15-Year-Old Schoolgirl Attends World Laureates Forum, Amazes Public

November 1, 2019
Editor: Wang Liyan
Tan Fanglin listens to a lecture at the second World Laureates Forum held in Shanghai from October 29 to 31. [Changjiang Daily]


The second World Laureates Forum (WLA Forum) was held in Shanghai from October 29 to 31, bringing 65 top global science award winners together to discuss future scientific developments.

In addition to the world's top scientists, the forum also invited many young scientists, most of whom were born from 2001 to 2004.

Tan Fanglin, a 15-year-old first year high school student from Shanghai, is the youngest of all the participants.

Her research project established the link between the Fibonacci sequence and the Bézout number for the first time. It solves the problem of estimating the best upper and lower bounds of the Bézout number, and improves a rough estimation formula published by the Canadian mathematician S. A. Rankin in the American Mathematical Monthly in 2013.

Last year, after researching her "Estimation of the Fibonacci Sequence and the Bézout Number", as a third year junior high school student, she won the Chairman Award (the only prize for junior high school students) and the first prize of the 33rd Shanghai Youth Science and Technology Innovation Competition, as wel as the first prize and the special prize of the 33rd National Youth Science and Technology Innovation Competition. She attended the first WLA Forum at the invitation of the Shanghai Youth Science Society last year.

"Participating in the first WLA Forum and communicating with great scientists face-to-face has further motivated me to do scientific research. I dream of making good research results like the top scientists in the future. To realize my dream, I need to lay a solid foundation and keep learning new knowledge," Tan said.

At this year's forum, Tan conversed with Gero Miesenböck, founder of optogenetics and the 2019 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize winner.

"What do you think is the most important personal quality in doing research?" Tan asked of him.

The most important thing for researchers is to learn to adjust your mindset and start over again in times of difficulty and failure. In the process of doing research, failure is much more common than success, said Gero.

"It is so inspiring," Tan said, mentioning that she feels frustrated recently as she has been working on difficult research for nearly two months but without any progress. With the professor's encouragement, she realized that she needs to be brave enough to face difficulties with perseverance.

Talking about wide praise from the society, she appeared humble. 

"My father is a university math teacher. Influenced by my family, I have been interested in mathematics since I was a child. I just want to study hard and try to do a little research. I like mathematics research and hope to become a scientist in the future and contribute to the homeland," Tan said.

The young scientists at the event are very insightful and the forum has played a role in leading their way in scientific research, said Chen Saijuan, President of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. To Chen, teachers and parents should be responsible for guiding these young talents in proper ways. 


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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