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As part of our continuing series with The New York Times, today we feature a report on Alison Chung, who has parlayed a phenomenal gift for numbers into a digital detective agency.

Chung compared herself to Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man,” joking that her abilities might get her into trouble in Sin City. “I refuse to go to Las Vegas,” she says. “I know there are things that I could memorize, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be tempted.”

All jokes aside, Chung’s superb numeric recall has always made her different than most — and she is the first to admit that people often call her “wildly eccentric.” (In college, for instance, she was going to three-dimensional tic-tac-toe tournaments when other people were dating.) But being different has never bothered her, she says. “I never felt a need to conform,” she says. “It doesn’t affect my self-esteem.”

We hope Chung’s story inspires other “different” people to find a similarly successful path in life. Check out our report on NYTimes.com here.

 

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