A visit and lecture by author Daniel Tammet is the one highlights of Orientation Week at Michigan Technological University. Tammet, author of the bestselling “Born on a Blue Day” will speak to students as part of the Reading As Inquiry program.
Now in its 14th year, Reading As Inquiry asks first year students to read a specific book. Tomorrow, students will attend an address by the author and engage in a discussion with fellow students and a staff facilitator. “Born on a Blue Day,” this year’s required reading, is a memoir of Tammet’s life with Asperger syndrome and savant syndrome and was named “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2008 by the American Library Association.
Possessing an incredible memory and aptitude for math and numbers, Tammet holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits and has the ability to learn languages in short periods of time.
Robert Johnson, professor of rhetoric, composition and technical communication in Tech’s Humanities department, explained why “Born on a Blue Day” was chosen. “The program is called ‘Reading as Inquiry,’ so we look for books that will inspire conversation,” Johnson says. He says there’s more to choosing the summer reading than whether it’s a good book. “We also have to consider their qualities of a public speaker, their availability during Orientation Week and, frankly, the cost of getting them here.”