We will be featuring different members of the Brilliant community, so that you can get to know them better. For the third issue, we are featuring Chew-Seong Cheong
Chew Seong has written more than 1000 solutions, and has received close to 5000 upvotes on them. That is certainly no mean feat, I admire his trigonometric solutions, in which he provides insight into how one can calculate strange combinations of these functions. As an example, what is the value of ?
He has also started to share some of his favorite problems with the community. The one that is most loved asks us to calculate the value of . I look forward to seeing more problems (and solutions) in the future.
1) Tell us more about yourself.
I live near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with my wife and three children. My wife is a full-time housewife; my eldest son works in the IT industry; the eldest daughter, graduated from Australia end last year, has started working as an architect and the youngest daughter will continue her study in digital media in a Taiwanese university this September. None of them talk math with me.
I joined Brilliant more than a year ago when I was recuperating after my esophageal cancer treatment. But not to worry, I am all well. The endoscopy, biopsy and PET-CT scan showed that there is no more tumor growth. I shall be able to, as my wife would say, "sitting down there [the rattan chair] playing my stuff [solving Brilliant's problems] and doing nothing else" for a number of years to come.
For many years, I have been searching for a website which I could solve interesting math problems. My condition forced me to retire from work with nothing much to do. Then I found Brilliant. It is just brilliant.
2) What is one fun fact about yourself that the Brilliant community doesn't know about?
My streak has just passed over a year. Within the last year, I had been solving Brilliant problems daily without fail at home and six foreign countries; in the Hague, the Netherlands; Paris, France; Basel, Switzerland; Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Hanover, Germany; Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Australia; and Singapore. The six weeks' stay in Melbourne for my daughter's graduation provided me the most fun. Ahead of other Brilliantants in time, unless you live in New Zealand, I was able to be the first to solve many problems and provided many solutions, so much so that Sisir Mridha called me the "Solution Master".
I am not so much of a mathematician. I have never formally learnt Number Theory, higher level Algebra nor Calculus. I was just able to solve Brilliant problems with little stuff that I know. After joining Brilliant, I managed to learn up many theorems and Python programming, which helps me to "cheat". While I am always intrigued by theorems beautifully applied to solve a problem, I am also attracted by the graphical beauty that math brings. I like to incorporate graphics whenever I can in my solutions. My latest one was what I thought was a Pascal triangle showing odd and even numbers but Pi Han Goh called it a Sierpinski triangle in his problem titled Parity Coefficient. I solved it without knowing Kummer's theorem; and Pi Han asked me to prove why the solution must be of the form , which I couldn't.
3) What do you want to accomplish in the next few years?
Moving forward, I should be able to work again in the education field. I will continue to learn more on math from the many great minds in Brilliant. I will read up on Kummer's and Sierpinski's if I encounter parity coefficients again. I will continue to write solutions whenever I can and be more active in posting problems. It has been an exciting and enriching experience learning together with fellow Brilliantants.