Chapter 513: You must have calculated that with a calculator?
On a platform on the hill.
The pine trees leafing out in green were showered with the rays of the gradually rising sun.
Upon reaching the grounds where the annual International Math Olympiad was held, the venue this year took up a large area of the park. In the inner area, where the competition was being held, there were barricade tapes put up labeled with the word 'restricted'. The park visitors, who were on the outside, could not see how the contestants were doing inside as they were blockaded far away from the inner area, but it wasn't quiet on the outside either. Being a global competition and with the Chinese as the hot favorites this year, there was naturally a lot of emphasis, otherwise they would not have picked Summer Palace Park as the grounds for competition. There were many local and foreign park visitors, as well as the relatives, friends and teachers of the competitors present at the venue. There were also quite a number of media staff present today. There were also many math related games and activities being held around the competition area.
Topic boards were placed along in front of the greenery, some hanging from the pine trees and and some from the artificial rockery. Many of the more difficult questions would award a prize if it were solved and were mainly meant for the visitors to take part in.
Like Nine Squares.
Like Speed Calculations, etc, etc, etc.
Upon noticing that there were reporters around, Zhang Ye and Old Wu, who had just reached the hillside, naturally parted their arms. It was definitely better to keep a low profile.
A female park visitor said, "Oh, it's so lively here today?"
"Mom, I want to play some math games too!" A little kid said.
An old man, who came to watch the competition, said, "The Americans were the champion for the previous term, right? I wonder how our Chinese kids will do this time around."
A youth said, "The championship will definitely be ours this year!"
A lot of foreign visitors were discussing fervently as well, but he could not understand what they were talking about.
As it was too crowded over there, Zhang Ye and Old Wu did not head into that area. They just stood around the perimeter where the pine trees and bamboo forest crossed paths. Wu Zeqing then sent a message to Xin Ya.
Not long after, Wu Zeqing said, "She's coming."
Zhang Ye looked around and asked, "Which one?"
Wu Zeqing stuck out her chin towards a general direction, "That one wearing black framed glasses."
Just as she finished speaking, Xin Ya, who had just managed to squeeze past the crowd, spotted her too. She was smiling as she waved, "Old Wu."
She wasn't tall and her looks were pretty normal. Her hair was a little sparse, perhaps as a result a clever mind. In any case, she could not be considered as pretty though her demeanor was quite good. Her eyes were also glittering with a sense of wisdom and she didn't seem like the kind of mathematician that Zhang Ye imagined she would be.
Wu Zeqing had already started talking to her even though she was still quite a distance away. "Why have you not gone in yet?"
"The leader is with them right now and there's also Little Han from your Peking University's Mathematics department. I had to come out because the air is too suffocating in there." Xin Ya laughed heartily.
Wu Zeqing said, "Little Han?"
"I'm talking about Han Henian, the one that sent you the love confession on Weibo this morning." Xin Ya said, "He's one of teachers selected for the Chinese team this time and is here as an observer."
Old Wu was previously a vice president of Peking University while Han Henian was a teacher in the Mathematics department. Although he had shown some good results over the past few years and was a rising star in the Mathematics world, he did not have much in common with Old Wu. They were also not quite on the same level, so Wu Zeqing did not seem too familiar with him. Even if they met in the past, they still did not know each other, but Zhang Ye had already burned this name into his mind. He would definitely not forget each and every love rival's name. He even tried to use an acrostic poem to woo my Old Wu? Pfft, how immoral! Zhang Ye was naturally full of malice towards these love rivals. He was totally biased against this person and not the issue!
After squeezing through the crowds, they finally managed to get closer to each other.
Xin Ya stopped in her step, as her extremely curious vision set itself onto Zhang Ye's figure, "Oh, aren't you a little too overdressed? I can't even see your face."
"Professor Xin, hello." Zhang Ye's eyelids jumped a little with his hand stretched out.
"Why, hello to you too. You're kinda young?" Xin Ya shook hands with him before turning sideways and sniggered, "Come clean, what's up with the 2 of you? When did it start?"
Wu Zeqing smiled, "Make a guess yourself."
"How old is he even?" Xin Ya asked curiously.
Wu Zeqing replied, "Twenty something."
Xin Ya said, "That young? Sis Wu, are you robbing the cradle?"
Wu Zeqing laughed, "You've always been this way. Nothing good ever comes out of your mouth."
Xin Ya went on, "I'm really curious about how you've suddenly brought one of these out of nowhere after being single for so many years. I thought you'd just grow old and die alone, so I'm still getting used to this. He won't even show his face, at least let me see what he looks like." As she said that, she took another glance at Zhang Ye's face.
