Chapter 4: Foresight (3)
The rustle of paper being flipped in the conference stopped at once.
She hasn’t even had time to read the multiple-choice questions, so she was a bit helpless, “Choose 10 dissertation questions, right?”
“Yes,” An Xiao Xiao said, crossing her arms.
“Then give me a minute.”
“Is one minute enough?”
Lin Zhao Xi carefully examined the questions and did not answer.
Engaging in competitive quizzes was a tradition in their city. It was originally very simple, download some interesting logic puzzles from the Internet, a university was sorted to host the contest, and set up a question bank. Several schools came together to discuss and finally selected 20 multiple-choice questions, 10 dissertation questions for the finals, and the end.
But because the competition was held annually, there were fewer and fewer interesting puzzles available online, so it became more and more difficult. On Lin Zhao Xi’s hand were a total of 100 questions selected by Baicao University this year. She would have to pick 10, grading each from easy to hard for the examination.
As her mind wanders, she finishes reading all the questions selected by Baicao University and finally raised her head, “Shall I?”
An Xiao Xiao: “You showed up late, read a little longer.”
“Nah,” Lin Zhao Xi bowed her head and, indicating with a finger the question which she was referring to, turned the page and reported, “31, 38, 44, 56, 58, 62, 63, 64, 70, 77,” Finished, she pauses and adds, “77’s good, we can make it the finale.”
When she finished, the faces of the people from Baicao University seemed to hang.
There was no need for An Xiao Xiao to open her mouth, another participant said, “So soon? Did you take a serious look?”
“About that,” Lin Zhao Xi thought briefly and truthfully told, “In fact, I’ve already sifted through all the interesting puzzles I could find, on and offline…”
All of a sudden, everyone began to talk again.
An Xiao Xiao looked even less pleasing, but if she went on, she would lose her demeanor. She pressed her lips and held back.
Before long, someone said, “You… The questions chosen by you aren’t bad.”
“Outstanding difficulty control.”
“But question 62…” Said the other man.
Lin Zhao Xi looked down.
62 was a graph. A simple mechanical arm was drawn and it asked for the path of a single point when the robotic arm was rotated along another path.
For the finals, it did look simple.
Lin Zhao Xi: “This is the Peaucellier–Lipkin linkage, we can look for one on the Deformation theory to replace it.”
There was a collective “Oh” in the room.
After looking at it for a while, suddenly, someone asked, “The finale, Q77?”
“Is this even a riddle? What should we do? Is there anyone majoring in physics here?”
“I study Chemistry. Although it looks simple, it seems to require a lot of reasoning.”
The speaker held up a piece of scrap paper, which was densely penned. He looked devastated.
Lin Zhao Xi looked at the question in topic again.
The complained of Q77 asked you to arrange black and white go board game pieces. If there are three in each line, how many lines can be arranged?
It seemed simple, but was difficult, requiring mathematical basis. It was a bit heavy-handed to put in the quiz, but there was no better alternative among the 100 questions handed to her, thus she chose it.
An Xiao Xiao shamelessly threw the blame, “Isn’t this too partial to math majors?”
“Sanwei University’s trying to exploit its strength in math, isn’t it? I can smell their underlying interest from here!” Someone pointed at Su Xiaoming with the end of their pen and angrily accused.
“So 77 won’t work.” An Xiao Xiao said, “If you have any, what is your opinion?”
Lin Zhao Xi just sat listening and didn’t comment.
Not long after, everyone went over the questions again, and one after another found none better than question 77.
“The others don’t seem to work well. Do you have any alternatives, Lin?” Someone asked her.
Lin Zhao Xi said, “I personally think this question is ingenious, skillfully made. In fact, it is quite appropriate for the job.”
“You’re so incredible,” Someone kowtowed on the table.
Lin Zhao Xi: “I didn’t know until I saw the answer.”
“Is this problem too difficult? Does it take a lot of mathematical foundation to solve?”
“I study Philosophy,” Lin Zhao Xi shook her head, it was really hard for her to say.
People started to argue again; more and more opinions arose.
Suddenly someone suggested, “Why don’t we find someone majoring in math to do it?”
“We’re in Sanwei, what about looking for your Pei Zhi?” Someone patted Su Xiaoming on the shoulder and asked.