Writing rosy poetry should be second nature to liberal arts students, but now Chinesescience and engineering students have their own literature.
On May 20, a date that in Chinese sounds similar to "I love you", the 10 most romanticlove poems written by science majors nationwide were chosen from more than 600candidates.
The competition was co-organized by Shanghai's Fudan University and Guokr, aChinese science website. According to the rules, the poem needed to be written inthree lines with science language and symbols.
"It's commonly perceived that scientists are nerds," said Liu Daisong, a universityteacher. "In reality, they have their own ways to express love and warmth."
Initiated last year by Fudan's School of Mathematical Sciences, the contest was namedafter Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, a German mathematician who made greatcontributions to number theory, analysis and mechanics.
"At first, the competition was just for enjoyment on a small scale. But it wasunexpectedly welcomed by many students outside the math school," said Qian Sheng,who is in charge of organizing the competition.
This year, the competition was expanded to include all science majors, aiming to givemore participants an opportunity to show their romantic side by using the jargon of theirrespective fields.
When this year's competition was announced online this month, it attracted a lot ofattention, with more than 600 entries. More than 5,000 netizens voted.
"From the number of participants, you can see the enthusiasm of science students," Liusaid.
Gu Junqing, a student of computer science at Tongji University in Shanghai, said: "People often believe that writing love poems is just for humanities students. But I don'tthink so.
"Science majors can equally create elegant verse using with their own symbols," hesaid. "This competition is awesome. It proves that science students can be romantic."
However, it is not easy for people to have same thinking patterns as scientists. Mostpoems are written in math functions, English and Greek alphabets, patterns and DOSinput. Many netizens said the poems of signs and symbols are confusing.
"I can't understand what the signs mean, though I can guess the basic idea," studentWang Jia said. "It's still interesting to see these unique love poems."
Qian said organizers will also explain some love poems online. "Some poems are reallydifficult for people without any background knowledge," he conceded.
Shen Yaojun, a telecommunications engineering major, said a love letter gives a man abetter shot at winning a woman's heart, but "you should make sure she can understandit".
"This is sad. It tells how hard it can be to find a date for a male science major," headded. "When I was a freshman, I wrote one but failed to find a girl to read it. "