"There's too many people around and even reporters. It's not convenient." Wu Zeqing smiled and said, "When there's no one around, then he'll show you."
Xin Ya wondered, "So what if there's a lot of people around? It's not as if you're some big time celebrity. Who would care about you? As if a single middle-aged woman like you would be afraid of some scandal?"
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes thinking, who was she to make such a comment? Middle aged woman?
Wu Zeqing shook her head and laughed, "You're only about a year younger than me, how could you say that about me? Hur hur, your mouth has always been harsh since we were young." She looked back to Zhang Ye and said, "You two should have a face-off one of these days since the both of you can speak so well." And she turned back to face Xin Ya, "But I doubt that mouth of yours would be able to fend off Little Zhang."
Zhang Ye did not say anything and kept quiet.
But Xin Ya was amused, "What do you mean by that? Someone dares to challenge me to an argument? I might be in the field of Mathematics, but I've never ever lost an argument before. Looking at your friend, he seems rather introverted. I can't see how he can argue with me." She was rather headstrong too and did not seem convinced by Wu Zeqing's claims.
Zhang Ye laughed a little and threw his hands back, "Old Wu's praising me too much."
When it comes to arguing? How could Zhang Ye possibly lose to her? Because that mouth of his was what earned him his keep! He was an expert and a professional at such things. If this had been in the past, in any other situation and against anyone other than her, Zhang Ye would surely have started a dispute with them, but today, he was being very humble and low key.
Zhang Ye was being extremely gentlemanly today, acting with grace and self-restraint. He knew very well that since he was young, he had never behaved as decently as he was now. Right now, he was left with no choice as Old Wu was standing beside him. Even if he wanted to, Zhang Ye just couldn't be his usual cocky self because he had wanted to put up his best behavior for her. For him to have so much self control, he felt that this must have been the power of true love. He had never met anyone like this since he was born, and was even disobedient to his parents, but Old Wu was able to make him want to put on his best behavior. It was just like when Sun Wukong met Buddha, or when a layman met an expert. Old Wu was like a gentle sea which Zhang Ye had fallen into and no matter how hard he swam, he just could not get out of it.
Xin Ya asked, "What do you do?"
Wu Zeqing answered on his behalf, "A teacher at my school."
"Oh, from Peking University too?" Xin Ya was getting even more curious, "Which major?"
It was Zhang Ye who answered this time, "I teach in the Chinese department."
Xin Ya laughed, "Our professions are natural jinxes to each other."
The Mathematics and Chinese departments, were indeed like the Southern Sky and Northern Sea. They were worlds apart.
After exchanging a few lines, Xin Ya suddenly discovered something and stared curiously at the Yangzhi White Jade bracelet on Zhang Ye's wrist, "Huh? Old Wu, my Sis Wu, you've even given away that bracelet that your dad left for you more than 10 years ago? Aiyo, you're really serious about it this time, aren't you?"
Wu Zeqing said annoyingly, "Don't say it out so loudly, you're being an announcer now?"
"That's because I'm so surprised, that's why." Xin Ya said sourly, "When I told you that I liked that bracelet while we were still at university, you did not give it to me no matter how much I begged. When I asked you to lend it to me for a couple of days, you even kept nagging at me to take good care of it, but look at where it is now, you've given it away just like that?"
Wu Zeqing hugged her coat tighter and laughed a little, "It's just a simple accessory, but don't you go around telling anyone about it. Keep it a secret, alright?"
"Alright, alright. Do you think I'm stupid?" Xin Ya continued to ask, "So what did he give you as a token of his love? Quickly show it to me."
Wu Zeqing was about to say something.
But Zhang Ye knew that Old Wu would try to speak up for him and explain the situation. He did not feel that this was necessary and thus honestly, while embarrassingly, said, "I've not had the chance to gift her something yet. I'm still thinking about it, do you have any suggestions?"
Xin Ya laughed and said, "Sis Wu likes things like jade or similar stuff like it. All women like stuff like that."
Wu Zeqing laughed while shaking her head, "I don't like things like that anymore."
Xin Ya glanced at her with despise, "Don't act like you don't."
