Doctoral auditor overcomes cerebral palsy to excel

By Cao Zinan | | Updated: 2023-03-14 16:30
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Xie Yanting, a doctoral auditor at Lanzhou University's School of Mathematics and Statistics. [Photo/Lanzhou University]

Early in the morning in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu province, Xie Yanting awakens. A doctoral auditor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Lanzhou University, Xie always goes to campus, whether he has classes or not, reported.

It takes Xie 13 minutes to walk from his home to the classroom. Due to cerebral palsy, his body involuntarily leans to the left while walking, his right heel cannot touch the ground and his arms cannot swing normally, making it seem like he could fall at any moment. However, he walks steadily at an ordinary speed.

Xie, a Lanzhou native, has had cerebral palsy since childhood, causing severe deformities in his face, hands and feet. He was unable to speak, write, or walk normally. According to the Lanzhou University Journal, from elementary school through high school, Xie completed his coursework with children his own age while his mother, father, and grandfather helped complete his education at home.

Xie received 262 points out of 750 on the Chinese college entrance exam, or gaokao because he couldn't hold a pen or write due to his physical limitations. Due to this hurdle, he could only finish the multiple-choice questions — but in that section he received 262 points out of 280, with a perfect score in math. This was enough to become an auditor at Lanzhou University.

Despite his low score in gaokao, he has already published five articles in mathematics journals, including four in journals indexed by SCI, one of the world's most selective citation databases for scientific literature. In addition, he has completed all courses at Lanzhou University, from undergraduate to doctoral studies. He has even met the requirements to apply to a doctorate.

The 30-year-old made an analogy about auditing: "Auditing and disability are the same," he said. "No one wants to be just an audit student or disabled, everyone wants to live a normal life, but this is something that cannot be helped and I don't feel ashamed."

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