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 \( (\cot 70 ^ \circ + 4 \cos 70 ^ \circ ) ^2 \) ?

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 \( \sqrt{i}\). 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 \(3(2^k)-1\), 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.

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## Comments

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TopNewestThanks for featuring me. I really want to know how Brian Charlesworth looks like. Hope that Brian will be featured.

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Great to see you featured, and glad to hear that your prognosis is good. You really are the "Solution Master"; I tried to keep up with your pace for a while but there's no way I can catch up now. As for what I look like .... well, I prefer as much anonymity, (at least online), as possible, so no picture (or feature) is forthcoming, but I've been told that I look like what you would expect, given my name. :)

P.S.. I'm particularly impressed that you kept up your streak even with all that traveling. That's dedication.

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Too bad but I have to respect your privacy. I will just have to \(\sqrt{-1}\).

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resemblance.

Yes, I suppose there is aLog in to reply

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Edit: I just looked at this image from 8 feet back; now it really makes sense. Did you produce this? Really cool, regardless.

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EDIT: My program also generated this as the second most likely portrait:

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hey a liitle tiny doubt of visual basic. heres the code num1=10 num2=8 str(num1)+num2=textbox1.text code ends would it be an error or would the resultant be 108.please tell .i thing its gonna be a error

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Great going, sir. Hope you remain as legend of brilliant forever !

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Let's hope there will be more good fellow members.

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I also want to see how @Brian Charlesworth looks like.

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I hope we can.

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I'm really very impressed by the enthusiasm which Cheong sir has at this age. Most of people like to sit back and relax after their retirement, but not in his case. He's really a true model of " There is no age of learning" .

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Rishabh, thanks for your kind comments. Yes, lifelong learning is the word.

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@Rishabh Tripathi , even more so in this 21st century, things are changing like never before so we need to constantly learn so as to adapt to the fast-evolving world.

@Chew-Seong Cheong , do keep your ageless passion for math burning in you! As a person who likes math, I am really glad to know of people who continue to love math regardless of age! Happy to know that there are passionate people like you! :) :) :) In the words of Rishabh, you are an inspiration, Chew-Seong!!!

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You're like an inspiration to the new generation. I don't know about others but I'm much motivated by your way of being dedicated to what you love and I can say that I'll certainly follow the same throughout my life. LIFELONG LEARNING.

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Congrats sir. You deserved this.

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"None of them talk math with me". Yeah, that really resonates with me. I have (and have had) many friends and family members that are (or were) professionals in technical fields, and yet I can't ever seem to get them interested in talking about or doing math. Brilliant.org offers me the chance to do that, so here I am.

Decades ago, I've heard that "mathematics is a young man's game", and guys like us are supposed to be washed up already. But it looks like you're just getting warmed up. I congratulate you in your mission to educate and enlighten fellow Brilliantants. Kudos to you, for not letting life slow you down.

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Your level is so far apart from ordinary earthing like me, it can be difficult to find people to talk to you in math. I only managed to solve one of your problem and that also third trial after a span of long time.

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What a man you are!

That dedication and motivation to keep solving problems on every corner of the Earth is quite inspirational!

@Chew-Seong I really hope you get PHD soon. (And become Dr.Chew)

"A Genius is 99% perspiration and 1%inspiration"

## Solution Master #Legend

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Me too. But I am yet to decide to take on or not. Thanks for your comments.

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My vote had gone to Brian Charlesworth and you. In many problems I have seen both of you. I was just wondering who you must be! Yes now I know, and the first thing is to wish you best of health. I think you had asked about my real age, and we had some communication. I too love brilliant but am not able to solve many problems. Lack of good memory is a little obstruction. My best wishes for you and your family.

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Yes, I was saying that my mother is same age with you, but she doesn't do math.

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I was waiting for you and Brian sir to be featured on brilliant. Hopefully, he would be featured next. Congrats and hats off for your amazing solutions and problems.

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Thanks for liking my solutions.

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This is more than impressive. If he can do so much with elementary knowledge it forces us to ask ourselves, 'what the hell are you doing with your time?'. I can only \(\sqrt{-1}\) what you are going to do in further years. And not only math, he is also highly knowledgable about current affairs, and has a really good sense of humour.

You inspired me, sir. @Chew-Seong Cheong . #respect

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Thanks for your praises. I think when you are my age you will be as wise if not wiser.

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I also want to know more about Pi Han Goh, his questions are truly amazing especially the new logic ones.

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Maybe you can post videos on youtube explaining the math stuff I will be the first to follow

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Zack, I don't have such video. You can add me on FB.

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I am just giving suggestion that you could post some video or note regarding certain topic so we could learn it thoroughly

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Congrats Sir!!!!!Such enthusiasum that you have and I think you're just warming up. There truly is no specific "age" for learning and you've proven that. (Nobody talks math with me at home too.)

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Thanks for your generous commends.

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Keep up the good work sir :-)

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Yes, I will.

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Congrats It is nice to see you featured.You really deserve it .Yeah and your solution writing skills are outstanding ,really we get to know number of ways by which we can solve a problem just because of your solutions.Hats off to you sir :D

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Thanks for your generous comments.

