The days passed by slowly. Soon, it was time for the “Advanced Algebra 2” exam.
“Students, please turn off your phones. Place your student ID and citizen ID on the table’s left corner. I will repeat the exam rules again. There will be no tolerance for cheating. You’ll be sent to the academic affairs office if caught. You are all about to enter the second year. I hope you won’t make a mistake at a crucial time like this. Every year, there are a couple of students that are dishonest. I hope you can follow the rules.”
An old professor stood on the podium and looked around the room. He then pointed at a master’s student and said, “Little Wong, start from the right side.”
“Okay,” nodded the boy named Little Wong. He started to inspect the student IDs starting from the right.
The old professor placed his vacuum flask on the podium and started to inspect the IDs from the left.
Lu Zhou stretched his back. He turned off his phone and stuffed it in his bag. Like everyone else, he placed his textbooks and electronics on the first row tables.
Finally, the day had come!
After finishing the exams, he would have tons of time to do his other stuff.
Lu Zhou went back to his chair and sat down. The master’s student looked at his citizen and student IDs. He then sat there while waiting for the test paper.
After all, the University of Jin Ling was a renowned university. When it came to the exams, the rules were very strict.
Even though that old guy wore glasses and had a smile on his face, if he caught you handing notes or looking at your phone, no matter how you tried to hide it, he would know instantly.
A few students brought cheat notes. They sat there anxiously. They wanted to cheat but were afraid to do so.
Lu Zhou sighed. He felt bad for these unfortunate people. He quickly started to write on the test.
Apparently, Professor Tang wrote the test. However, it did not matter who wrote the test as the topics that were tested were all part of the syllabus. At least, from Lu Zhou’s perspective, the topics were all very easy.
The first section was filling in the blanks. The first question asked to solve a differential equation. He just had to follow the steps. Although the formula was slightly complicated, it was still the same type of question. Lu Zhou considered them free marks.
The second question asked for the equation of a line using spatial coordinates. It was pretty self-explanatory, so more free marks.
The third question was derivation and fourth was finding the integral of a curve. It was all free marks.
The fifth question was interesting. Using an already known f(x) function, solve for s(-5/2π) by letting a Fourier sine series expansion function be s(x).
It was slightly difficult.
Lu Zhou held his hand and tapped the draft paper lightly for a few times. He then solved the problem quickly.
The question looked difficult because it tested one’s knowledge of Fourier sine functions and asked to solve an equation. Not to mention the function was not exactly easy. However, after some thinking, the seemingly difficult calculation process was actually not that hard. One just had to follow the steps.
Lu Zhou had already studied two whole textbooks. Therefore it was easy for someone like him.
Immediately after, he looked at the multiple choice questions. These were also free mark questions. He swiftly started to tick the answers.
After that, it was the long questions. He finally had to be serious!
Lu Zhou rubbed his fists. He felt prepared. He was ready to go to work. When he looked at the question, he was stunned…
It was not because it seemed difficult.
That was it?
Lu Zhou secretly looked across. His neighbor was struggling while biting down on his pen.
He then glanced back. An even more creative person folded a dice out of the draft paper. They were clearly using magic to solve the question.
A guy stood up and walked towards the podium. He turned in his exam paper and confidently left the door.
Lu Zhou was filled with respect for the guy.
Heroes pass through the same path!
I guess I’m not the only one that thought this exam is too easy!
Lu Zhou stopped hesitating and started to write. He quickly solved the questions on the exam paper. Other than the last question, which took him five minutes, all of the questions only took him two minutes to solve.
He looked over at his paper. He was sure that there were no mistakes. He saw that he did not even use up a quarter of the draft paper provided. Lu Zhou packed his stuff and went to turn his test in.
The old professor was sitting on the podium drinking tea and he did not even look at Lu Zhou as he turned his test in.
However, when his peripheral vision saw a flash of the exam paper, he squinted his eyes.
He actually finished it?
It has only been half an hour!
He picked up the exam paper frivolously and adjusted his glasses. He then started to look over the answers.
The first question was correct.
The second question was correct.
The further he looked, the more dignified and serious his expression became.
The master’s student was curious about what was written on the exam paper. However, looking at the old professor’s serious expression, he decided not to go and bother him. He walked off the podium quietly and went to patrol the back of the classroom.
