Chapter 70 Strange Numbers
Du Wenxing had obviously said these words in order to ridicule Ye Fei, but he inadvertently insulted almost the entire class.
However, no one stood up and said something. They just complained in their hearts.
Only Qin Xiaomeng turned around gruffly and said, "You think you are so great for solving that? If you’re so clever, can you solve the second problem?"
She couldn’t work out the second problem herself, but she knew it was more difficult than the first.
Although Du Wenxing had worked out the first problem, he wouldn’t get the extra credits from professor Nie unless he solved the other one as well.
"Sorry, I’ve only worked out the first problem so far, but you seem to have solved the second one, so do you have any ideas? Enlighten us," Du Wenxing sneered. Although he was an admirer of Qin Xiaomeng, he thought that the best way to pursue a girl was not to show affection, but to show that he was better than her to make her admire him.
"Yeah, tell us about the second problem, Qin Xiaomeng!" other students chimed in, hoping she could put the arrogant Du Wenxing in his place.
Professor Nie smiled at her. "Well, since everyone insists, do you have any ideas for solving this problem, Qin Xiaomeng? Don’t worry about it, just say whatever’s on your mind. It’s a difficult problem, so it’s fine if you can’t solve it. What matters is the thought process."
Professor Nie knew Qin Xiaomeng studied hard and had a good head on her shoulders. Even if she might not be able to solve the problem on her own, she would certainly have a few good ideas to share.
Qin Xiaomeng’s cheeks immediately flushed red. Normally this wouldn’t bother her, but today Ye Fei was sitting beside her and she hadn’t paid attention to the lesson at all. She stood up and desperately stared at the equations on the blackboard, trying to figure something out.
There was silence in the classroom as everyone expectantly looked at Qin Xiaomeng.
Most of them realized Qin Xiaomeng was embarrassed and had no clue what to say. A girl behind her chuckled and whispered, "What’s wrong? Aren’t you an A student?"
Professor Nie took off his glasses and wiped the lenses with a handkerchief before putting them back on. He was a little disappointed and was about to tell Qin Xiaomeng to sit back down.
Meanwhile, Qin Xiaomeng was feeling like the blood circulating behind her face had turned into magma. All she wanted was to find a deep hole to crawl into and die.
Suddenly, Ye Fei discreetly slid a piece of paper with a number scrawled on it across to her.
The number was 104.17, which was quite strange, because the answers to Professor Nie’s problems were usually integers.
However, despite not knowing what Ye Fei meant, Qin Xiaomeng absentmindedly read out the number in a small voice, like a mosquito buzzing in the distance: "104.17?"
A few students snickered, thinking she just threw a random number out there in desperation.
"Miss Qin, how did you come up with such an exact number?"
A girl covered her mouth with her hand, her shoulders quivering a little as she stifled a laugh.
"We’ve been learning math ever since primary school, don’t you know how these problems work? The calculations are difficult, but the answers are always very simple integers. How did you get such a complicated answer?"
"Yeah, you even got a decimal point in there! Did you use a broken calculator?"
Everyone joked, but no one noticed Professor Nie’s shocked face.
"Professor, I think the answer to this problem is 14," Du Wenxing said confidently.
Professor Nie nodded seriously at Du Wenxing and said, "Hmm, you can still get half points for 14."
Du Wenxing smiled proudly. Most people would have needed at least half an hour to work through this problem, but he earned half points after spending only a few minutes on it.
"Professor Nie, what do you mean by ‘half points’?" someone said.
The old professor glanced at Qin Xiaomeng and said, "Mathematics is a rigorous subject. If this problem appeared on an exam, 14 would be an incorrect answer." He went on, "A difficult problem like this would usually be a bonus question on a test. An answer of 104 would merit extra points, but... for 104.2, there’d be an even bigger bonus."
The students looked at Qin Xiaomeng with admiration. 104.2 was incredibly close to her answer.
However, Professor Nie scratched his head and went on, "Hmm, actually, the real answer to this problem is 104.17. However, I’ve never seen anyone but a graduate of the mathematics department solve a problem like this so accurately. Even then, it would normally take at least an hour of calculation to come up with the answer."