Chapter 263: Mathematics Is More Interesting
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Princeton University Library.
Hardy rested his head on the table as he complained, “That guy is a devil, this is impossible… Is there anyone on this planet that can complete these things in half a month?”
There were six textbooks in front of him. Some were “entry level”, like Number Theory Guide, some were more “advanced”, like Number Theory Lectures. It was not just number theory textbooks, there were other textbooks like algebraic geometry and differential topology.
Before Hardy met his supervisor, he did a lot of preparation work. He did not expect that the moment he stepped into the doors of Princeton, there was already a mountain of work waiting for him.
Thankfully he did some study beforehand, otherwise, he would not even know where to begin studying.
Qin Yue, who sat across Hardy, was a lot calmer. He did not bother to think about questions like “can I do it or not”. Instead, he was reading Number Theory Lectures intently.
Although he could not read textbooks as fast as Hardy, the turtle would always win the race.
Since they began studying, Qin Yue had not stopped reading.
Hardy sighed and gave up. He then asked, “Qin, are your professors in China this scary?”
Qin Yue, “Scary?”
Hardy nodded his head and said, “Yeah. When I was in Brazil, I was always first in mathematics for my high school and everyone thought I was a genius. Once I got into Columbia, I met a lot of geniuses, but the content for the course was still easy for me. I did it easily without spending much effort.”
Hardy sighed and continued, “But now, I’m starting to have some doubts about my talents…”
Qin Yue did not know how to comfort this kid. Instead, he pushed his glasses and said, “Because this place is Princeton?”
Honestly, Qin Yue’s previous university, Kai University, did not have professors this strict.
However, since he had spent the last four years studying like this, he was used to it.
“Princeton professors can’t all be this strict. Yesterday I played football with a schoolmate. Professor Lu Zhou is definitely an exception,” said Hardy as he shook his head. He suddenly remembered something and he asked, “Speaking of which, Qin, I noticed that you’re already on your second textbook. Do you have any tips? Or did you already know this stuff?”
Qin Yue shook his head and said, “Nope, this is my first time learning this.”
At most, Qin Yue did some preparations before, but not much.
Hardy said with an unbelievable tone, “Impossible! Wait a minute, don’t tell me you study in your bedroom? God… How long do you spend to study in a day?”
Qin Yue said, “What else am I supposed to do besides sleeping and eating?”
I can’t continue the conversation with this dude…
Six textbooks in six weeks were difficult, but Lu Zhou knew this when giving out this task.
Therefore, he set his expectations very low. As long as his students learned half of the textbooks, he would count them as a pass.
As for the rest of the knowledge, they could learn it while helping him with his research project.
After all, textbooks were always behind, and it was only to get one’s foot in the door. The textbooks often did not contain documents or thesis materials, which were needed for research.
However, Lu Zhou did not expect that within a week, one person had already completed his task.
When he heard the news, he was overly surprised.
It turned out that he found gold.
“… Your talents are amazing. I thought that it’d be impressive if you could solve four or five out of the ten questions. Looks like I underestimated you.”
Lu Zhou looked up from the test paper and looked at Vera with surprise.
He came up with all of the questions himself, so there was no way for Vera to know the answers beforehand. Although the ten questions were not particularly difficult, getting them right meant that Vera completely absorbed all of the knowledge from the six textbooks.
Vera smiled and said humbly, “I already read four of the books back at Berkeley, so I guess I got lucky.”
“This isn’t luck,” said Lu Zhou as he placed the test paper aside. He smiled and said, “Congratulations on passing my test. From now on, you are a research member in my project!”
Vera smiled. This was what she dreamed of.
Lu Zhou said, “I’ll email you the contents of the project. Although the project will officially begin in September, you can use this time to think about the project. This is an interesting project.”
Vera nodded her head politely while her golden hair swayed like a squirrel’s tail.
“I understand, anything else?”
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, “Nope, you can go back now.”
Vera packed her things and happily said goodbye to Lu Zhou. She then turned around and left Lu Zhou’s office.
As Lu Zhou looked at her slim body, he suddenly remembered something.
“Oh wait, one more thing.”
Vera stopped her footsteps and turned around to look at him.
“I might be a bit presumptuous here, so I hope you don’t mind,” said Lu Zhou as he pulled a document from his drawer and placed it on the table. He then added, “I know that your financial situation might not be the best right now, so I inquired about a scholarship from Princeton. Take this form and fill it out. I’ll apply the scholarship for you tomorrow.”
PhD scholarships were relatively easy to get, but a master’s scholarship, especially full scholarship, was insanely difficult.
Normally speaking, if a student did not have a recommendation letter from a nutty supervisor, all the student could get was a half scholarship.
Especially in a place like Princeton where there were tons of nutty people around, it was beyond competitive.
Lu Zhou looked at Vera’s eyes which were filled with surprise and continued, “I hope you won’t delay your studies because of your financial situation. Don’t go work part-time. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but remember, your knowledge is your power. If the full scholarship isn’t enough, I can apply for a part-time teaching job for you.”
Vera took the form from Lu Zhou and lowered her head. She did not speak for a long time.
She grabbed that document tightly and her face turned red as she bowed at Lu Zhou.
Lu Zhou did not know what just happened when the little girl just ran out of his office.
He felt a bit weird as he was sure that he did not say anything to offend her.
Honestly, because Chen Yushan would always call him “insensitive”, he had been practicing his words beforehand.
Lu Zhou wondered why the little girl almost cried.
I did something good.
Hopefully, no one thinks otherwise…
That would be a pain in the ass.
Lu Zhou shook his head and decided not to think about this stuff. He took out his phone and looked at the time.
It was lunchtime.
He stretched and stood up from his office chair. He then looked at the finished project goal outline and could not help but smile.
Hail, also known as the Collatz conjecture, the legendary mathematical black hole! It was like a black hole that contained all natural numbers.
The general view of the mathematics community was that they were far from solving this problem. However, since Goldbach’s conjecture which also created strong theoretical tools was solved, Lu Zhou felt like it was time to challenge it.
He thought about this challenging problem and felt full of energy.
As expected, mathematics is more interesting.