Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
Morning of July 31st, 2018.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mathematicians from all over the world gathered here for the International Congress of Mathematicians.
Although the official opening ceremony of the conference was tomorrow, the parking lot outside the Barra da Tijuca Hotel was already crowded.
There was only one reason.
The upcoming report on the NavierStokes equation would be held in the main conference hall. Professor Lu Zhou from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study would report on his latest research progress.
For many people, this report was more significant than tomorrows opening ceremony.
It wasnt only because of the million dollars reward.
But because it was the beginning of a new era
Although the organizers of the conference provided rooms for all of the invited scholars as well as some of the scholars that applied, the rooms were limited and not everyone had accommodation.
Most of the attendees, who came here, came at their own expense, and they would stay at a nearby hotel or motel.
Some of these people were university professors or researchers from research institutes, some were PhD students coming with their supervisors, and some were tourists that wanted to see the academic vibe.
Many universities with highly ranked mathematics programs often organized group participation activities. They might choose some strong genius students from their school who would attend the conference with their professors.
After all, this conference only happened once every four years. Even if they couldnt understand anything in the conference, they could still broaden their views of the world which could pave their future academic career path.
A tourist bus stopped at the entrance of the hotel.
Several young Chinese students followed their professors lead and walked off the bus. They then gathered in front of the hotel entrance.
These students were from Yan University, and they were all considered genius students.
The professor who led the team was even more impressive.
He was considered a leader among young Chinese scholars. Professor Xu Chenyang was a millennial and an expert in the field of algebraic geometry; he also won the Ramanujan gold award in 2016.
There were five Chinese scholars that were invited to do a 45-minute report at the International Congress of Mathematicians.
And Professor Xu was one of them.
This time, Xu Chenyang and another professor were asked by the head of the mathematics department at Yan University to take these students on a trip.
Coincidentally, since this world-famous conference was just around the corner, Xu Chengyang didnt plan on missing the conference, and therefore, he brought his students along. Even though they might not be able to enter the lecture hall, but Xu Chengyang said it would be interesting just to watch from the outside.
A boy with glasses looked at the people coming in and out of the hotel lobby. He then looked at Professor Xu and asked, Professor, have you read Professor Lus thesis?
Xu Chenyang nodded and said, Ive read a bit, but Im in the field of algebraic geometry, and I dont know much about partial differential equations.
Another girl asked, Do you think he will succeed?
I dont know, Xu Chenyang replied honestly as he shook his head. He then said, There is no universal conclusion on Professor Lus thesis. He used a very novel approach and new things are often controversial.
The guy with glasses asked, Is it even more novel than abstract proof?
Xu Chenyang raised his eyebrows and looked at his student before he asked, You know about abstract proof?
The guy in glasses smiled and scratched his head as he replied, I read some documents in my spare time.
Youre pretty impressive. Partial differential equations is a promising field, and it has a high potential, both in applied and pure mathematics, Professor Xu said with a smile. He was about to explain the difference to his students when he heard a familiar voice.
Xu Chenyang, how are you?
Xu Chenyang looked toward where the voice came from. When he saw the owner of the voice, his eyes lit up, and he reached out his right hand.
Brother Zhang, long time no see!
The student in glasses instantly recognized Professor Xus friend.
The other students heard this name and looked at the man in awe.
Yan University only had one God WeiZhang Wei!
Everyone who came from Yan University knew about Zhang Wei.
29-year-old Ramanujan gold award winner, 34-year-old Columbia University tenured professor, 35-year-old Morningside Medal of Mathematics He and God Yun were the idols of Yan University.
Zhang Wei smiled friendly and looked at Brother Zhang.
Why are you here so early? It doesnt start for another two hours.
Xu Chenyang smiled and said, Arent you the same?
Just like Xu Chenyang, Zhang Wei also had a 45-minute report at the conference.
They brought these students into the conference hall and agreed on a time and place to meet up later. The professors then walked into the main lecture hall together.
Along the way, the two didnt actually talk about the Navier Stokes equation. Instead, they talked about tomorrows opening ceremony, and tomorrows main eventthe Fields Medal.
Xu Chenyang said, Is there any hope this year?
Zhang Wei sighed and said, There are too many nutty people, its difficult.
The youngest rank W3 German professor and the youngest Princeton professor; these two were no doubt the strongest contenders.
Everyone else was no match for them.
The other contenders were no ordinary people either. If last years Fields Medal contenders were uncommon people, then this years contenders were people that were uncommon among uncommon people.
Zhang Wei looked a little depressed, and Xu Chenyang didnt know what to say. He tried to comfort him and said, Youre God Wei, how can you not be confident?
Zhang Wei stood in front of the lecture hall entrance, and as he stared at the crowd, he smiled and shook his head.
Lets drop that name
Who here isnt considered a god?
At exactly 8 a.m
The venue was so fully packed that even the aisles were crowded.
Although there was still an hour until the report officially began, the venue was already completely full.
In addition to the scholars that were participating in the conference, there was also a row of cameras attached to the walls of the venue.
There had been many people that tried to challenge the NavierStokes equation, but very few had succeeded.
If this challenger succeeded, then these cameras would capture this historic moment. The media would never miss a moment like this; several famous museums even brought their own cameras.
Vera sat in the back row of the lecture hall. As she looked at the stage, she took a deep breath in order to slow down her heart rate.
Although her report was in two days, she was more nervous than ever.
You got this.
Vera tightly squeezed her hand as she prayed for Lu Zhou in her heart.
Suddenly, an old man came over and sat next to her.
Youre worried about him?
Vera looked at this old man in surprise.
Her supervisors supervisor
She met this old man a few times at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.
Her impression of him was that he was the type that rarely laughed and barely spoke to people.
Deligne looked at the lecture stage as he said, Theres nothing to worry about. After all, hes my favorite student.
A condescending voice came from the side.
Are you not embarrassed to say this? You only taught him for a few months.
Deligne could tell from the arrogant voice which friend it was.
He smirked and looked at the man.
Youre here as well?
What a strange question, how could I not come? Faltings sat next to Deligne and said, If someone is bullsh*tting on stage, someone has to point it out.
Vera looked at him with dissatisfaction.
However, she was too small and weak, and no one noticed her.
Deligne only smiled lightly.
Im afraid youll be disappointed.
Faltings raised his eyebrows. Youre that confident?
Deligne: Do you want to bet?
Faltings stared at his old friend for a while and didnt respond. He then looked at the stage and said, Its about to begin.