The Iraqi Good Will Hunting

A 16-year-old Iraqi, now living in Sweden, created a formula dealing with Bernoulli numbers.

Long interested in mathematics, Altoumaimi has spent the last four months toiling over his notebook in an attempt to write a formula to explain a number of complex relationships dealing with Bernoulli numbers.

The numbers are named for the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and consist of a sequence of rational numbers which are important for number theory.

Needless to say, Altoumaimi’s teachers were more than sceptical when he showed up to school recently claiming he had come up with a formula all on his own.

“When I first presented it to my teachers, none of them believed that the formula I had written down really worked,” he told the Falu Kuriren newspaper.

Undeterred by the doubts of his teachers, Altoumaimi decided to contact a professor at Uppsala University in hopes of validating his work.

“Right away he wanted to take a look at all my calculations and the documents where I show that the formula really works,” said Altoumaimi.

Here’s the rub.  According to University professors, what Mohamed Altoumaimi did with the Bernoulli numbers isn’t necessarily new.  But it is waaaaaay advanced for a first year high school student.  So much so that now he’s teaching the teachers and getting outside tutoring from local universities.

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