(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
They say time management is the key to a more productive life. Well, as Islamabad’s Ahmed Jawad has shown, it could also be the key to furthering science.
In utilising all the time he meticulously saved by typing ‘k’ instead of ‘ok’ in his text interactions, Jawad has solved the 159-year-old math problem of the Riemann Hypothesis.
“Yes, it is a problem that had baffled the world’s best minds but this young man, using all the time that he had saved, bested all of them,” said Dr Saira Khattak, professor of pure mathematics and number theory at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
“Now, he has tackled it. I’ve myself been chasing this bit of glory all through my university days here at QAU, then at Cambridge, then through my post-doc at Princeton,” she said.
“But I guess I wasn’t disciplined enough in my personal life to resist the impulse to write a full ‘ok’, robbing me of precious, precious time.”
“‘Ok’, already an abbreviation of the long (only in comparison) ‘okay’ wasn’t fulfilling Ahmed Jawad’s desire for a more efficient word,” said Dr Michael Hopkins of Harvard, and on the board of the Clay Mathematical Institute, whose prestigious prize he has won.
“And in the end, it is that bit of time that he saved, that he used to pore over this prize and this intellectual glory now belongs to him.”
“Thx,” said Ahmed Jawad, when presented with his fields medal.