Chinese student beats elite in math competition, raising serious doubts

Chinese student beats elite in math competition, raising serious doubts

Born in a poor rural village in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, Jiang Ping is now the center of attention. The 17-year-old has finished 12th in the first two rounds of the prestigious international mathematics competition, which drew 802 participants. The performance is extraordinary and some opponents of the fashion design student can't stomach it.

Launched in 2018, Alibaba World Math Competition It is the result of an initiative by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant. It brings together promising members of institutions such as Harvard University, Oxford University and MIT (the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology). From the 85th place, the winners will receive a cold cash amount ranging from 2,000 to 30,000 euros.

No one expected Jiang Ping to be so high in the world rankings. Unlike other competitors, she did not go to a top school, but to an institution that was, by the country’s standards, at the bottom of the Chinese educational ladder. When the results of this first stage were announced, the student began receiving messages of enthusiasm and encouragement for the future. An article from the American CNN channel says:The Chinese media also made her a heroine, but unfortunately that didn't last.

Very quickly, doubts began to arise. Could a student who grew up in the countryside and followed an unprestigious course achieve such an accomplishment? This was how the backlash began. However, Jiang Ping’s proficiency in mathematics no longer needed proof. For many years, his success in this field had amazed more than one person, As reported by the Chinese national news agency Xinhua.

Will the Chinese hunt?

In the style of Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon. The movie of the same name By Gus Van Sant (1997) The young woman no one saw coming begins an intense training alongside Runqiu Wang, a teacher at Lianshuo Vocational High School, where she studies fashion design. The professor has reached the finals of the competition three times, and has trained his student for two years. Talent and hard work are the origins of this unexpected success. But skeptics remain skeptical.

official complaint It was even submitted by thirty-nine participants, led by Richard Xu of Harvard Business School, who placed 190th in the first round. With its signatories, it accuses Jiang Ping and his mentor (who finished 125th) of “cooperative cheating” He claims to have proof.

Very quickly, the organizing committee members wanted to defend the student. Four days before the second round, which took place on June 22, someone claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that “In recent years, some amateurs have had very good rankings during the qualifying stages.”Does the fact that Jiang Ping is a woman contribute to the fact that the birth control pills don't work?

The results of the second round of the competition will be announced in August. Of course, the student is expected to be around the corner. If her results are less good, we will say that she was lucky the first time, or that this time she could not have cheated. And if her brilliance is confirmed, she will certainly be accused of further cheating by some of her competitors.

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However, Jiang Ping has a large following: On Weibo, China's main social network, the 12th-place announcement generated a hashtag that garnered more than 650 million views.

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