Chapter 286: Ten Science and Technology Progress Of The Year
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Two major events took place two weeks after New Year’s Eve.
The famous [Science] journal selected the top ten scientific and technological progress of 2016.
The research on gravitational waves was the last piece of the general relativity theory puzzle, so it was not surprising that it won the top spot.
If the invention of the electromagnetic telescope was like the human eye, then the gravitational waves detector was like the human ear. Humans could finally listen to the sounds of the universe.
Ranked second was Mycoplasma laboratorium 3.0, also called Syn 3.0. Contrast to gravitational waves, most people did not know what Syn 3.0 was. However, Syn 3.0 was the closest humans had ever gotten to becoming gods.
Sitting at 473 genes, tt contained the minimum amount of genes necessary for life-sustaining activities. At the same time, this was the simplest living organism humans had ever created.
The modified PDMS film that solved the problem of lithium dendrites sat at third place.
The materials science community had not seen a “major breakthrough” in years, so this was undoubtedly an excellent result. Since “finding the seventh line of the periodic table” was also nominated, this year’s chemistry community was full of high spirits.
Also ranked was Google’s AlphaGo, a deep learning system built by a Monte Carlo decision algorithm. It had become the father of modern artificial intelligence.
Also awarded was a breakthrough in space exploration technology where the seeds of humans were gradually sprouting in space…
However, these research results were not ranked in any particular order. After all, achievements in different fields could not be compared fairly.
However, [Science] journal editors still had the power to input their subjective opinions on the rankings.
A lot of people speculated online that with the [Science] rankings, Lu Zhou had the hope to become the second mathematician after John Pope to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Of course, this was only the opinion of the non-experts.
After all, [Science] only reflected the opinions of [Science], not the entire scientific community.
The Nobel Prize committee had very strict judging criteria for the selection of brilliant achievements in the applicable field. As an outstanding achievement in the applied sciences, the modified PDMS film was not treated like the discovery of gravitational waves, which won the Nobel Prize immediately in the year following the confirmation of results.
Only time could tell whether or not an applicable technology was great.
However, just like the “Father of Artificial Life”, Craig Venter, if one day the Nobel Prize Committee awarded the medal of chemistry to Lu Zhou, no one would be surprised.
After all, the lithium dendrites problem had troubled the entire materials science community for decades.
Another major event that occurred at the beginning of the year was Trump’s inauguration declaration at the White House.
However, this had nothing to do with Princeton, and Lu Zhou was not someone who was interested in politics.
The second week after New Year’s Eve, Professor Lu gave his students a long holiday break.
The first reason was to make up for their Christmas vacation. The second reason was that until Chinese New Year, Lu Zhou was going to be very busy and he did not have time to deal with his students.
As for how the students would spend their hard-earned holiday, Qin Yue said that he would go back home for Chinese New Year while Hardy said that he wanted to go travel in the Mediterranean with his girlfriend. Lu Zhou had wanted to give Hardy some “holiday homework”, but in the end, he restrained the impulse and smiled, wishing Hardy a happy vacation instead.
When Lu Zhou asked Vera if she had any holiday plans, the little girl did not have anything to do, so she had a blank look on her face.
Lu Zhou sighed at seeing Vera like this.
If it was something else, Lu Zhou would recommend them to see their parents and to enjoy a relaxing family reunion.
But for her…
He could only find something meaningful for her to do.
Lu Zhou thought for a moment. He then said, “Mathematics is a subject that needs inspiration. Studying in the library all day could mean ending up in a thinking pit. This year the American Mathematics Society will hold an academic exchange conference for young scholars at Berkeley. The thesis you gave me last time was pretty good, I recommend you to submit it.”
When the little girl heard that she might be doing a report, she suddenly panicked and nervously said, “I… I haven’t done a report before.”
“No one is born to do this. You have to learn to adapt,” said Lu Zhou. He looked into her eyes and said, “If you’re worried about travel expenses, you shouldn’t. Registration fees, plane tickets, etc, can all be paid for with the research project fund. If you’re afraid of going on stage, I hope you can overcome this fear. Trust me, this is good for you.”
Among his three students, Vera was the most talented and Lu Zhou had the highest expectations for her.
One day, she would be standing on the stage of the International Congress of Mathematicians and report her results in a one-hour presentation. If she could not overcome her stage fright, then she would never become a world-class scholar.
When Vera heard Lu Zhou, she started to blush. She was overwhelmed by it.
Lu Zhou waited for a long time and when he did not hear a reply, he did not want to give her any room for retreat, so he continued to ask, “Your answer is?”
Although she sounded hesitant, this was a huge improvement.
Lu Zhou sat in his office chair and nodded with satisfaction.
“Then go and prepare. There are still three days left until the deadline. You don’t have to come to my office for the next three days. Just focus on editing your thesis. I’ll take care of your flights, so you only have to apply.”
Lu Zhou forcefully made these decisions for her before he kicked her out of her office.
Vera stopped at the office door. She hesitated for a bit before she turned around.
When Lu Zhou noticed Vera’s expression of hardship, he asked, “Is there anything else?”
Vera lowered her head and smiled embarrassedly. She said, “Nothing, I just wanted to thank you… No one has ever cared for me before.”
Lu Zhou said, “You’re welcome. After all, I’m your supervisor.”
Lu Zhou finished his work at Princeton and drove his Ford Explorer to Princeton. He went to Star Sky Technology’s North American branch office building.
He had to admit that AM’s service was satisfactory. Not only did they solve all of the problems he thought of, but they even solved some unexpected problems.
Of course, the charges were not cheap.
Since the office was still under renovation, the floors were filled with construction materials, and there was nothing much to see.
Lu Zhou walked around for a bit before he left the office building and went back to his car.
Visiting his company building was only to satisfy his curiosity. It was not his main reason for coming to Philadelphia. He came to Philadelphia to meet with a consultant that AM arranged for him.
Apparently, the woman was a professor at Wharton, an expert in business administration with a double-degree in international trade.
Although the relevant plans had already been made, anything on paper was not enough. Some things had to be discussed face to face.
Lu Zhou arranged a time to meet with this expert and planned to talk with her face to face.