Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Russian maths genius may turn down $1m prize [solved the Poincaré conjecture]
The Telegraph ^ | 3/27/2010 | Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Olga Krepysheva in St. Petersburg

Posted on 03/28/2010 1:40:12 AM PDT by bruinbirdman

Inside the world of Grigory Perelman: the man who solved the world's toughest maths problem proves to be a puzzle himself.

He has been called "the cleverest man in the world" and shook academia to its foundations when he announced he had solved a fiendish mathematical problem that had baffled the planet's best brains for a century.

Yet Grigory Perelman, a 43-year-old Russian mathematician, has consciously spurned plaudits and wealth to subsist like a hermit. He lives in a 2-bedroom flat with his elderly mother in a dilapidated Soviet-era tower block in St. Petersburg, while neighbours complain that his own studio flat, which he seldom uses, has become a breeding ground for cockroaches.

Now he has proved again, and in spectacular fashion, that he despises society's conventional norms. Picking up the telephone last week, the bearded genius, who is jobless, found himself being offered an academic prize worth $1 million.

He politely but tersely told the prestigious American institute offering him the prize that he would have to consider whether he wanted to accept the money or not.

"He said he would let me know at some point," Jim Carlson, President of the Clay Mathematics Institute, told The Sunday Telegraph.

"He did not give a sense of timing but I do not expect it will be tomorrow. He is more than extremely brief. He does not say too much," he added, explaining that Mr Perelman had not said why he would need to think about such a windfall.

"It is not every day that a person even entertains turning down a million dollars."

The Russian has turned down high honours before. In 2006, he was offered and declined the Fields Medal, the mathematical world's equivalent of a Nobel Prize. He said at the time he was

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Russia
KEYWORDS: genius; math; stringtheory
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-69 next last
" It took four years for teams of academics around the world to check Mr Perelman's solution, but eventually they confirmed that he had cracked a conundrum that many had thought unsolvable. "
1 posted on 03/28/2010 1:40:12 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

Does this guy end every conversation with, “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friend?”


2 posted on 03/28/2010 1:44:31 AM PDT by MAD-AS-HELL (Hope and Change. Rhetoric embraced by the Insane - Obama, The Chump in Charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

BTW, he should take the money and use it to get a make over.


3 posted on 03/28/2010 1:45:12 AM PDT by MAD-AS-HELL (Hope and Change. Rhetoric embraced by the Insane - Obama, The Chump in Charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: bruinbirdman

He turned down the Fields Medal? Wow.


6 posted on 03/28/2010 1:57:39 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Integrity, Honesty, Character, & Loyalty still matter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

anyone ever wondered why theres so many smart Jews


7 posted on 03/28/2010 2:02:55 AM PDT by 4rcane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

This man is completely amazing, but 10 bucks says he’s never been laid. Any takers?


8 posted on 03/28/2010 2:02:55 AM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BuckeyeTexan

Wonderful story. Perhaps there is autism involved; people with this condition can be frighteningly intelligent. But it’s not for me to make a diagnosis from afar, of course.

He’s a real individual, an authentic person, who values personal choices more than conventional societal routines.


9 posted on 03/28/2010 2:03:26 AM PDT by Ayn And Milton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MAD-AS-HELL

SNORT!!!!

Excellent!


10 posted on 03/28/2010 2:19:22 AM PDT by octex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lmr

Neither was Newton.


11 posted on 03/28/2010 2:28:09 AM PDT by FredZarguna ("I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

He seems to be functional enough — and antisocial enough — that he might have Asperger’s Syndrome and not full-blown autism.


12 posted on 03/28/2010 2:30:52 AM PDT by FredZarguna ("I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: 4rcane
anyone ever wondered why theres so many smart Jews

They work at it. It's a culture that values education and learning. You can see the same thing in many of the Asians and Indians that come to the US. It's a trait to be emulated.
13 posted on 03/28/2010 2:31:45 AM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

Interesting guy. Brilliant.


14 posted on 03/28/2010 2:36:25 AM PDT by Cyropaedia ("Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principal of evil...".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FredZarguna

Yes, you’re completely right. I was thinking of Asperger’s too. Full autism would possibly have hampered him in publishing his work and presenting it to the outside world.


15 posted on 03/28/2010 2:36:31 AM PDT by Ayn And Milton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MAD-AS-HELL

lol


16 posted on 03/28/2010 2:40:20 AM PDT by BRL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

Amazing fellow. Take the contrast between Zer0 and the genius. Both are celebs of a sort.
One is real one is false.


17 posted on 03/28/2010 2:40:46 AM PDT by ChiMark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

Wisdom and character with virtue.


18 posted on 03/28/2010 2:40:48 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MAD-AS-HELL
I know he's not going to listen to me but I really think he needs to go out and get a job at MacDonald's. He'll get to socialize, get to eat Big Macs and they supply hair nets.

A month and he'll be begging for the million and the medal.

19 posted on 03/28/2010 2:42:22 AM PDT by Recon Dad ( USMC SSgt Patrick O - 3rd Afghanistan Deployment - Day 159)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MAD-AS-HELL; mlocher
"Grigory did not want to waste his time on this and colleagues voted him out. They voted out the most brilliant mathematician in the world."

