believe most people can do it but I have also a high-speed mind. My brain works sometimes very, very fast."

Pressing his point, he adds: "Sometimes when I do multiplication my brain works so fast that I need to take medication."

He practices regularly and jogs every day, doesn't drink coffee or alcohol and avoids foods that are high in sugar or fat -- to help him think faster.

"I use a process to improve my skills, to behave like a computer," he says. "It's like running a program in my head ... to control my brain," he says.

Lemaire says he has no fear that any other competitive mathematicians will be able to challenge his record.

"It is too difficult for them," he says, explaining that most of his rivals are only able to work out the 13th root of a 100-digit number.

He says banks and computer science companies have shown interest in employing him.

"Many people at the banks think my gift can be very useful," he says. (AFP)

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Cat: Hey Susanne, what are you up to?

Susanne: I'm just chilling at home watching some DVDs.

Cat: Oh, you're so boring! Let's go out.

Susanne: No, I've been working really hard all day and just need some me time.

Cat: Well, OK, but I'm going to go watch some really good indie bands. So if you change your mind, give me a call.

凱特:嗨,蘇珊,妳最近在忙些什麼啊?

蘇珊:我都在待家裡放鬆,看一些DVD什麼的。

凱特:喔,妳的生活真無趣!我們出去玩吧!

蘇珊:不,我辛苦工作了一整天,現在只想享受些獨處時光。

凱特:唔…好吧,但我要去聽一些很讚的獨立樂團表演喔。如果妳改變心意了,隨時打電話給我!

me time 獨處時光

Me time is a way of saying time alone. For example, "Once a week Evan just sits at home and plays guitar alone to get some good quality me time."

「me time」是一種表達獨處的說法,例如:「伊凡每週一次獨自坐在家裡彈著吉他,享受悠閒的獨處時光」。


法國「數學運動員」艾利克斯.樂邁爾本月稍早展現了他罕見的敏捷腦力,他在七十二點四秒內默算出一個隨機選出的兩百位數的十三次方根,奪得了一項新的世界紀錄。

樂邁爾是一位二十七歲的博士生,他坐在筆記型電腦前心算電腦隨機選出的一個兩百位亂數。

他僅花了一分多鐘就開出它的十三次方根:2,397,207,667,966,701。

「在運算中,算出第一位數字和最後一位數字都非常容易,可是要算出中間的數字就非常困難了,」這位智力運動員說。

「我使用一種人工智慧系統來計算,但是這個系統不存在電腦裡,而是在我腦中,」他就事論事地說。

「我個人相信,大多數人都有這樣的能力,只是我能算得更快,我的腦袋有時候運轉地飛快。」

為了強化他的論點,他又補充說明:「有時候我在算乘法時,我的腦袋運轉地太快,我甚至必須服用藥物來舒緩。」

他規律練習計算、天天慢跑、不沾咖啡或酒精飲料、避免高糖或高脂的食物─這樣可以幫助他思考得更快。

「我有一套方法來加強技巧,使我可以表現得像電腦一樣,」他說:「就像在我腦中執行一個程式…來管理我的腦袋。」

樂邁爾說他不擔心有其他競爭數學家來挑戰這個紀錄。

「這對他們來說實在是太困難了,」他說,並進一步解釋他的對手大部份都只能算出一百位數字的十三次方根。

他表示,銀行和電腦公司都希望能聘請他。

「許多銀行業者都認為我的天賦對他們非常有用,」他說。(法新社/翻譯:袁星塵)

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