Chapter 551: The country's sixth world-class mathematician!
"Yes, it looks like Zhang Ye!"
"It's him! Snap! Quickly go over!"
Zhang Ye was surrounded by four or five media reporters in the allée beside the artificial lake. They were originally here for the Sino-Japanese University Exchange due to be held in the afternoon and had coincidentally bumped into Zhang Ye, the most discussed person of the moment. Naturally, they wouldn't miss the chance to interview him and had him surrounded almost immediately.
One of the female reporters quickly switched on her recording pen and pushed it towards Zhang Ye's face. "Teacher Zhang, we have just gotten news that not only will you be teaching your Chinese elective classes this semester, but you will also be teaching in the Math Department as well? You've even been promoted to the position of Associate Professor in the Math Department? Is that true?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "I think so."
The female reporter smiled dryly. "Think so? Are you sure?"
"It should be." Zhang Ye continued being vague with his answers.
"Well, then congratulations in advance," the female reporter said.
Beside her, a male reporter from Youth Daily asked, "Teacher Zhang, no, I should call you Professor Zhang instead. If I have not remember wrongly, you're only 24 years old this year. Having preliminarily proven Dale's Conjecture recently and brought glory to our nation, and becoming the country's youngest professor as of today, I wonder if you have any thoughts about all of these? In the welcoming ceremony to be held later, will you be giving a speech?"
Zhang Ye did not joke around this time as he was considered to be an associate professor after all. He was even on campus. And different situations called for different responses. "I just want to show my gratitude. This glory is not mine alone, it's because of everyone's support for me. As for the ceremony later, I might be giving a speech, yes."
Another middle-aged reporter immediately asked, "What would it be about?"
"About math." Zhang Ye continued answering them for a few more questions after that before he excused himself.
Several other reporters were still chasing him, continuing to throw several questions out at him as he left. But Zhang Ye still had other matters to attend to at the Math Department since he had just been appointed as a teacher of the department. He wanted to familiarize himself a little. On top of that, the validation team for the proof to Dale's Conjecture had also arrived and it included Xin Ya and several other mathematicians from around the world. Zhang Ye could not just totally ignore this matter since he was the one who had proven the conjecture. Furthermore, he had instructions from Dean Pan Yang to represent the Math Department in the afternoon's welcoming ceremony by giving a speech, so he had to do some preparations.
Around 9 PM.
In the teachers' office of the Math Department.
When he arrived, Zhang Ye immediately noticed some familiar faces.
Wu Zeqing's childhood friend, Xin Ya, who was chatting with a foreigner, immediately turned around and smiled at Zhang Ye. "Yo, isn't this Teacher Zhang?"
Zhang Ye waved to her from where he was. "Hey, Professor Xin."
Xin Ya smirked and said, "I heard you've been doing well recently."
"Hai, how could I be doing well. I've been so busy lately that I don't even have time to go help out with the verification process of the proof to Dale's Conjecture," Zhang Ye said, knowing that Xin Ya still bore a grudge against him for making them look bad at Summer Palace. But since they were already a little familiar with each other by now, he managed to speak as though nothing had happened. He even showed some concern by saying, "I heard that you've all been working hard, day and night, without rest for almost a week? Don't forget to rest. If it's too much, you all should just put it aside for the moment. It's more important to watch your health."
Xin Ya said, "Thanks, Teacher Zhang, for your concern then. The verification of the proof is already in the midway stage, so when will you be able to come over to help us with it? With your help, we will surely be able to increase our pace exponentially. That way, everyone can finish up earlier and go home for well-deserved rests too."
Zhang Ye laughed, "Soon, soon. I will go over sometime."
Xin Ya stared at him, knowing that this person had no intention of contributing to the effort in the verification process.
Dean Pan Yang walked in at this moment, laughing out loud and saying, "Professor Xin, don't be too hard on Teacher Little Zhang. I can vouch that he is really going to be busy now that he has to teach both Chinese and Math. His new novel will be on sale soon too, not to mention he still has his own hosting job to work on."
Zhang Ye nodded, agreeing. "Yes, yes."
Xin Ya rolled her eyes at this. Actually, she had already given up on the idea of him helping them out. A glorious task like this, if it were any other person, they would have already rushed in to oversee the verification process. As it was a rigorous process to validate the proving methods, if anyone picked on some issues here or there, or found a logical error in the formulas, then the whole proof would be invalidated. But Zhang Ye was just so assured and took it in stride, letting others handle all of this. He did not even bother to call them and ask about the progress.
Zhang Ye's love rival, Peking University Math Department's young mathematician Han Henian, also did not look too happy. He stood there but did not bother with Zhang Ye's presence. He felt that this person was such a scammer. Having caused such a big commotion, he washed his hands of the matter totally and left it to them to work tirelessly on the verification. Han Henian had already not gone home in four or five days, spending all his time at the Institute working and ending up with those dark circles under his eyes. Even though this was for the sake of their country's glory, with their work as the mathematicians involved in the verification process also being credited, they still could not stand the sight of the author of the proof leisurely releasing novels or being mentioned all over the news on Weibo. It was like they were eunuchs, more anxious than the emperor himself. (The person involved is calm and collected, but observers are very worried.)
Having exchanged a few words over here.