Seconds and minutes soon passed by. After reading the last line of the last question, Lu Fangping’s furrowed eyebrows finally relaxed. He nodded his head with approval.
This is interesting.
“Looks like Professor Tang taught a good student…” He thought. Professor Lu Fangping picked his teacup and took a sip. His face was expressionless.
As for the first two students that left, the exam room had no reaction. At most, they tried to comfort themselves by thinking, “The two idiots already gave up. Guess I’m not the only one that thought this is difficult…”
Other than Liu Rui, who sat behind Lu Zhou.
He saw with his own eyes that Lu Zhou’s paper was fully written.
Even though he could not see clearly what Lu Zhou wrote, but from the outline of the equations, it clearly did not look like it was made up.
He looked at his own paper. He was still stuck on the last fill in the blanks question. He could not think of an answer at all.
Logically speaking, he should give up if he was stuck on a question. He should wait until he finished the rest. Then, he could come back and try to solve it. However, Liu Rui kept thinking that if Lu Zhou could solve it, so could he. He could not handle the defeat.
Jealousy has built up my walls.
Jealousy is making me unable to solve this problem.
My heart is about to explode!
Liu Rui grabbed his hair as his entire body felt weak.
After coming out from the exam room, Lu Zhou did not waste any time hanging around. He went back to his dorm and copied his thesis into a USB. He then went to the laboratory building and found Professor Tang’s office.
The office was very quiet. Other than Professor Tang smoking near the windows, there were only two students looking at a computer as they focused on their project. They did not even look at Lu Zhou when he walked in as they completely failed to notice him.
Professor Tang noticed Lu Zhou standing outside the door and he signaled for Lu Zhou to come in. When he saw the USB, he laughed, “Oh, you’ve already finished your thesis this quickly?”
Lu Zhou said politely, “Yeah, I finally finished it. The English and Chinese versions are here. Could you please look over it for me?”
“Give it here. This is why you come here for, right?”
Professor Tang took the USB from Lu Zhou and walked to his desk. He opened up his laptop, plugged the USB in and started to read the thesis.
“How did your exam went?”
“It was okay. The questions felt pretty easy.”
“Ah, quite cocky. I’ll personally mark your paper.”
“Please have mercy!”
“Don’t even think about it.”
Tang Zhiwei laughed and opened the thesis. If anyone else begged him like this, he would definitely felt resentful towards them. But when Lu Zhou said it, he did not mind it at all and just laughed.
He knew the skill level of his own students. Asking a student like Lu Zhou to do this exam was a little insulting.
The performance stage for a student like Lu Zhou was not the final exam. It was the “Challenger cup”, which was a competition for STEM students, or the national undergraduate mathematical modeling competition.
Tang Zhiwei put on his glasses and focused his attention on the thesis. He continued to read.
Honestly speaking, when he saw Lu Zhou coming into this office, his heart was full of surprise.
Pursuing academics was like using a bucket to carry water from the sea into a reservoir.
The road was bumpy and difficult. It crossed mountains and rivers, and through rain and heat. Finally, you walked to the academic reservoir and use the bucket to pour a drop of water into the reservoir. It would make all of the effort worthy.
Anyone that wanted to be in academics had to carry on sincerely. People that wanted immediate success would never succeed.
No matter how talented he was at mathematics, how much water could an undergraduate student carried in his bucket?
He would not even arrive at the reservoir. The little amount of water would dry up halfway through the walk.
Therefore, Professor Tang Zhiwei was very calm. He did not carry a mathematician’s mindset when reading theses, but rather an educator’s mindset. It was like he was caring for a newly planted flower.
Even before he even began to read the thesis, he was already thinking about how he could ask Lu Zhou to rewrite his thesis in a relatively inoffensive way. He wanted to teach him not to run before he could walk and did not want to discourage his interest and passion.
Suddenly, Professor Tang was stunned. His eyebrows furrowed and he went into deep thinking.
Was this really written by an undergraduate student?
Maybe he copied it from a textbook?
Professor Tang was filled with suspicions. He randomly chose a paragraph and searched for it online.
Not convinced, the old man logged onto a thesis checking website and uploaded the entire thesis onto it.
His eyes widened at the search result.
How is this possible?!