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Counting to Four in Icelandic

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 20 August 2012

Written by Daniel Tammet.

Read by James Anthony Pearson.

First of five extracts from Daniel Tammet's new book of essays that celebrates "the science of imagination": mathematics. Today's essay explores the different ways in which cultures across the world approach and describe numbers.

Daniel Tammet is hailed the world over for his extraordinary mind and unique intelligence shaped by high-functioning autistic savant syndrome. He perceives words and numbers as shapes, colours, and emotions, and holds the European record for reciting the mathematical constant Pi to 22,514 decimal places. For Tammet, numbers are beautiful and illuminate our everyday thoughts and lives. His idiosyncratic world view gives us new perspectives on the universal questions of what it is to be human and how we make meaning in our lives.

Abridged and produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

  • Daniel Tammet: ‘Mathematics is the science of imagination’

    Autistic savant Daniel Tammet speaks to More or Less presenter Tim Harford about his new book, Thinking in Numbers, in which he discusses the beauty of numbers and how mathematics can help us appreciate the world around us. For Tammet, whose genius for maths was misunderstood as a child, his ability with numbers is something that he has harnessed to help him gain the practical and social skills to communicate his passion for maths.

    Listen to the clip from More Or Less now


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