The problem Professor Lambeau puts on the hallway chalkboard sets off such excitement as to the identity of the mystery mathematician that his next class is overfilled with students eager to learn who the “silent rogue” could be. When I first saw the film, I thought that the joke — “Is it just my imagination or has my class grown considerably?” — was that everyone enrolled in the massive lecture course actually showed up, which never happens in large lectures. Instead, I think the implication is simply that nearly everyone who heard about the Hard Math Problem being solved was eagerly attending in awe; in short, this is a really big deal.
So big a deal in fact, that people are running as fast as they can to get to the lecture hall.
Only in repeated viewings did I realize, this quick scene is not of running students late for class, but instead, it depicts the electric excitement on campus that disrupts the normal pedestrian flow, pulling academics into a sprint toward the lecture hall, books and briefcases in hand, to behold who solved the theorem.
Addendum: In this curious eagerness they find companionship. Could this be the result of “goodwill hunting”? They look for math but find companionship, but maybe it was companionship they were looking for all along? Because nerds don’t have friends?