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Jason  Padgett

Jason Padgett

Victim of Brain Injury turned Mathematical Marvel

Biography

When Jason Padgett was attacked by muggers outside a karaoke club ten years ago, he thought he was going to die. Repeatedly kicked in the head, his brain trauma caused him to develop a mysterious mathematical gift. Now, the former college drop-out is an aspiring number theorist and mathematician with acquired savant syndrome and synesthesia.  Read More >

His memoir, Struck by Genius, tells the harrowing story of his transformation from mullet-sporting gym rat to mathematical marvel. Soon after the mugging in 2004, Padgett began to suffer from PTSD, OCD and debilitating agoraphobia, but at the same time, he noticed that the world looked different. Water poured from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers called to mind distinct geometric shapes and intricate fractal patterns emerged from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us. With Padgett's new vision came an astounding artistic ability.

He started drawing complex geometrical shapes by hand, but he didn’t have the formal training to understand the equations they represented. One day, a physicist spotted him drawing in a mall food court, and urged him to pursue mathematical training.  Padgett returned to school and eventually garnered the interest of neuroscientists who wanted to understand how he’d developed his remarkable abilities. Berit Brogaard, a philosophy professor now at the University of Miami, and her colleagues scanned Padgett’s brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to begin the process of explaining his incredible condition, though many of the mysteries of Jason’s Padgett’s brain persist.   

Padgett’s currently continuing his mathematical studies and continuing to be studied himself. As a speaker, he provides the beautiful, inspiring and intimate account of his post-trauma journey, from ordinary individual to medical marvel. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Jason Padgett's Brain Injury Turned Mathmatical

The World Through the Eyes of Jason Padgett

Speech Topics

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel

No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.

 

Yet, Padgett wasn’t born this way. Twelve years ago, he had never made it past pre-algebra. But a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, giving him unique gifts. His ability to understand math and physics skyrocketed, and he developed the astonishing ability to draw the complex geometric shapes he saw everywhere. His stunning, mathematically precise artwork illustrates his intuitive understanding of complex mathematics.

 

The first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, Padgett is a medical marvel. In his presentation, he recounts how he overcame huge setbacks and embraced his new mind. Along the way he fell in love, found joy in numbers and spent plenty of time having his head examined. Padgett reveals the wondrous potential of the human brain.