Tan Fanglin realized her dream of meeting top scientists by making a scientific breakthrough. CFP
Have you ever dreamed of meeting top scientists in person? If so, what would you want to ask them?
For Tan Fanglin, a 15-year-old girl from No 2 High School of East China Normal University in Shanghai, her dream of meeting top scientists has already come true.
In October, she attended the World Laureates Forum for a second time, which had attracted 44 Nobel Prize laureates and 21 other world-class award winners.
Tan was by far the youngest participant among the scientists invited to be at the meeting of the world’s sharpest minds. Her discovery about the relationship between the Fibonacci sequence and Bézout numbers has won her many prizes in youth innovation competitions both in Shanghai and elsewhere in China.
Her research is not just related to some complex concepts, but rather she made a breakthrough for estimating the upper and lower bounds of Bézout numbers. This finding has been praised by the famous Canadian mathematician, Professor Rankin, who provided an estimator in his issue published in American Mathematical Monthly in 2013. According to Guangming Daily, Rankin has been studying the same theme for five years but with no conclusions.
From a very young age, Tan has always been fascinated by mathematics. This is largely because of the influence of her father, who teaches mathematics in East China Normal University. But she had not participated in any Mathematics Olympiad exams before, which she finds will be very time consuming.
According to Xu Jun, Tan’s head teacher from her middle and high school, she doesn’t take after-school classes or too many extra exercises either. Her mastering of Further Mathematics and her good grades in school are thanks to the right study method. Her mother told Guangming Daily that Tan always treats studying and life with a positive mindset so she can feel happy while studying.
Attending this forum enabled Tan to get more inspiration from top scientists. She even got the opportunity to talk with Gero Miesenbock, the 2019 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize winner and the founder of optogenetics.
She asked Professor Miesenbock what he considered were the best personal qualities for conducting scientific research.
Miesenbock encouraged her not to lose her passion and love for what she does. He said that accepting failures is crucial for researchers. He stressed that people all knew that even Thomas Edison went through hundreds of unsuccessful attempts before finally inventing the light bulb.
Tan has met many barriers in her research and often feels upset. The words made Tan feel inspired. “I will keep my curiosity and interests in mathematics and overcome any obstacles in my research,” she told Chinese Business View.