Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
The so-called fellowship was different from scholarships. Not only did it covered accommodation fees and tuition fees, but it also gave students a certain amount of living expenses for personal consumption.
As such, the competition for a fellowship was fierce. In addition to requiring higher academic grades, foreign applicants were also required to provide a domestic school transcript, recommendation letter, and a personal essay.
The prize amount varied amongst different schools and different people. The payment method would even be divided into yearly, monthly, or quarterly payments.
Princetons fellowship prize was one of the most difficult prizes to apply to. Especially for a PhD position. However, for a winner of the Cole Prize in Number Theory, it was not a problem.
After all, Lu Zhou himself was qualified enough to write recommendation letters for other people. Not to mention, his mentor was Professor Deligne.
Lu Zhous bursary included tuition fees, medical insurance, and a one-time payment of $40,000 USD.
When Lu Zhou set up his bank account, he had cashed the Cole Prize check and Princeton scholarship check. As he looked at the string of numbers in his bank account, he could not help but think.
Everyone else pays an insane amount to study overseas while I earn money for studying overseas.
This feeling is quite special.
After completing his bank errands, Lu Zhou gradually got used to life at Princeton.
For undergraduate students, the academic pressure was high. But for PhD student, it was a lot more relaxed. Especially if the supervisor did not urge you.
Although Professor Deligne arranged teaching tasks for Lu Zhou, Lu Zhous first class was in April which was still a month away. Lu Zhou even found the time to get his drivers license.
Other than studying Goldbachs conjecture, his mission was mainly to studying algebraic geometry.
What made Lu Zhou so ecstatic was that Deligne had the original drafts of Grothendiecks work: Esquisse dun Programme. These works were translated into English by a French student.
Many of Grothendiecks Esquisse dun Programme were still not fully understood until this day.
Lu Zhou had never been to France to seek out Grothendiecks work on modern algebraic geometry. First of all, he did not understand French. Second, he had not studied Grothendiecks work in depth.
The English translation of Esquisse dun Programme was a huge help to Lu Zhou. Coupled with personal guidance from Professor Deligne, it made things much easier to understand.
Sure enough, a good supervisor could save a lot of time.
Other than studying algebraic geometry under Professor Delignes guidance, Lu Zhou spent all of his free time on Goldbachs conjecture.
There was one time where he was suddenly inspired and he did not leave his room for days. He locked himself in his tiny bedroom and started to think about how to invent the perfect theoretical framework as well as how to reinvent Group Structure Method to solve Goldbachs conjecture.
As a result, he even missed a class that he was supposed to teach at.
Due to this, Professor Deligne called him and asked him what was going on.
However, after Professor Deligne learned that Lu Zhou was not playing around in NYC or Philadelphia, and was researching Goldbachs conjecture instead, he did not say anything about Lu Zhous absence.
Researching mathematics needs hard work, but that doesnt mean you should close yourself off. If you feel like your research has reached a bottleneck, I recommend you take a short break. Go play some football or watch a movie You need to actively find inspiration instead of waiting for inspiration to find you.
Lu Zhou, Ill take your advice into consideration Also, can I take a vacation?
Deligne, How long?
Lu Zhou said, Two weeks.
Deligne, Theres no need to ask me. You can manage your own time. If after a year you still havent made any progress, Ill assign you another task to work on. You only have a few golden years of mathematics research, so theres no need to waste more than one year on just one question.
After that, the old professor hung up.
Lu Zhou put down the phone and smiled as he twisted the pen in his hand.
I only have one year?
Although Professor Deligne did not say it out loud, he did not think that Lu Zhou could complete this task.
However, this also meant that the professor cared about Lu Zhou. If it was anyone else, Lu Zhou could go become an actor instead and the professor would not give a sh*t.
I cant waste any more time, said Lu Zhou as he shook his head. He picked up the pen that he dropped and started to write calculations on the draft paper.
Although he said that he could not waste any more time, wasting time was a habit of his.
However, Lu Zhou did not think that there was anything wrong with his habit.
In the world of mathematics, there were multiple types of mathematicians. Some were like Chen Jingrun who was so introverted he would not accept any prizes, or like Kolmogorov, who loved boxing and the outdoors.
Lu Zhou felt that he was not an introverted researcher as he would listen to lectures when he had to. However, most of the time, he preferred to be a lone researcher.
A few days passed by.
It was a bright Saturday morning with blue skies.
Lu Zhou did not know how he fell asleep on his desk. He woke up and stretched his stiff body.
Maybe I should hire a maid
I wonder how the robotic maids in Silicon Valley are.
Lu Zhou could theoretically give Xiao Ai a robot body. Maybe then his artificial retardation could finally be useful.
Like, take out the trash or something.
He did not have high hopes for more complicated tasks.
Lu Zhou rubbed his head and looked at the dozens of draft papers spread across the table. He picked out a few, crumpled them into balls, and threw them in the trash.
He felt a bit hungry, so he got up and walked to the kitchen.
He took out some bacon slices and vegetables from the fridge. After poaching the bacon, he took out two pieces of bread and placed them in the toaster.
Unfortunately, cooking was uncommon in America. Occasionally, they would have a barbecue party outdoors. Since Lu Zhous small kitchen did not have a stove, he could not put his cooking skills to use.
Lu Zhou asked the apartment manager if he could install a stove but he was given a strange look and was refused.
However, it made sense. His apartment building was more than 90 years old. There had been many famous scholars that lived there. Even Einsteins house was nearby.
If he accidentally caused a fire, it would be a great loss.
Lu Zhou understood the apartment managers decision.
Anyway, he mainly ate at the food club. He would only cook breakfast at home.
After he finished eating, Lu Zhou poured himself a cup of coffee. He stood next to the refrigerator and stared at the ticking clock while he sorted out his mind.
Suddenly, Luo Wenxuan called him.
Hey, didnt you say that were looking for cars today? Im at the school gate, when do you want to leave? Dont tell me youre still in bed?
Lu Zhou realized that he locked himself in his room for too long.