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**Translator:**Henyee Translations**Editor:**Henyee Translations

12th of September – The competition was held as scheduled!

The day before the competition, Lu Zhou and the others took the school bus and went from the new campus to the old campus. They would be living in the temporary dorms arranged by the school.

The mattresses and pillows were prepared and so, the students only had to bring their own covers. Some people did not even bring the covers. After all, the competition would only last for 72 hours. The average bedtime for each student was less than 10 hours.

For example, Lu Zhou was like this.

His task was the heaviest as he had to finish the most amount of work. He could only sleep for a bit during the second night and so, he did not even bring a change of clothes. The first thing he did when he moved into the new dorm was to lay in bed and try to sleep.

He had to force himself to fall asleep.

When Lu Zhou woke up at five in the morning, he laid in bed until seven before he went for breakfast. He met up with Wang Xiaodong and Lin Yuxiang before they all headed to the dedicated computer room that the school prepared.

According to the official registration information, there were more than 70,000 university students from 23,347 teams, across 1338 universities. There were teams from 33 provinces, autonomous regions (including Hong Kong and Macao), and the United States. Everyone clicked on the competition website at the same time and downloaded the questions.

The competition was co-sponsored by the Higher Education Department of the Ministry of Education and the China Institute of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Therefore it was rigorous and fair. Its influence was lesser than the “Challenger Cup”, but the reward was in some sense more valuable than the “Challenger Cup”.

It was half-past seven in the morning when the ten teams sat in a computer room.

Even though most people chose to use their own laptop to answer questions, they brought their laptop to the computer room. After all, wifi in the computer room and library could allow students to download theses online for free. They were expected to win this kind of competition through resources on Baidu.

When Professor Liu came, he smiled and said hello to his three students. He did not talk about the competition. Instead, he asked how they slept or how were the dorms. After that, he walked out of the computer room, drove the school bus, and went back to do his own projects.

At eight o’clock, the bell rang.

Everyone quickly logged into the official website and downloaded the questions.

The questions were divided into ABCD for four major questions. Of which, AB was for undergraduate students, while CD was for students doing a specialized degree. Every team had to choose one question. The teams were given an md5 hash from the official website and they had to upload the thesis in PDF form and pass the md5 check.

In general, as they only had half an hour to choose the question, everyone was scrambling to read the question.

However, when they saw the questions, they were dumbfounded.

“Question A is the design and control of the landing trajectory for Chang’e 3 spacecraft Question B is designing a folding table! F*ck! What the hell are these questions this year?”

“These are totally different from the training questions we did!”

“I did something similar a few days ago. It was something like designing the launch of the Shenzhou Rocket But I didn’t expect that question to come up in the competition I’m too careless!”

“For f*ck sake, didn’t you get 95 in advanced algebra? Think about something!”

“I studied advanced algebra, not rocket science!”

“Designing a table How are you supposed to do that? Aren’t there only four legs? Foldable We can try adding a spring behind the legs?”

The computer room was quite lively and it was obvious that the students were troubled by these questions as they had no idea where to begin.

However, some students were different.

For example, Luo Rundong from Lu Zhou’s class was quietly communicating with his teammates.

And Liu Rui That kid seemed to be quite reliable as he had already finished reading the questions and was already assigning work to his teammates.

Wang Xiaodong looked at the two questions and frowned.

The sky seemed to have collapsed.

The two questions were both related to physics.

The first question was related to space trajectory calculations which certainly impossible to solve with just high school physics knowledge. On the surface, the second question looked simple, but it actually was not much easier than the first question. It involved the dynamic motion analysis of the table legs, material stress analysis, and a dozen other problems. Not only would it require mathematical modeling knowledge, but it also required a certain degree of involvement in structural mechanics as well as materials science.

However

The “mathematical genius” Lu Zhou in the group was only a second-year student and he had only just started his physics class.

They had to choose the easier question.

The first question was impossible to do without physics knowledge. They could try to turn the second question into a mathematical problem by using resources online.

Wang Xiaodong looked at Lu Zhou, “Should we choose question B?”

Lu Zhou shook his head, “Choose question A.”

“Question A?” asked Wang Xiaodong. He frowned, “Are you sure?”

“I’ve already finished studying university-level physics. Even though aerospace physics seems complicated, the content only spans three chapters,” said Lu Zhou. He paused for a second before looking around and said, “Also, look at how many teams that are choosing question B.”

Since question A was so scary, it was natural that most teams selected question B. Lu Zhou had to be brave and confront the dragon!

Of course, Lu Zhou made this selection because he was confident about question A.

Wang Xiaodong nodded and naturally understood the meaning behind Lu Zhou’s last sentence.

“Okay, then you’ll have to do the modeling.”

“I got this.”

The two geniuses had reached a consensus.

Lin Yuxiang looked at her teammates and asked weakly, “Which Part can I help?”

Wang Xiaodong gave her a gentle smile. He was about to say “I’ll do everything” when Lu Zhou, who was busy writing on an A4 paper, interrupted Wang Xiaodong and said impolitely, “Bring food and water, thanks.”

Programming, thesis writing, and modeling. All these three tasks were allocated already and the only thing they needed was someone for food delivery.

Lu Zhou thought, “Don’t think it’s that easy to get a free win.” He had to make this girl do something at least.

Wang Xiaodong: “”

Lin Yuxiang did not complain. Instead, she nodded energetically, “Ok, I’ll do it!”

The advantage of one person doing both mathematical modeling and thesis writing was that it removed the problem of communication.

At the same time, as the captain, Lu Zhou could issue orders to Wang Xiaodong, who was responsible for coding.

Therefore, there would not be any disagreements between the teammates!

There were three sub-questions:

(1) Determine the position of the moon’s far side and close side landings. Also, determine the speed and location of Chang’e 3.

(2) Determine the optimal trajectory of Chang’e 3 and the optimal control of the six stages.

(3) Make corresponding error analysis and sensitivity analysis for your designed landing trajectory and control strategy.

“The next part is the summary. This part can be left until the entire thesis is written. The focus is on the question’s analysis, which involves the entire thought process of the modeling, which is the entire soul of the paper,” murmured Lu Zhou as he bit down on his pen and tapped his fingers on the keyboard. He wrote the outline of the thesis and began to define the critical soul of this paper based on his calculations.

[Question 1. In order to get the far and close side moon locations of the landing, as well as the size and direction of the corresponding velocity of Chang’e 3, we first use the Newtonian physics combined with the known conditions for calculation. The motion of the main deceleration stage of Chang’e 3 is divided into a uniform variable speed linear motion. Using MATLAB, the main deceleration phase of the iterative operation]

[Question 2. In order to ensure optimal landing trajectory of the Chang’e 3 and the optimal control of the six stages, take minimum fuel consumption as the goal. Using the parameters given by the problem, use MATLAB to identify obstacles on the digital elevation map. To achieve the identification of obstacles and location of landing points, simulate an optimal landing orbit mode”]

[To analyze the error or the landing orbit control strategy designed in part 2, we need to first list all possible variables that can cause an error]

Lu Zhou went into a state of being deep in his own thoughts. He was entirely focused on the question.

After he analyzed the question, he felt like his brain was definitely clearer. Even the entire general framework of the thesis started to form in his mind.

What was left was to translate the outline into a mathematical question

For most teams, they did the thesis after the programming and modeling, but for Lu Zhou, he could do both at the same time!

This was their team’s biggest advantage!

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