Cuban mathematician Yusnier Viera has taken on a new challenge: to demonstrate his ability to conduct mental calculations in SuperHuman, a new show television channel Fox will launch in January.
A group of 12 brilliant minds from across the United States will compete in the show.
Viera, who is 33 years old and graduated from the School of Computer Science in the University of Havana, was selected to exhibit his mathematical talent and compete against people capable of determining the temperature of water with their hands or know the speed of a ball pitched by a baseball player.
“I feel proud of being chosen as part of a group of ‘Super Humans’ from a pool of 300 million people, who live in the United States,” Viera told el Nuevo Herald. “I think it’s a recognition to the effort and dedication we display on the daily.”
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In October, Viera achieved the Guinness World Record as the best mental calculator in the world under the “human calendar” category, responding in just a few seconds which day of the week corresponds to a past or future date.
But this time, Fox called on him to demonstrate his flash math abilities, a specialty in which contestants must establish the sum of 10 numbers projected in an almost immediate manner in fractions of a second.
“It was very challenging at first because it was difficult,” said Viera. “But with a lot of practice, once again, I’ve proven to myself that with commitment and sacrifice everything is possible in this life.”
It’s not the first time Viera is asked to compete in a contest of the minds. In 2013, he was selected among a group of 20 Latin American prodigies in Super Brains, a Spanish-language televised program produced by National Geographic.
Viera, who is a native of a town called Bejucal in the outskirts of Havana, arrived in Miami after defecting in 2007 and crossing into McAllen, Texas, while he participated in a mathematics competition organized in Puebla, Mexico.
Initially, Viera worked as a computer program developer in South Florida. In 2011, he launched Spicy Math, a business venture in the field of education aimed at improving student’s performance in the realm of math. At the same time, he works as a mathematics professor at Miami Dade College.
Another of Viera’s mathematical adventures is Hectoc, a calculations game he presented at the beginning of the year. As part of the game, players must include symbols of mathematical operations in between six digits so that the result is always 100.
On Wednesday, Viera highlighted that the mental ability displayed by contestants on SuperHuman would leave “the public with their jaws dropped.”
Viera said that former boxer Mike Tyson is one of the judges on SuperHuman and referred to him as a man with a lot of pizazz.
The show will air on Fox beginning Jan. 4, from 8 to 10 p.m.
Follow Enrique Flor on Twitter: @kikeflor