Nov 12, 2011
Hua Luogeng was well known for two important contributions. One was his work on one of the greatest unsolved mathematical problems, known as Goldbach's Conjecture.... and yes, it is a little trickier than 1+1, though it involves prime numbers! (We celebrated one of his students, Chen Jungrun, in a previous doodle, who made significant progress on this problem).
Luogeng was also known for his methodology on achieving efficiency, known as "Overall Coordination." His analogy, taught to most schoolchildren, lays out the premise of wanting to drink tea when you don't yet have boiled water. The most optimized approach is that you first rinse and fill the kettle and place it on the burner. Meanwhile, you should wash the serving teapot, the tea cups, and prepare the tea leaves. When the water has boiled, you can immediately brew your tea. That's multi-tasking boiled down for you!
posted by Mike Dutton