Zhang Ye could understand that Old Wu must've have known that he did not have any money left and so denied that suggestion on purpose. She was probably afraid of causing him to feel too much pressure, otherwise why would she have suggested that she just wanted a little craft art as a gift when he asked her? Old Wu was an especially caring woman deep down and this was exactly the reason why Zhang Ye liked her so much. A famous calligraphy or a painting piece? Indeed, Old Wu liked those things very much, but those were not suitable as love tokens. Xin Ya's suggestion had given Zhang Ye an idea. Jade? Hmm, jade? Or diamonds maybe? Yes, he definitely had to get something along these lines for Old Wu. She had already given him her treasured Yangzhi White Jade bracelet, so if Zhang Ye did not give her something important to match the favor, it would not feel right!
The three of them started chatting.
At first, Zhang Ye and Xin Ya were still a little unfamiliar with each other, so they did not talk much. But very quickly, they opened up and then after that, there were others who joined them as well.
A woman walked up to them, "Hey, aren't you President Wu?"
Wu Zeqing took off her sunglasses, "Director Chen?"
Xin Ya clearly knew her as well, "Director Chen is here too?"
"Professor Xin, aren't you the deputy leader for your team? What are you doing out here?" said someone from the Mathematics Association who had just walked over, "Isn't the competition almost done?"
Xin Ya looked at her watch, "It should be done anytime soon."
That middle-aged man from the Mathematics Association said, "President Wu is here to support our participants today too?"
Wu Zeqing laughed, "I was just here by coincidence."
A thirty-something year old mathematician, wearing sunglasses, sporting a crew-cut and rigid looking man followed along behind. He did not even look at a beauty like Wu Zeqing and started speaking to Xin Ya, "Professor Xin, I was helping a group of students with a question about function simplification which I would like to discuss about with you. I'd like to seek your advice later."
Xin Ya smiled and said, "Sure, let's do that once the competition is over."
As they chatted, the group formed into a circle and they continued to chat away.
In this group were some of the elites of the mathematics and education world. Wu Zeqing probably did not know most of them, but it was clear that most of them knew who Wu Zeqing was. A common person might not know this famous person of the education world, the Vice President of the top educational institution of the country, but those who belonged to this circle definitely knew of her identity.
Suddenly, a few people from the media took notice of Wu Zeqing, who had taken off her sunglasses. As the Vice President of Peking University, her status at this sort of international competition was definitely one of the highest. Naturally, an interview with her would be a worthy one, therefore a few of those reporters from the television station and newspapers came over to this side as well.
"I am with Jinshi Newspaper."
"I am from the Beijing Times, will you accept our interview?"
Being amongst a group of people chatting about Higher Mathematics and with the reporters interrupting as well, Zhang Ye felt a little out of place. He did not have much that he could chat about with them, nor was he interested, so he walked away quietly and just went wandering elsewhere.
Wu Zeqing, who was being interviewed noticed Zhang Ye, but continued to diplomatically chat with the reporters, "Regarding these eager young mathematicians, we must....."
A mathematician, who had noticed Zhang Ye standing beside Wu Zeqing earlier asked Xin Ya, "Whose student was that?"
Xin Ya didn't say much, but answered, "He's a teacher too. We just met and were chatting."
That person curiously said, "I've not seen him around before?"
"He's a teacher from the Chinese department." Xin Ya added.
That person said, "Oh, I was wondering why I didn't know him."
Thereafter, no one paid any more attention to Zhang Ye or thought that he had come together to Summer Palace Park with Wu Zeqing.
About 50 meters away.
Zhang Ye had strolled to the quiz booth area where he observed some of the park visitors gathering around, trying to solve some math problems. Suddenly, he felt that it looked quite fun as well.
"Ah, I got it right."
"Little kid, you're smart."
"Is there a present?"
"Yes, here's a teddy bear for you."
Beside each quiz board stood a male or female youth. They were likely university students majoring in higher mathematics and were serving as volunteers for this event.
Zhang Ye had a look at each of the quiz boards as he walked on. Finally, he spotted a question that was more difficult and had a cellphone as the prize for giving the correct answer. The cellphone brand was unheard of by Zhang Ye, but looked to be one of the better brands in this world. Zhang Ye had been considering upgrading his cellphone for sometime now, but did not as he was cash strapped in recent times. He decided to give the question a shot and walked up towards the quiz board.
Behind him, Xin Ya was approaching, "Hur hur, what's your honorable name?"
Zhang Ye turned around and said, "Lose the honorific, my name is Zhang Ye."
Xin Ya noticed the quiz board that Zhang Ye had been looking at just now, "What's the matter? You interested in math too?"
"So-so, I guess." Zhang Ye replied.
Xin Ya said, "This question is not simple at all."