A few more people standing further away had taken notice of Zhang Ye by now. They stopped their conversations and looked over. Two foreigners who probably knew Xin Ya were part of this group of people, while there were also other foreigners who were not presently here. They could have been arranged to wait at a different location or had not arrived yet. Most of those who were here were mainly teachers from the School of Mathematical Sciences. There were teachers from the Math Department, professors from the Probability and Statistics Department and also teachers from the Science and Engineering Department. They were all very curious about Zhang Ye. Everyone was watching him with different looks.
Some looked kindly at him.
Some looked with admiration at him.
Some of them lightly nodded at him.
Dean Pan Yang clapped his hands to get everyone's attention and then put his hand on Zhang Ye's shoulder. "Let me introduce everyone, well, actually, he needs no introduction. This is Associate Professor Zhang Ye. Everyone should be quite familiar with him. Starting today, he will be a part of the team in our School of Mathematical Sciences at Peking University!"
Before Dean Pan had finished, the sound of applause already started.
Bba bba bba. The clapping and laughter of the teachers from the faculty sounded out, welcoming Zhang Ye.
"This is Director Yan." Dean Pan introduced Zhang Ye.
The middle-aged man put his hand forward, "Professor Zhang, welcome."
Zhang Ye shook his hand and said, "Thank you, Director Yan."
"This is Professor Lu." Dean Pan introduced yet another person who was the next closest to them.
Professor Lu had small eyes and they looked squinty as he smiled, "Teacher Zhang, I've been looking forward to your arrival. With you joining us, the quality of our School of Mathematical Sciences will have been further reinforced!"
"You're overly praising me. It should be my honor instead," Zhang Ye said.
Dean Pan moved on, "This is Han Henian, Teacher Han."
Zhang Ye took a look at his love rival and said cheerfully, "I already know Teacher Han."
Dean Pan said, "Oh yes, you two met at Summer Palace."
Han Henian forced himself to say, "Welcome."
After a full round of introductions and Zhang Ye greeting them, two young math teachers even took out a book each to ask Zhang Ye for his autograph. It wasn't known whether they liked Zhang Ye's achievements in the literature or his work in mathematics. But since they wanted it, Zhang Ye couldn't possibly reject them. This moment of asking for autographs had momentarily tickled quite a number of people's funny bone. Everyone was teasing the two and the atmosphere in the teacher's office was very good and relaxing.
Soon after, Dean Pan said to Zhang Ye, "Come, let's go for a short walk."
Zhang Ye acknowledged him and followed Dean Pan outside, walking as they talked, "Dean Pan, why don't you look for someone else to do the speech later? I don't have anything to say and have not thought of anything to say."
Dean Pan said, "You're a famous broadcast host who dabbles in Chinese literature. How can that be a problem for you?"
Zhang Ye said helplessly, "I just don't know what to say."
Dean Pan reassured him, "Just say anything. You can even share your experience of being successful. There will be quite a lot of people at the ceremony since this is the Sino-Japanese University Exchange and Cooperation. The general population is also paying attention to this, so you representing the highest standards of Peking University School of Mathematical Sciences is the most suitable choice." Having explained his choice, he took out a script for him and said, "If you really don't have anything to say, then you can use this to read according to this. It's fine. I got someone to prepare this."
"Oh, I'm not that good. My educational standards are just so-so." Zhang Ye took the script for the speech and lowered himself in light of the dean's praise. "I've only been a teacher for a few months now."
Behind them, Xin Ya suddenly appeared, looking for them.
Dean Pan spoke unreservedly about him even in Xin Ya's presence. He squinted, smiled, and said, "Only the capable can be teachers. In recent times, there are only five mathematicians who are Chinese and can be labeled as world-class without controversy. And you! Are the sixth!"
Zhang Ye said, "That can't be? Dale's Conjecture is still currently undergoing validation."
What did he mean by that?
With that and he's already considered a world-class mathematician?
Xin Ya walked up beside them and said, "Even if any problems occur in the validation of the proof to Dale's Conjecture, your title as a world-class mathematician is assured. Two days ago, the World Mathematics Association released the list of the latest top class mathematicians. Your name was included on it. This means that all the Mathematics Associations of the world have already given you their affirmation. If there are any future breakthroughs in mathematical conjectures or research, the World Mathematics Association might invite you to take part in its discussions. There's a total of 204 world-class mathematicians on it. Even Dean Pan and I are not on it."
It seemed like Dean Pan and Xin Ya had a good relationship as well, probably communicating often themselves. "Professor Xin still has hopes to make it onto the list. I heard that research for the new study that you're working on has already started?"
Xin Ya shook her head. "There are some key areas that we're stuck on, so it's still quite far away."
Dean Pan said, "If there's anything that I can help with, just let me know. The research labs over at Peking University should be much better equipped than what you have."
Xin Ya smiled and said, "I've been waiting to hear that, but rather than the equipment..." she glanced at Zhang Ye. "...maybe I will need to borrow Teacher Zhang from you instead when the time arises."
"I can't make a decision about that." Dean Pan laughed.
Xin Ya looked to Zhang Ye for a response. "Teacher Zhang?"
Zhang Ye immediately replied vaguely, "We'll see, we'll see."
Xin Ya was however, in no rush to get him to promise anything. She knew that it would take some time, so she said, "In any case, I've already told you. When we're finally done with the verification process for Dale's Conjecture, we'll look for you again. Don't avoid me then, hur hur. You can't avoid me anyway, you know. I have a guaranteed way to find you."
That's true, Old Wu's your childhood friend. Even if I could avoid you, do you think I could avoid Old Wu?
Zhang Ye could only helplessly cough, He said, "We'll discuss this when the time comes."