China's most brilliant math whiz solved a nearly unsolvable puzzle in days

But he declined a reward on the grounds of 'teaching ethics'.
Mert Erdemir
Math equations written on a blackboard.PeopleImages/iStock

Mathematics is a challenging field for most people in the world while very few brilliant people are very good at it as if they are born gifted for it. Wei Dongyi, a mathematical genius from China, is just one of them.

According to a report published by South China Morning Post, a mathematical problem that had left a team of six Ph.D. mathematicians stumped for four months was solved by a genius from China in only one night

The genius Wei Dongyi, nicknamed "God Wei,"  is a 30-year-old Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Peking University in Beijing.

A challenging problem

It's reported that the team of doctorate mathematicians who were working on the problem reached out to Wei Dongyi for help since they had struggled to build a mathematics model for months. 

A few days later, the equations Wei sent helped the team adjust their experiment. Eventually, the new model was proved to be successful, with a pass rate of over 96 percent.

With the problem being solved, the team offered to pay Wei for his contributions, but he declined the prize saying, “It’s unnecessary to pay me for such an easy problem,” as per the report.

Eventually, however, he allowed them to recharge his transport card as a gesture of gratitude.

A story of success

Wei Dongyi's success has made him a well-known figure in China. He is particularly known for being admitted to Peking University without taking the gaokao, China’s college entrance exam, notorious for being one of the toughest exams in the world. 

Apart from that, he solves mathematical problems so quickly that his method has been named the “Wei method.” 

Wei Dongyi won two consecutive gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2008 and 2009.

Besides all his success, there's also a funny story about being mistaken for a student because of his shabby appearance and was given the dubious honor of the “ugliest math teacher” at Peking University.

“A friend sent me one, and some unknown people from out of town also sent some bottles,” Wei said. “But I’m worried about the gift-giving issue and how it affects my teaching ethics.”