Chapter 552: A small conflict!
After a while.
Xin Ya received a call and spoke in English for a short while. Then, together with Dean Pan and Zhang Ye, they proceeded back to the office to receive about a dozen foreign guests.
A middle-aged Caucasian man looked at Zhang Ye and said, "Zhang?"
Xin Ya then introduced them in English, "This is Professor Zhang Ye."
The Caucasian man replied very passionately, "Zhang, I'm finally able to meet you in person!"
"Hello," Zhang Ye said not knowing who he was but shook his hands anyway.
At the other side, a man who looked like he was in his forties, and was probably English, walked up to them. He did not say anything except to ask directly about a question he had regarding Dale's Conjecture. It seemed like he was unsure about a formula used in the proof.
Xin Ya and Dean Pan both introduced Zhang Ye to him.
"This is Oxford's Doctor Firth."
"This is Cambridge's Professor Baker."
This is Professor Kato from Tokyo University."
Zhang Ye went through another round of introductions again, occasionally answering a few questions about Dale's Conjecture. Of the group, he had met two of them before during the International Math Olympiad that was held at Summer Palace. As for the others, this was his first meeting them. They were obviously very interested in Zhang Ye and asked him a lot of questions. Professor Baker even directly invited Zhang Ye to join him at Cambridge University. Dean Pan and the others from Peking University Math Department looked slightly irked by this, but of course Zhang Ye did not agree. Professor Baker was of course disappointed, but still told Zhang Ye that he was welcome to visit at any time and to stay in contact. This was probably because he was extremely interested in Zhang Ye's solution to Dale's Conjecture and hoped to work with him in the future.
Only the Japanese Professor Kato seemed to be asking questions not related to the mathematical conjecture.
Kato spoke in English, "Where did you graduate from?"
Zhang Ye looked at him and answered, "Media College."
Kato looked at him and probed further, "Who was the teacher who taught you mathematics?"
Zhang Ye answered, "There were many. The one from kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, university, which one are you interested in?"
Kato continued, not believing him, "Was Dale's Conjecture really proved by you on the spot at the International Math Olympiad?"
Zhang Ye laughingly replied, "If it wasn't proved by me, then was it proved by you?"
Dean Pan frowned, thinking what the heck was Kato trying to imply?
Xin Ya looked over and commented, "It seems like Professor Kato really has a lot of questions to ask."
Kato smiled and explained, "I was just curious and did not mean anything else. Most mathematical conjecture proofs are a long-term process of research and trial and error. It is also usually made by the effort of countless teams of mathematicians or even generations of people who worked hard together to make strides towards proving them. The solving of Dale's Conjecture was too sudden." Other than him, a few other Japanese mathematicians were still doubtful of how a young man only 24 years of age could have independently proven a global mathematical conjecture. They felt that if the person who proved it was an American or an English person, then they would definitely accept and believe it. However, since this person was Chinese, it made them even more doubtful. Even if the truth was already placed before them, they would still not be able to accept that the Chinese had such a high standard.
Zhang Ye gave an unfriendly glance to Kato.
The teachers of Peking University Math Department did not like what they had heard.
Xin Ya said to Zhang Ye, "Professor Kato has raised many questions and doubts about your proof during the verification process. Although all of his doubts were disproved, Professor Kato's diligence is worthy of learning." She spoke as though she was praising him, but there was actually a lot of sarcasm in it. In these days of the verification process, a few Japanese, Korean, and American mathematicians had been creating a lot of unnecessary workload for them by nitpicking on many details, saying that there were some issues here or logical errors there. In the end, when everyone checked it, they found no errors at all. A lot of time was wasted in this way and slowed down their work drastically, leaving Xin Ya and many of the participating Chinese mathematicians with a lot of opinions of them.
When Han Henian saw what was going on, he tried to calm the situation, "The welcome ceremony will start soon. Why don't we all move to the hall since this place is quite packed with so many of us here." Although Kato had already arrived in China much earlier to take part in the verification process of the proof to Dale's Conjecture, he was here today as a member of Tokyo University for the exchange. He was also a member of the Japanese delegates that came to China for a political visit. He was the leading man today and Han Henian did not want the situation to become too awkward. He thought of the bigger picture since there was also a political agenda involved in the visit.
"Yes, let's head over to the hall."
"It's about to begin."
Kato did not make any further comments and looked at Zhang Ye along with a few other Japanese mathematicians before they followed along with the rest. They went downstairs, Dean Pan leading them there.
Xin Ya whispered to Zhang Ye, "Don't be bothered by him."
Behind them, a Peking University teacher also heard them and said, "If Teacher Zhang was Chinese-American, these Japanese would never have doubted him. They're seriously looking down on us!"
Xin Ya said, "Let's leave it."
"You two go on first," Zhang Ye said. "I need to find a quiet place to memorize my script."
Xin Ya nodded and said, "Alright, see you in a while then. Remember to go to the front seats in the auditorium. You have a reserved seat there."
Zhang Ye did not feel aggrieved by the situation. Even back in his previous world, he never had any expectations of the Japanese to begin with.
Zhang Ye was wearing his sunglasses and looking for a quiet place to sit down. It was already spring, the weather turning warmer and the greenery sprouting again, beautifying the entire scenery of the lake.
His cellphone rang.
It was his mother. "Son."
Zhang Ye replied, "Mom, what's the matter?"
"What are you doing now?" his mother asked.
Zhang Ye lifted up the speech in his hands and said, "I'm reading a script since they're making me give a speech later."
His mother sounded very excited, "My colleagues read the news online just now and told me that you have been appointed associate professor? Is that true?"
Zhang Ye said, "Yes, it's true. I was thinking of telling you when I got home later."
His mother said, "Oh wow, my son is really so capable!"
Zhang Ye boasted, "Of course. Don't you know who my mother is?"
His mother laughed. "I like what you said. You have really made your father and me proud again. We even have a professor in our Zhang family now."
"It's only an associate post, but when Dale's Conjecture has been verified, who knows? My full professorship might come very soon as well. You may not know, but your son is really popular right now. A university in England even invited me to join them, but I rejected them." Zhang Ye was the type to only mention the positives and not the negatives. He continued, "Alright Mom, I can't talk now, I need to finish memorizing my speech. Those amateurs might be fine with just going on stage and giving a simple speech, but I'm a professional host, so I can't do it so simply. That would be such a loss of face. Talk to you when I'm home."
"Alright, go busy yourself then. We'll talk later." His mother ended the call.
Zhang Ye held his cellphone and lowered his head, seriously reading through the script Dean Pan had handed to him earlier. He was not sloppy in the task given him and also wished to do his best. Zhang Ye had always set very high standards for himself and diligently performed to the best that he could manage as long as it was within his control. Even for a simple task like going on stage to give a speech, he found no disadvantage in reading the script a few times over.