Although I am not officially diagnosed Aspergers although I'm 99.9% confident I am and still awaiting my first assesment I cannot help but think my love for Mathematics and Computers and playing chess could be related possibly to being an Aspie.
I have always found Maths interesting and although never an expert on it would consider myself good at it. Last Semptember I enrolled on a Maths GCSE course at my local college it lasted about 9 months I skipped a few weeks and end of year revision classes but still managed to pass and found out only 22% of adults aged 17+ actually passed the maths GCSE this year so I was really proud when I got my results a few weeks ago.
I also enrolled on an computer course level 1 and passed this too all with working full time and living with a wife and kids. It was hard and stressful mind as I couldn't find my much needed time out but the enjoyment of working my brain made it worth while. I don't know if any of you are the same but I love working things out or fixing things or playing games console to keep my mind ticking feels great.
Anyway I also love chess I was in chess club at school and even beat a chess player whilst on holiday who kept bragging he was the "chess master". I find it hard playing chess on a games console for some reason and alot easier on the actual board game maybe because I'm up close and get a better view.
Anyway my point of this short story is I'm thinking maybe why I excel at things I enjoy could be related to being an Aspie and it would make sense.
Do any others on here enjoy Mathematics, Computers and Chess?
Like some of the others I grew up with the "home computer revolution." My first secondary school had some sort of mini that took up a room with the big old removable disk packs. I don't know what it was - mostly the sixth form used it I think. But they also had a ZX Spectrum in the Chemistry lab and a ZX81, BBC Micros and a Research Machines 380Z in another computer room next to the room with the mini in it. That basically set the trajectory for most of life so far. We were into our BASIC and 6502 assembly language plus computer games :-).
I didn't do too well in my A-levels but turned down a place at the my first choice University studying physics (I planned to swap to astrophysics but the grades were easier for straight physics ;-). I got a place on year in industry scheme for a water company where they were doing a lot of programmable control systems and also replacing their telemetry system for monitoring and controlling all their sites remotely. After the end of that year they offered me a full-time job and the chance to study an electronics engineering degree on day release. I did three of the five years of that but basically realised I'd have no social life for two years to get a reasonable grade, plus I wasn't getting a lot of the work I wanted to do so went to Uni. full-time to study Computer Science. Since that was basically my special interest it didn't tax me overly since I'd already covered a lot of the material myself especially with the overlap from the electronics engineering.
I'm more interested in what I call the "Computer Systems Engineering" side of things - the hardware, operating systems, compilers and interpreters, other generic/infrastructure things that make a basic computer useful like databases. I wouldn't consider myself an expert in anything but more of a very strong generalist.
After Uni. I had a few programming jobs but was unlucky in that some projects I got to work on ended up either being canned when they were basically done or were things that nobody really wanted which in my mid/late 20s I found a bit frustrating. Due to that I ended up floating into more systems administration and systems design and managed services. For the last 10 years I've been a senior support engineer for a multi-national company that makes whizzy network attached storage systems amongst other things.
My maths experiences have been a bit more love/hate. Due to various issues I missed quite a lot of school and changed schools a fair amount which isn't really very good for your mathematical development. Plus, often you were often just expected to memorise things without understanding why they were the way they were. That's not something I find very easy! But I'd seen some books that suggested that maths as seen by mathematicians wasn't like that, and that they had reasons for everything, so I had some inkling that school maths isn't really maths and there was more to it than we were being sold at school.
I ended up doing quite a lot maths for the electronics engineering and computer science and for comp. sci. the more mathematical courses I took ended being some of my strongest courses. I did an unusual 'O' and 'A'-level programme called "SMP" that was a bit of an offshoot of the whole "New Math" thing in the UK and a lot of its more abstract maths wasn't popular with parents etc. It turns out though it is really useful for the discrete maths used in Computer Science so it worked out well for me.
For the past 10 years or so I've been slowly going back and filling in my maths knowledge gaps and understanding and I find it really enjoyable and relaxing - as long as I don't over do it!
Now the thing I'm really interesting in is ways of presenting maths to adults which try and avoid the worst of school maths experience and maybe give people who are interested in giving it a second go a better and more positive experience.
Chess I'd be sort of interested in but I don't really have anyone to play.
Windscale said:I wouldn't consider myself an expert in anything but more of a very strong generalist.
That sounds very much like me. I was fortunate in my last job that, for most of my time there, I was very much the multi-role trouble shooter rather than a specialist. During my time there I did; electronics and hardware assembly, CNC tool programming and machine commissioning and maintenance, circuit design, CAD for physical components, technical writing and proofreading, and a little programming. I could never have completely replaced any of the other members of the team, but my ability to jump in and take a bit of workload from almost anybody was appreciated in a way that I never experienced anywhere else.
The downside, which eventually led to the loss of the job, was my inability to prioritise and to handle conflict between managers and colleagues who all wanted something from me, each expecting their task to be the most important. This led to far too much task-switching and becoming involved in disputes between other people. The final nail in the coffin was a particularly bad new department manager who seemed to relish bun-fights between different team members (it wasn't just me; several other long-standing and extremely loyal members of staff considered leaving because he was so obnoxious and manipulative.)