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What topic have you chosen for your PhD?

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@Chew-Seong Cheong congrats on being featured on brilliant! You r the best example of no age for learning. You r so modest. You didn't mention to people that u r about to do PhD. You are really great! Congrats! \(:)\)

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Actually, I have not decided yet. The wife doesn't know about it yet. She may worried about my health condition.

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I think it matters very little, You are Ph. D. or not. What you are doing is a great. And you are learning by your self. At IIT Mumbai there were one Professor only with B.E.in Mechanical guiding Ph.D. Students.{Prof. Belgoanker} and another simple elec. graduate as head of an electric section a lso guiding Ph.D. student. Yes teens do feel that Ph.D. is important. At that age I too felt the same way. Your health is important.

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Ooh! Get well soon sir! Let your wife know that u r doing PhD and convince her that you'll not take too much pressure while doing PhD. All the best!

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Congrats Sir. Looking forward to see more from you.

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Thanks. I will post more solutions.

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Chew-Seong Cheong Sir, which would theorem would you consider as the most beautiful one in Mathematics?

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Euler's \(e^{i\pi} = -1\). It links the imaginary to the real, the irrational to rational, the positive to negative.

Pierre-Simon Laplace: "Lisez Euler, lisez Euler, c'est notre maître à tous."

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This equation is regarded as the most BEAUTIFUL mathematical equation. Congrats for being feautured sir!

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Thank You for your reply and congrats for being featured Sir!

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Sir you are one of the human wolfram alpha of brilliant!

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I hope I can be.

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Mr. Seong is amazing ,as always ;)

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Hope you get into ITT

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Its Mr. Cheong* (I have already clarified this with him)

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Thanks pal

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@Chew-Seong Cheong and I once had a small discussion about life-cycle of butterflies :)

What are the other things you enjoy doing apart from Mathematics (I know you like travelling)

:)

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Yes, I like Biology too. I have done a few of the Biology problems in Brilliant recently and provided solutions. The Body's Buffer System, I don't have a cool name for this, Homeostasis? and others.

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My first love is Physics. But it is getting tough, I can't handle QM.

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You were trained as an electrical engineer. Your love for Physics is obvious. As far as I remember, you have also worked in many places. And now, you want to pursue a Phd. I agree with Rishabh, your enthusiasm is really inspiring.

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I USE A THINKPAD TOO!!!I see that you use an external mouse. Ya, I really don't like the mouse-pad on the laptop.I too cheat on many of the number theory problems (whenever I can), but I've never learnt how to use a spreadsheet for such purposes. Heck! I didn't even

knowthat one could use it for this purpose till I came across one of your solutions. By the end of this summer, I'm gonna master it! That's my goal!Stay strong and keep fighting!

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I need to use Python and Excel to do computations to confirm solutions. Chemo has affected my memory. Spreadsheet cannot handle iteration well, but it is very good in presenting graphically. I am finding it handy in presenting Logic solutions such as The cake is a Liar. Part 3. Have more practice and you will master it.

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MATLAB is much easier for such purposes than Python, Java or C++. Why don't you try it out?

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It's a programming language for engineers. There are tons of projects that you can do with it. I think recently, some students at some university (I forgot) made a walking pair of legs (it walks and balances by itself) using Matlab.

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His retirement was just a beginning of his journey through math

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Yes, a journey of romancing with math.

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Chew-Seong Cheong Nice to hear you are featured sport for late posting. Sir you are my inspiration in mathematics can you tell us how do you solve problems (Approaching skills)?

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For a problem with solution, the person who set the problem already has a particular approach of solving in mind. What we first do is to guess what approach the problem setter has in mind. In most cases it will be the easiest approach. I am also hard working. I may try a few methods before coming to a good one to present. I also use numerical methods to solve problems before finding the best written solution. The solutions can tell you the methods needed.

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Heartiest Congratulations @Chew-Seong Cheong Sir! You really are an inspiration To all of us! :D

"Don't Let age act as a barrier in learning". You truly have proved this :D

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I don't know why this has got 2 downvotes :/

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I have Just no idea. :/ :/

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That thing on your status sir, I guess hadn't changed since I was on brilliant. It bagged a place in one of my favorite quotations! You're really awesome sir, I truly respect like your way of looking at things. Your solutions are really unique, and I have to admit I never imagined such a way of solving problems even exists!

Hats off to you sir. And do look into your health . . . \(\huge \ddot\smile\)

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It is the best line I can think of so far. It is original.

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That's what I like the most about you sir! \(\text{you are very much original}\)

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Does the bird at the right in your profile picture , has some significance? :P :P :P Actually the bird is lucky enough to have a picture with a genius mind like you :P xD

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What bird? There is no bird.

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See the bird encircled in red. It seems you have given some space for it to have him in your picture.

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evaluate(in visual basic) num1=10 ,num2=8

str(num1)+num2 what would be the result or an error? explain.i think it is gonna be an error

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Sorry, I don't know Visual Basic.

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do u know someone who does.?

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