Chapter 773: Zhang Ye turns hostile!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
At Peking University.
More and more people came to congratulate him.
Old Wu's childhood friend, Xin Ya, was here.
Fellow Liu and Fellow Qi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences were also here.
Finally, even the people from the Education Bureau and the Beijing Municipal Committee were here as well. They were all out-and-out ranked officials. This clearly showed how authoritative the Abel Prize was to be able to attract so many people into coming here!
An auditorium was opened to the public and used to accommodate the people of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mathematics Association, media reporters and members of the public. It could be considered the public meeting ever held here. This was not a press conference because the Abel Foundation had only selected Zhang Ye for the award but not yet convened the award ceremony for this year. Therefore, they could not announce to the public that Zhang Ye had already received the award for the time being, and it was still too early to hold a press conference or something similar. That would have to wait until after he received the award.
"Professor Zhang." Xin Ya found him.
Zhang Ye looked at her. "Oh, it's Professor Xin."
Xin Ya simpered. "Congratulations to you."
When Zhang Ye saw her expression, he did not try to sound friendly either. "Thank you."
Noticing this, a female teacher from the Math Department standing beside them could not help but laugh. "Professors, are the two of you are still bearing a grudge against each other?"
The recent incident between Tsinghua and Peking University fighting over the recruitment of students had caused quite a stir. Zhang Ye argued with Xin Ya at Tsinghua University's main entrance and he even smashed a few of Tsinghua University's cars. Who still did not know about that incident? So when the two of them met on this occasion, many people's attentions were focused on them in concern.
Xin Ya grunted, "How would I dare to bear a grudge against an Abel Prize laureate?!"
Upon seeing this, Pan Yang smiled as he walked over to smooth things out. "Eh, Professor Xin is here too?"
"Of course I have to be here." Xin Ya gave a disdainful look and said, "This person has written out the entire conjecture proof and left all the verification process to our group of mathematicians to work on tirelessly day and night. Now that he has won an award, shouldn't we also get some credit for it? How could I not come?" The verification process of the proof to Dale's Conjecture has been ongoing all this while. Except for those mathematicians from abroad, Xin Ya was one of the main driving forces among the local mathematicians and had given much help in the verification process of Zhang Ye's proof to Dale's Conjecture.
A Peking University math teacher said, "Professor Xin definitely has some credit in this process. Professor Zhang should treat you to a meal afterwards."
"That's right." Dean Pan also smiled and said, "Get Little Zhang to treat you."
Xin Ya glanced at Zhang Ye. "Will you be treating then?"
Zhang Ye looked at her. "Sure."
"What are we going to have?" Xin Ya asked.
Zhang Ye replied, "Why don't we have some stewed meat?"
Xin Ya said, "...I've worked incredibly hard for you during the past six months and you're just going to treat me to some stewed meat that only costs a dozen yuan?"
Zhang Ye said, "A big bowl worth 20 RMB is fine too."
Xin Ya nearly fainted hearing that. "What's the difference?"
Zhang Ye said, "There's 2 more pieces of stewed meat."
Xin Ya: "...(%[email protected]^^#%^#@! ! !"
Everyone came to help smooth things over.
They thought the relationship between Zhang Ye and Xin Ya was very bad, but in fact they did not know there was still a level of relation with Wu Zeqing between them. Although the two of them snapped at each other, they bore no grudges. With Old Wu between them, they definitely wouldn't get into a real fight and just bantered instead.
At around 10 AM, the person from the Abel Foundation arrived.
This person was named Johannes. He had pale skin and a big nose and looked to be in his 30s. He was an American, but he did not fly here from America today as he was already in China. He was also one of the better mathematicians in the American mathematics field, and although he had never received any awards on the international level, his standard was still extremely high. The reason why he was in already in China was because he had been participating in the verification process for Zhang Ye's proof to Dale's Conjecture. As Zhang Ye was selected for the Abel Math Prize this time and Johannes was also one of the committee members of the Abel Foundation, this coordination work naturally fell on Johannes's shoulders. Moreover, it was said that his wife was a Chinese American, so Johannes knew how to speak Mandarin very well.
"Hi, Johannes," Xin Ya greeted him.
Johannes nodded in acknowledgment. "How are you, Xin?"
Xin Ya said with a look of surprise, "I did not expect that you would be here."
Johannes smiled and said, "My research lab is located at the Abel Foundation. I'm also one of the administrators there responsible for matters on academics."
Although they had both worked together on the verification process, they were not familiar with each other as they did not communicate much.
Finally, Zhang Ye met Johannes. They went to a quiet spot by themselves, probably because they had some matters to settle and did not want others to disturb them.
"Hello, Zhang." Johannes looked at him.
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "Hello. How should I address you?"
