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94 A Trap

The new coach for the national team joining the individual competition was Lilo.

He was a young man with black-rimmed glasses who looked a little dazed. However, this man was experienced. He had already guided several provincial and national championships. This year’s national competition was also under his guidance.

Lilo’s teaching style was quite different from the old scholar who guided the team competition. His class was filled with laughter.

He didn’t pay much attention to the solution to a certain problem, but he wanted to pass on a mathematical spirit to the children.

He wrote down a question on the blackboard for the students to solve and said that the first few students to solve it would get a small prize.

Everyone took out their draft papers and started to calculate.

Guo Miao looked at the problem on the blackboard and smiled. This teacher really had his own style.

Everyone was busy calculating. Although Lilo’s prize wasn’t anything valuable, it was still an honor for the students in the competition class.

Before they knew it, they had been writing for half an hour.

Soon, people started to hand in their papers.

Lilo looked at the answer sheets that had been handed in, shook his head, and gave his score on each of them.

After one round, only a few people scored a few points. The full score was 30 points, and no one could get more than a single-digit score.

Guo Miao walked over to Lilo with a blank piece of paper.

Lilo looked at Guo Miao’s draft paper and smiled. “Are you going to hand in a blank paper?”

Everyone’s attention was drawn to Guo Miao, and they all looked at her. They knew about Guo Miao. After all, she was the god of the provincial competition.

“Guo Miao really has quite the personality. She actually went up to the podium with a piece of blank paper.”

“Yeah, how gutsy is she? Does she have another answer?”

“What a showoff, but can she actually do it?”

Guo Miao didn’t say anything and just put the draft paper on the table. She reached out for the chalk and added a bracket to the second question, writing a range.

“Teacher, your question is a trap. If I want to use the formula you mentioned, I should limit the range of the question. Otherwise, the number of solutions will be 0, so I handed in a blank paper.”

Lilo looked at Guo Miao and clapped his hands in appreciation.

Guo Miao stretched out her hand and made a small change to the formula on the blackboard. “I came up with this question for you, Teacher. Please answer it.”

Lilo looked at Guo Miao with admiration. “Guo Miao has solved this question. Today’s prize goes to her.”

It was a small commemorative badge, a memento Lilo had received when he had participated in the International Math Olympiad. It was a small gem-shaped badge with the letters “IMO” carved on it, and it felt cold to the touch.

Although it was cold, Guo Miao could feel the spirit of the Olympic mathematicians from it.

Everyone looked at the badge in her hand with envious eyes. After all, who didn’t want such a gift?

Lilo said, “The reason why I asked this question today is not that I want everyone to find the wrong questions on the competition paper. Instead, I want everyone to understand that the spirit of mathematics is not to solve problems. It is to solve doubts.

“Be full of doubts and curiosity. Treat every question, every formula, and the truth with curiosity.

“Doubt the truth, challenge the truth, find the flaws in the truth, and derive the next truth. This is the true spirit of mathematics.”

When everyone heard Lilo’s words, they were somewhat touched.

Even though they were in a contest for their survival, their passion for mathematics had brought them here.

Lilo didn’t want them to become simple tools to solve problems. He wanted them to have their own understanding and ideas of mathematics and achieve greatness in the field of mathematics.

Lilo also praised Guo Miao. In his opinion, a student like her was talented, understood mathematics, and loved mathematics. She would probably make great contributions to scientific research in the future.

The two days of training ended quickly.

Guo Miao didn’t study the questions too much in depth but helped Su Su a lot.

Su Su wasn’t stupid, but maybe because she was too playful, her foundation in mathematics wasn’t that solid. So, Guo Miao helped her review her foundation a few times, and in less than two days, Su Su’s progress was very obvious.

Finally, the day of the individual competition arrived.

A few hundred students sat in a large examination hall, waiting for their papers to be examined.

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