Migrant math whiz offered a job

Updated: 2016-06-24 08:30

By Shi Xiaofeng In Hangzhou(China Daily)

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A migrant worker who developed five unique math formulas and inspired a university professor has been offered a new job that will give him more space for personal development.

Yu Jianchun, a 33-year-old worker at a logistics company's packaging shop in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, made headlines recently when he was invited to share his formulas predicting numerical patterns with mathematics professors and PhD candidates at Zhejiang University.

Cai Tianxin, a math professor at the Hangzhou-based university, invited Yu to his class to share his thinking and said he found Yu's calculations inspiring.

Silk Road Holding Group, a company based in Huzhou, offered to employ Yu in a statistics-related position that would "give him better development for a career and also more time for furthering his interest and talent in mathematics", said Ling Lanfang, president of the group.

The company also promised Yu a dormitory room, free of charge, to lighten his economic burden.

While the specific position and salary have yet to be settled, Yu thinks the new job would be a good platform.

"It's a more stable job, I think, and would help improve my life so I can keep doing mathematics research," said Yu, who comes from a mountainous rural county in Henan province and graduated from a vocational school.

Over the last eight years, as he moved around for different jobs, he developed an interest in Carmichael numbers, a kind of pseudo-prime numbers that occur as positive integers about 255 times in every 100 million. He developed a formula to predict them.

Ling, the group president, shares Yu's passion for mathematics. Though he never realized his own dream to become a mathematician, he has kept close ties to Cai, the professor, for occasional mathematics discussions.

After Cai told him Yu's story, Ling decided to offer Yu a job that would allow for personal development. He said he admired Yu for his persistence in mathematics despite being forced to earn a hard living.

"Many people believe money counts, but Yu showed us the quality of persistence in pursuing his academic dream. So he is really worth our encouragement," Ling said.

Zhu Lixin contributed to this story.