It was a mental rapid calculation problem. 43821 multiplied by 81257.
To a normal person, this problem might seem very difficult and they would probably need a calculator to get the answer, but to a mathematics expert, it could be considered easy. There was still a way to break it down into an easily calculable way using a formula, but for a five figure and difficult to break down number to be multiplied quickly and mentally, even a skilled mathematician would need some time to solve it. They might even have to resort to using pen and paper.
The objective of this question was mental calculation with a time limit of 30 seconds.
Zhang Ye stood in front of the quiz board and looked at it for a few seconds. Then he asked the female university student volunteer standing beside it, "Do you have a marker pen?"
"Here." The volunteer handed him a marker pen.
Zhang Ye raised his hand up and wrote, "3560762997."
The volunteer was stunned.
Behind him, Xin Ya was also slightly taken aback.
Zhang Ye asked, "Is this correct?"
"Oh, yes it is correct." The volunteered nodded.
Zhang Ye coughed and put his hand out, "Then does that cellphone belong to me now?"
The volunteer shook her head, "No, it doesn't count if you used a calculator. You have to solve it using mental calculation."
Zhang Ye nearly fainted, "But that's what I did."
The volunteer shook her head, unconvinced, "You only looked it at for a few seconds. Unless you're a top mathematician or a mental calculation expert, you would not be able to answer this so easily. You must've calculated it using the calculator on your cellphone when you were standing at a distance just now. Then you memorized the answer and walked over to 'attempt' the question. This will not count at all."
Zhang Ye nearly fainted again, "But I really calculated it mentally over here."
Seeing this, Xin Ya was tickled. If she were to try to answer this question unprepared, she would not be able to do it faster than Zhang Ye. In fact, she would take a much longer time than he did. After all, her main major was not in the field of mental calculation. This was the reason why she knew that Zhang Ye had depended on the calculator application in his cellphone to solve it from afar before coming over. She attempted to resolve the situation by saying, "Alright, Teacher Zhang, you're a teacher of the Chinese department, a teacher of the citizens, stop teasing the young girl already."
Who or why am I even teasing anyone for! I am being serious here! Damn, this bro wasn't even given the chance to explain!
Meanwhile, Wu Zeqing, who was done with the interview, had come over as well.
Some other Mathematics world's professors and teachers also came over when they saw the situation going on here.
"What's the matter?" someone from the Mathematics Association asked.
"Oh, someone managed to answer this question? I was just thinking of giving it a try myself." A young mathematician asked curiously, "So who answered it? How long did it take?"
The volunteer pointed to Zhang Ye and cried out, "This gentleman only used a couple of seconds to answer, so I did not give out the prize as I believe that he had used a calculator to get the answer." There were a total three cellphones to be given out to the first three people who could answer it. It was just those few sets, so of course she had to be fair and scrutinize each winner's claim to it.
The group of mathematicians looked at Zhang Ye.
That young mathematician said, "Oh, a few seconds? I couldn't even solve this in a few seconds since this kind of larger number is harder to analyze and breakdown, there's considerably many more calculations needed."
These quiz questions were actually conceived by the organizers from the Mathematics world. The level of difficulty for every question was known to them and the prizes allocated were also based on the difficulty of the questions asked. The mathematics experts present all knew that this particular question was not one that could be solved in a matter of a few seconds.
Around them, many park visitors heard the commotion and had squeezed together at the scene, looking at Comrade Little Zhang with contempt.
Such a disgrace to our citizens!
This was an international competition and there were so many mathematicians from all over the world present today, yet this person dared to try to claim a prize by using a calculator to solve a quiz question? Just how shameless can he get?!
A mother covered her child's eyes and said, "Don't look and don't learn from such a person in the future."
The little girl nodded earnestly and said, "I understand, Mom."
Zhang Ye, "..."
Xin Ya laughed diligently and helped Zhang Ye rescue the situation. After all, he was her childhood friend's alleged boyfriend. She said, "Teacher Zhang was just joking around, right?"
Zhang Ye, "............."
Zhang Ye was at a loss of whether to laugh or cry. I'm joking? Your sister, I'm joking!
Of course, Zhang Ye had calculated this question himself. He had factorized it several times, obtaining two equations. He had then mentally derived a few summation series before finally solving the question. Back then, this fellow had eaten more than a hundred books of Higher Mathematics Skill Experience Books. Now, he had used his 'new' abilities to answer this question, but because he had solved it too quickly, he was accused to be bragging by this bunch of people?
Me, cheat? Your sister!
There goes my new cellphone!!
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