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Chen Yushan bit her thumb and frowned. She stared at the checkers’ board and started to think hard.

The defeat is certain…

There is no room for recovery.

She spent a long time thinking and finally accepted the defeat. She suggested with a tentative tone.

“… Let’s play again.”

Lu Zhou sighed and looked at the sky.

“Can I surrender?”

“No!”

Chen Yushan was so angry she wanted to start stomping her feet.

She was always ridiculed for her mathematics questions, “this is too easy”, “another free marks question”, “it’ll be too late for your graduate entrance exams”. She wanted to earn some respect from playing checkers, but Lu Zhou did not give her any and even won 10 games in a row. He had even let her start first.

Maybe my IQ is just too low?

Chen Yushan had been called a genius student for the past three years, but now she suddenly had doubts about her life.

Chen Yushan stubbornly pushed the checkers’ board and still wanted to play. Lu Zhou could not help but ask.

“Can I ask a question?”

Chen Yushan answered irritably, “Ask.”

Lu Zhou asked seriously, “Why do you think you’re good at checkers?”

Chen Yushan heard him and blushed as she said awkwardly, “When I was young, I had never lost to my parents…”

“How young?”

Chen Yushan murmured softly, “I think it was in primary school.”

Oh my god!

You still remember stuff from primary school?!

Your parents were obviously letting you win. Have you not played against other people?

Lu Zhou did not know why, but he suddenly felt sorry for her.

They had a supreme seafood pizza for lunch. Mrs. Yang was right, the pizza at the coffee shop was very delicious.

Although it was a bit pricey, Lu Zhou did not have to pay for it. He had even left space in his stomach and ordered ice cream for dessert after.

Chen Yushan was eating a sandwich. As she watched Lu Zhou eating happily, she could not help but complain, “You sure eat a lot. You’re gonna get fat if you’re not careful.”

Lu Zhou replied, “I hope I can get fat.” He was eating high-calorie ice cream and chocolate mousse as he said nonchalantly, “I don’t know why but no matter how much I eat I still can’t get fat.”

It was suddenly quiet as Chen Yushan did not speak.

Emm…

Was there some hatred buried in that joke?

There was a feeling of grievance…

Lu Zhou could not help but shudder.

It was already two o’clock in the afternoon, the hottest time of the day, when they went back to school,

Chen Yushan was scared of getting tanned by the sun so she did not stay outside for long. She said goodbye to Lu Zhou and went back to her dorm.

Lu Zhou noticed that it was still early and so, he went back to his dorm. He took his laptop and the textbook he borrowed before heading to the mathematics building. He found an empty seat in a classroom.

It was four hours until the drug resistance effect would wear off. He would take the pill at six o’clock and study until eleven, maybe even twelve o’clock. The library would be closed at that time, so he could not study there.

He planned on using the pill every other day but as he was busy tomorrow, he did not want to waste today. He decided to go full out today.

He opened his laptop and when he checked his email, he saw that Wang Xiaodong sent him the completed program.

He looked over the program and downloaded the code as a backup. He then started to write the thesis according to the mathematical model format.

He spent the afternoon finishing the thesis. He then attached the program and thesis into an email and sent it to Professor Liu.

“I’ll work after I finish eating at the cafeteria,” thought Lu Zhou. He stretched his back and stood up, then walked outside the classroom.

It was summer vacation so the cafeteria was deserted.

The upside was that he did not have to line up. The downside was that the cafeteria workers were also on holiday, so there was a smaller selection of food available.

However, this would not affect Lu Zhou as he always ate noodles for dinner.

Lu Zhou saw Professor Tang and went to greet him. He placed his bowl across Professor Tang’s table.

Professor Tang saw Lu Zhou and laughed before asking, “How is the mathematical modeling preparation going?”

Lu Zhou laughed as well and responded, “It’s going okay. I just sent the homework to Professor Liu.”

“What are you researching these days?”

Lu Zhou knew that Professor Tang was not asking about mathematical modeling, so he answered, “I read a thesis recently, it was about this GIMPS research progress…”

Professor Tang was surprised. He smiled and asked, “The one from The Chinese Academy of Sciences?”

Lu Zhou nodded and responded, “Yeah, I read the 1992 thesis [Mersenne prime number distribution] and found the content to be very interesting. Sadly, the thesis process was too short and only had one conclusion, so I researched the topic further.”

“Oh, I know that thesis,” said Professor Tang. He felt nostalgic as he said, “That thesis by Mr. Zhou contributed significantly towards the Chinese mathematics community.”

Unfortunately, the thesis was too short as it was only two pages long. Even though it proposed an exact formula for Mersenne prime numbers, it did not provide the proof. In the end, it could only be published as a conjecture.

Professor Tang paused for a bit, looked at Lu Zhou, and smiled: “Speaking of which, what happened to study linear functions? Why are you studying Mersenne primes?”

“Oh… Just out of interest?”

Lu Zhou did not even believe this himself as carried a tone of uncertainty in his voice.

Professor Tang did not believe him. He shook his head and said seriously, “Your talent in mathematics is insanely high, but you’re a bit too impetuous. You can’t achieve anything if you keep switching topics. You’re too utilitarian. Do you think that the Mersenne prime numbers are easy to solve? The GIMPS project you mentioned took a full eight years, and it didn’t even figure out if the 44th Mersenne prime number was actually the 44th one. You think that the prize money is easy to get?”

Although they found the 44th Mersenne prime number back in 2006, they still did not know if there was another one between the 43rd and 44th prime number.

This was because the number was too large and the amount of computation was beyond imagination.

According to the reward criteria of the GIMPS project, if one wanted to get the reward, one would have to solve the first 100 million Mersenne prime numbers. The reward was not proportional to the work done. After all, the reward for the 100 million numbers was only 150,000 US dollars. The cost was not worth the money.

It would be more profitable to mine bitcoin than to do mathematics research.

Professor Tang knew that Lu Zhou was after money.

Lu Zhou smiled apologetically and did not refute it.

It’d be too hard to explain to Professor Tang.

I guess he can misunderstand me if he wants.

Professor Tang saw that Lu Zhou did not respond. With a sigh, he said seriously, “Your thesis was excellent. I talked with a few physics professors, and they agreed with me that if you just continue to research towards this area, you’ll definitely become successful within two years. Even if you’re a utilitarian, you should still look towards long term gains.”

Lu Zhou asked softly, “Professor, does this mean that you don’t recommend me to continue researching in this field?”

Professor Tang shook his head and said, “That’s not what I meant. It’s just that I don’t like this field. First of all, it’s too esoteric, and secondly, it’s hard to produce results. Lastly, I haven’t done much research in this field myself, so I can’t help you. If you are actually interested in the research, then I won’t bother you. You will only delay yourself if you are after money. I’ve said a lot, think about it yourself!”