Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
In the afternoon of that same day, at the mathematics research lab of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Xiang Huanan was sitting quietly.
With his reading glasses on, he was reading [Annual Mathematics]. He had a pen in his hand, and every now and then, he would write on the paper.
To learn was to grow, especially when it came to research in mathematics.
New research results were born ever month. He did not want to fall behind, so he would read every new edition of Annual Mathematics.
Suddenly, an unexpected guest visited his office.
The guest smiled and shouted, Old man, what are you doing?
When Professor Xiang Huanan raised his head, he saw Professor Wang Yuping walking into his office. He then took off his reading glasses and said with a smile, Hey.
He looked at the student next to his desk and said, Xiao Li, give Professor Wang some tea.
Xiao Li put his pen down and respectfully poured some tea for the two old professors.
It was not Professor Wang Yuping first visit, so he casually took the cup and sat down on the sofa.
Professor Xiang Huanan was still flipping through the journal as he chatted with his old friend, Why arent you at the mathematics conference? What are you doing here?
Theyre not giving me a prize, so why should I go? Id rather come here to your cool office, said Professor Wang Yuping. He smiled and said, But I heard that this conference was interesting. The morning opening ceremony was presented by Qiu Chengtong. He gave the Shiing-Shen Chern Mathematics Award to some twenty year old. The rumor was that this award belonged to Ma Changan, but it seems that he was screwed over.
This was big news to old Xiang.
However, Professor Xiang was not surprised by who won. Instead, Xiang Huanan was surprised as he looked at his friend and asked, That Wang Shicheng guy actually bowed down to Qiu Chengtong?
Due to a professor named Tian, Professor Qiu was unhappy with the department of mathematics at the University of Yan.
In 2001, University of Yan invited a MIT professor to become an academician. Professor Qiu Chengtong was unhappy about it and he said to the press, Im the one that deserves to become an academician.
This incident blew up in the country, but in the end it ended in a low-key manner.
However, Professor Qiu Chengtong and the University of Yan never solved their issue. Professor Qiu Chengtong eventually transfered to University of Shuimu due to this incident.
However, not everyone was obsessed with faction, and not everyone was passionate about power.
Especially the old professors who had already made a name for themselves. Their name alone counted as academic capital. They were not overly obsessive and were easy going.
Professor Wang Yuping, for example, was one of those professors who did not care about fame or fortune. He was just an old professor who was really passionate about education.
Due to this, even though he taught at the University of Yan, his relationship with Professor Qiu Chengtong had been quite good. He would often come to the Chinese Academy of Sciences to visit his old friend.
Professor Wang Yuping sipped some tea before saying, He had to bow. If Ma Changan won the Shiing-Shen Chern Mathematics Award, it would be ungodly embarrassing.
Are you sure? asked Professor Xiang Huanan.
Of course. Why do you think Old Qiu came back? He came back just so he could tell Academician Wang Shicheng that the Federal Mathematics Society is considering about giving Lu Zhou the Cole Prize.
Professor Xiang Huanan was stunned for a moment. He then smiled and said, This is a bit serious. No wonder Academician Wang is unhappy.
It was not too bad if the winner did not deserve the prize. However, if the loser went overseas and won an even bigger prize there, then that would be a problem.
The media would start to gossip and maybe even talked about conspiracy theories.
If a twenty year old kid defeated several academicians, he would surely deserved the Cole Prize, right?
However, people were not that stupid.
After all, the weight of the Cole Prize was much heavier than the Shiing-Shen Chern Mathematics Award.
It seems that this conference is a bit interesting. Wang Shicheng actually took the initiative to shake hands with Qiu Chengtong. Its a pity that I missed it, Professor Xiang said with a smile.
Professor Wang Yuping smiled and said, Its interesting. I plan on going over there tomorrow to check it out. I heard that the kid has a 30 minute report. It seems that when he was researching Polignacs conjecture, he found out some group structure method. I read his thesis, and it looks interesting. His report skill level is high, so it would be a pity to miss it.
That kids skill level is high. I could tell that from the oral defense, said Professor Xiang Huanan with a smile. He added, Its a pity that Lu Shenjian stole him away. Otherwise, I wouldve been the one guiding him to the award.
Dont mention it. It still pisses me off, said Professor Wang Yuping as he slapped his thigh. He said, That Lu guy is a physicist, and he stole one of our mathematicians. How dare he!
Professor Xiang Huanan smiled and said, Well, why dont you go tell Old Lu to his face?
Professor Wang Yuping smiled and said, That Never mind. Im afraid I might give him a heart attack.
Xiang Huanan smiled and shook his head as he flipped the journal page.
Suddenly, he froze.
He looked at the thesis from top to bottom again, and his face became more and more serious. When he read the last line, he paused for a long time.
After a while, Professor Xiang Huanan suddenly asked, That report What time is it? Where?
Professor Wang Yuping was sipping his tea when he casually replied, Three oclock in the afternoon, Beijing Normal University. Why? Are you going?
I have to go Xiang Huanan sighed and placed the Annual Mathematics journal on the table. He then said, Look at it yourself.