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Didn't get the "engineering major" part. Why he thought that 9 is prime?

I didn't get it either, but my guess: The engineering student took a literal view. You told him to evaluate the statement; you gave him a rule. If you say all odd numbers greater than 1 are prime, then so be it.

I think it might just be implying that engineering students aren't very good at mathematics.

Because he doesn't understand what "evaluate the hypothesis" means.

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