Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Russian math genius spurns prize and $1 million

I love this story from todays Seattle Times and not just because one of my degrees is in math and I may have some Russian blood.

A reclusive Russian won the math world's highest honor today for solving a problem that has stumped some of the discipline's greatest minds for a century — but he refused the award.

Grigory Perelman, a 40-year-old native of St. Petersburg, won a Fields Medal — often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize — for a breakthrough in the study of shapes that experts say might help scientists figure out the shape of the universe.

Besides shunning the award for his work in topology, Perelman also seems uninterested, according to colleagues, in a separate $1 million prize he could win for proving the Poincare conjecture, a theorem about the nature of multidimensional space.

a bunch of stuff nobody really cares about...

Perelman is believed to live with his mother in St. Petersburg. Recent efforts to contact him proved fruitless.

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