CHANGSHA-BASED Central South University (CSU) has made a 22-year-old mathematics prodigy the youngest professor in China, but the announcement has been met with doubt and criticism.
CSU announced Tuesday afternoon that Liu Lu, a mathematics student from the undergraduate class of 2008, had been made a professor at the university. CSU president Zhang Yaoxue said the university would provide a great stage for Liu to develop his academic skills and acclaim.
Liu will receive an award of 1 million yuan (US$159,000), half of which is for scientific research. The other half is for improving his living conditions. Liu rose to fame after solving the Seetapun Enigma, a notoriously difficult mathematical problem first raised by British mathematician David Seetapun. Liu is nicknamed “little Chen Jingrun,” after the most famous mathematician in China.
A respected mathematician who asked to remain anonymous said the decision was ridiculous. Tang Tao, a professor of the Hong Kong Baptist University, also said that some financial awards are necessary but anything more than that, including his newfound fame, could burden his academic career. (SD-Agencies)