"I'm Johannes." Then Johannes proceeded to say, "First, there's something I need to say before anything else. I was part of the selection process for this year's Abel Prize and I have also participated in the verification process of your proposed proof to Dale's Conjecture, but all of us know that the verification is not complete yet and that there's still a lot of validating work to do. Therefore no one can claim that you have solved Dale's Conjecture for now. At the very least, we will have to wait until the final step of the validation work is completed and reexamined before submitting it to the International Mathematical Union for approval before it can be confirmed. In the current global field of mathematics, Dale's Conjecture is still not considered as solved yet, so I would like you to know that this is an exceptional case for the Abel Foundation to award the Abel Prize to you this time. It was a rather forced nomination for you to get the award and there's even a chance that it will be withdrawn if any errors are found in the verification process making the proof invalid. The Abel Foundation is also taking a risk here, and well, Zhang, please forgive me for putting it so bluntly but this is how it is."
Initially, Zhang Ye was still smiling nicely. When he heard that his wife was a Chinese American, he had quite a good impression of him. But in the end, when he heard those words from him, Zhang Ye's expression became indifferent and he gave him a sidelong glance. "Oh. Then why did you all still select me for the award?"
Johannes explained, "In recent years, there haven't been too many people with outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics. Because of how famous Dale's Conjecture is, the proof that you came up with has naturally gained the attention of the world's mathematicians. Because of this recognition, an exception was made by the Abel Foundation to select you for the Abel Prize. Otherwise, based on your age and experience, it would be impossible for them to hand out this award to a person in his twenties, especially when said person is a Chinese citizen."
Zhang Ye gave a dry laugh and said, "Do you have a problem with China?"
Johannes shook his head. "No, I don't. What I meant was that the Chinese mathematics field's contributions to the international mathematics scene have never been much. Besides, my wife is also Chinese, so I'm not prejudiced against China at all."
"Regrettably, she's an American citizen." Sometimes, good and bad impressions could change very quickly. Zhang Ye then smiled and said, "When a Chinese person gets American citizenship, I don't consider them a Chinese citizen anymore."
Johannes replied, "I don't have other meaning by saying all this. I was just conveying a fact to you and did not want you to misunderstand that the barrier to entry for our Abel Prize is very low."
Zhang Ye retaliated, "Which one of your ears heard me say that the barrier to entry to the Abel Prize is low? Right from the beginning, you were the one who kept mumbling to yourself, imagining that I thought that your award's barrier entry was low, imagining that I was thinking about this and that. Why are you being so ridiculous, bro?"
He spoke those words rather quickly and they even carried a Beijing accent. Johannes did not fully understand him, but did not bother to take it up with him either. He got straight to the point and explained the various things he needed to take note of during the award ceremony.
First, he had to speak in English when he was receiving the award.
Second, he had to give a general overview of the proposed proof to Dale's Conjecture before receiving the award. There was no need to illustrate the entire process, just an introduction of some of the more important points in the process to the mathematics field's guests who were there.
To put it bluntly, other than this unverified proof to Dale's Conjecture, Zhang Ye had no other contributions to the field of mathematics. In the addition to that, he was also too young. As a 40-year-old veteran mathematician, Johannes was on the committee for the Abel Prize. This time, he represented the Abel Foundation to inform Zhang Ye of his nomination for the award, so he would naturally throw his weight around, thinking that it was rather appropriate to warn a junior like Zhang Ye. In fact, if there were other, better alternatives or suitable candidates, they would not have chosen such a young, Chinese person like Zhang Ye as one of the three recipients for this year's Abel Prizes. If Dale's Conjecture were confirmed to have been proven and acknowledged internationally, then the situation would have been different, but that was not the case at this moment.
As a committee member, why wouldn't they be allowed to give advice to a laureate in private?
Unfortunately, Zhang Ye did not take that lying down. Regarding this so-called Abel Prize, he did not even have the slightest respect for it. To put it bluntly, it was not even the most prestigious award in the global mathematics field. There are other international math awards more prestigious than yours, who do you think you are?! To Zhang Ye, what he needed was only the popularity from receiving the Abel Prize. Since he had never seen himself as an academic, why would he have any respect for an academic award organized by foreigners? It's bullshit! As a committee member, you think you can insult me? I still have to listen to what you're saying? You even thought that you had something on me? Whoa! Why are you so funny?! Who do you think you are? You came up to me and tried to show off, acting like a know-it-all?
Johannes was just touching on the things he needed to take note of for the award ceremony when Zhang Ye interrupted, "Are you done talking?"
Johannes was stunned. "I'm still talking!"
"I only hear you talking, so let me say something too." Zhang Ye stared at him and stated, "I did not beg for you all to give me the award, so don't think that you are doing me a big favor. No one is forcing you. If you people are willing to give me the award, then do it. If you're not willing, then forget it!" Saying that, this fellow turned around and walked away without even looking back.
He left Johannes flabbergasted and furious after that!
What sort of person is he?!
How could he talk like that to me?
Everyone still did not know what happened inside.
Seeing that Zhang Ye came out, Pan Yang smiled and said, "You've finished talking with him?"
Zhang Ye just smiled and replied, "Yes."
Dean Pan said, "It's almost noon, but don't go yet. Let's have-"
"No offense," Zhang Ye spoke quickly, "But I have something with my family and already promised them that I would be back for lunch. We can arrange to meet up again on another day and I will treat everyone. Sorry, but I really can't make it today."
Dean Pan understood. "Your family will definitely want to celebrate with you. Alright, some other day then."