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Eureka moments at the Challenge Cup

China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-15 10:43

Shanghai Jiao Tong University achieved the highest honor at the 18th "Challenge Cup" National College Student Extracurricular Academic and Technological Works Competition, held in Guiyang, Guizhou province, from Oct 27 to Oct 31. [Photo provided to China Daily]

It is said that over 2,000 years ago, a king in ancient Greece was suspicious about the purity of his gold crown. In order to learn the truth, he entrusted the crown to Archimedes, the renowned mathematician and inventor who lived between 287 and 212 BC. For a while, Archimedes was baffled by the puzzle. One day, while bathing, Archimedes was inspired by the water's overflow. He rushed out of the bath in excitement, shouting, "Eureka (I found it)! Eureka!"

This marked a historic moment in the birth of the law of buoyancy, and the term "eureka moment" has come to refer to a significant discovery made in a flash of insight.

Fast forward to last month's 18th "Challenge Cup" National College Student Extracurricular Academic and Technological Works Competition. Xie Haoqiang, a 22-year-old student from the School of Biomedical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, experienced his own "eureka moment".

When Xie was tasked with algorithm development in a cutting-edge science project centered on noninvasive localization using surface-enhanced transmission Raman spectroscopy (SETRS), he encountered a bottleneck. After prolonged contemplation, a sudden realization dawned upon him, akin to Archimedes' moment of revelation.

"A solution suddenly occurred to me at that very time. I turned on the computer right away, and while I typed the code, my hands shook. At last, it demonstrated success!" Recalling that critical moment, Xie's excitement is palpable. "It was at that time that I thought of the tale of Archimedes discovering the law of buoyancy, and I believe this was my eureka moment."

The 18th "Challenge Cup" took place at Guizhou University in Guiyang, Southwest China's Guizhou province, from Oct 27 to Oct 31. Ultimately, Shanghai Jiao Tong University secured the competition's highest honor, the coveted "Challenge Cup".

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