September 18, 2010

Chinese Honor Student Chooses Monasticism over MIT

A "mathematics genius" in China has decided to become a Buddhist monk instead of accepting a full ride to MIT. has the story:

Liu Zhiyu received a diploma this past summer from the School of Mathematical Sciences at PKU and than applied for and was offered a full scholarship to MIT. However, just the last minute as his parents were ready to send him off to the states to study at MIT Liu changed his mind. Liu decided instead to head for Longquan Temple in Beijing's Haidian district to prepare to become a Buddhist monk.

It has been reported that Liu's father, who teaches physics at the high school that Liu attended in his hometown of Wuhan, Hubei province, told the Beijing Times the family was strongly opposed to Liu's choice. Liu's father said he felt desperate and his wife had become ill because of their son's decision. And according to Dong Zijing, Liu's teacher at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Liu is actually a mathematics genius and was the winner of a golden medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2006.

Read the full story here.

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the elephant's picture

Dear steve

If you are correct and we are wise to listen and watch to geniuses then we should listen to the vast vast vast majority of them who decides to go to MIT or other institutions (instead of pursuing a path that is most likely to leave them disappointed and later regretful). Your argument is working against the point you wanted to make. See
for an explanation of the common form of cognitive blindness you fell for ...

Steve Cullen's picture

When a genius chooses, we are wise to listen and watch. They most likely see opportunity and blessings in a future we don't.... Quite possibly it is a period of balance seeking, of becoming in a incredibly brilliant young man's world seen as it is through his eyes... Perhaps, he sees more than we know...

mll's picture

piouwbcnouibno0in 'dkon m'pom[

rudi's picture

I wonder if Liu Zhiyu and his family ever saw the movie, "Dark Matter"...

Karen's picture

It is unfortunate that the egos of the parents are so wrapped up in attachment to their son's choices. We cause ourselves great suffering when we attempt to dictate the course of others' lives.

Eda's picture

...possibly searching for balance in his life... :))