### Grigori Perelman

July 6, 2010 In a previous article (Math Burnout, August 23, 2006), I wrote about the reclusive Russian mathematician, Grigori Perelman. Perelman was an employee of the Staklov Institute of Mathematics, Saint Petersburg, but he resigned his position several years ago and now lives with his mother in that same city. In 2006, Perelman refused the award of a Fields Medal,[1-3] considered the Mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and now he's refused the million dollar Clay Mathematics Institute prize for his proof of the Poincaré Conjecture.[4] Perelman eschewed conventional journal publication by posting his proof in three internet posting in 2002 and 2003. What is the Poincaré Conjecture, and why was its proof worth a million dollars? In 1904, Henri Poincaré, a preeminent mathematician whose life bridged the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, had a conjecture on topology. The conjecture essentially states that the only three dimensional surfaces that can be mapped to a sphere are those with no holes and no boundary (e.g., a coffee cup with a handle cannot be mapped to a sphere). The "no boundary" part means that you can walk all over the surface, reaching every point, and not be stopped by anything. As time went by and a proof (or disproof) was not forthcoming, the conjecture became one of the glamour problems in mathematics, having a cachet similar to a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.The Millennium Prize Problems were established in 2000 as an incentive to solve the seven most vexing problems in mathematics:

• P versus NPPerelman solved the third problem, and it took mathematicians several years to verify the correctness of his proof. Earlier this year, the Clay Mathematics Institute said the prize was his, but he's officially declined the award. Perelman stated that another mathematician, Richard Hamilton, who had also worked on the problem, had as much claim to the award as he.[4] Hamilton had the idea of using a principle called Ricci Flow to solve the problem. So, the next time you're faced with a difficult math problem, just "go with the flow."

• The Hodge conjecture

• The Poincaré conjecture

• The Riemann hypothesis

• Yang-Mills existence and mass gap

• Navier-Stokes existence and smoothness

• The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture

### References:

- Justin Mullins, "Russian mathematics genius shuns the spotlight," New Scientist Online, August 17, 2006.
- Justin Mullins, "Prestigious Fields Medals for mathematics awarded," New Scientist Online, August 31, 2006.
- Jenny Hogan, "Maths 'Nobel' prize declined by Russian recluse," Nature Online, August 23, 2006.
- Marc Kaufman, "Russian mathematician wins $1 million prize, but he appears to be happy with $0," Washington Post Online, July 2, 2010.

*Permanent Link to this article*

RSS Feed

### Google Search

Latest Books by Dev Gualtieri

Thanks to Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing for his favorable review of Secret Codes!

Other Books

- Whiskey - January 20, 2020

- An Elastocaloric Calorimeter - January 13, 2020

- Elastocaloric Effect - January 6, 2020

- Christmas 2019 - December 23, 2019

- Our Accelerating Universe - December 16, 2019

- Math is Beautiful - December 9, 2019

- Giovanni Battista Riccioli - December 2, 2019

- Consider a Spherical Turkey - November 25, 2019

- Metamaterial Lenses - November 18, 2019

- Computing Chaos - November 11, 2019

- Ultra-Hyper-Super Black - November 4, 2019

- Interstellar Comets - October 28, 2019

- Magnetic Pole Flip - October 21, 2019

- Calvin Quate (1923-2019) - October 14, 2019

- Transistor Threads - October 7, 2019

- Scientific Broadness - September 30, 2019

- Squaring the Circle - September 23, 2019

- Death by Air Pollution - September 16, 2019

- Lots, and Lots, of Dots - September 9, 2019

- Fiber-Optic Sensors - September 2, 2019

- Is Science Simply Beautiful? - August 26, 2019

- Torqued Light - August 19, 2019

- The Dragonfly of Titan - August 12, 2019

- Optical Ruler - August 5, 2019

- Bolometry - July 29, 2019

- Too Many Commercials - July 22, 2019

- Lost Moons - July 15, 2019

- Go with the Flow - July 8, 2019

- Ion-Gated Transistors - July 1, 2019

### Deep Archive

Deep Archive 2006-2008

**Blog Article Directory on a Single Page**