Somehow I am not surprised at this. I am sure somewhere there is a top rate scientist that doubts globull warming that has been voted out too.

20 posted on 03/28/2010 2:46:46 AM PDT by BRL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek

The source of all blessing is through Israel, the Hebrew nation. From this truth, an interesting study arises when researching the etymology of innovative ideas.

The greatest number of inventions and innovative technology has originated via Hebrew lineage. While not always attributed to Jewish founders, it is interesting to observe how many inventions were solely from Jewish roots, and how many which claim to be independent of Jewish roots, happened to have had Jewish acquaintances about the time preceding their reported innovative discoveries.

Many innovations are spiritually communicated prior to any human communication.


21 posted on 03/28/2010 2:50:56 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Recon Dad

And if he does get a job at Mickey D’s, I am sure he’ll be the only one who will know what a McGangBang is when someone tries to order it. BTW, I had one, er made one, the other day and it’s actually quite good! And only for $2 +tax!!!

McGangBang = McDouble + McChicken Sandwich both from $1 menu. Sandwich the whole McChicken between the Mcdouble and enjoy!

You can see people try to order the McGB on youtube.


22 posted on 03/28/2010 2:52:23 AM PDT by MAD-AS-HELL (Hope and Change. Rhetoric embraced by the Insane - Obama, The Chump in Charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

It wouldn’t take conforming to conventional societal norms for him to make at least his mother’s life a little more bearable.


23 posted on 03/28/2010 2:54:39 AM PDT by Shimmer1 (When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MAD-AS-HELL

Let’s see if he can make change in his head!


24 posted on 03/28/2010 3:01:29 AM PDT by Recon Dad ( USMC SSgt Patrick O - 3rd Afghanistan Deployment - Day 159)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Shimmer1

Wise words. Accepted with gratitude.


25 posted on 03/28/2010 3:03:40 AM PDT by Ayn And Milton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman
And no one bothers to ask or define ... what the hell is Poincare's conjecture??

For compact 2-dimensional surfaces without boundary, if every loop can be continuously tightened to a point, then the surface is topologically homeomorphic to a 2-sphere, usually just called a sphere. The Poincaré conjecture asserts that the same is true for 3-dimensional surfaces.

(Like .. I even understand THAT !!?!!)

26 posted on 03/28/2010 3:11:01 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek

got a point there. Because of the dominance of left wing educators in the western world, they don’t push kids at all, instead encourage them to pursue liberal arts, literature and history


27 posted on 03/28/2010 3:15:13 AM PDT by 4rcane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton; FredZarguna

I thought of Asperger’s too.

I also thought of his poor mother and what this all must be like for her.

And I’m also thinking that if I controlled the giving of that $1 million prize I would try to think of some way to set up a trust fund and give the mother access.


28 posted on 03/28/2010 3:22:21 AM PDT by samtheman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: samtheman

Yep. Shimmer1 below had about the same idea. The mother probably is the forgotten heroine in the whole story.


29 posted on 03/28/2010 3:40:48 AM PDT by Ayn And Milton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: 4rcane
anyone ever wondered why theres so many smart Jews

They work hardest of any clan on earth at being smart.

30 posted on 03/28/2010 3:49:03 AM PDT by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton
Perhaps there is autism involved

That was my thought also.
31 posted on 03/28/2010 4:00:32 AM PDT by redheadtoo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: 4rcane
anyone ever wondered why theres so many smart Jews

IIRC this book addresses this question somewhat. Among other things it says says that in Jewish history and culture, a religious scholar was always seen as a good match for the daughter of a rich merchant.

32 posted on 03/28/2010 4:10:20 AM PDT by wideminded
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

Not surprised several conclude this man has a variety of mental defects giving justification to his brilliance.


33 posted on 03/28/2010 4:40:35 AM PDT by bushpilot1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BRL
Somehow I am not surprised at this. I am sure somewhere there is a top rate scientist that doubts globull warming that has been voted out too.

If you are voted off the Island that the electorate things will be submerged because of global warming, do you really care?

34 posted on 03/28/2010 5:08:28 AM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

Reminds me of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”.


35 posted on 03/28/2010 5:24:25 AM PDT by baltoga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Recon Dad

Perhaps he should start to Tweat or create his own Facebook page.


36 posted on 03/28/2010 5:26:26 AM PDT by baltoga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: baltoga

Good call. I think the character played by Russell Crowe, game theorist John F. Nash jr., got to suffer from schizophrenia around his 30th year, and only seemed recovered in his mid-fifties.

In turn this reminds me of the life story of head Beach Boy Brian D. Wilson. He was terribly abused in his youth, and around his 25th year, he developed ‘schizo-affective disorder’, a close relative of schizophrenia. He heard voices in his head that threatened to kill him. But he also heard the most beautiful music imaginable in his brain. And put it on paper, and on record. Wilson got into the claws of a psychologist who sought total control of his patient; and that man prescribed him enormous quantities of legal, but not appropriate drugs. As a result, Wilson experienced horrible setbacks, physically and mentally, for long years. Only around his 50th year he began to wrestle himself loose from that ‘doctor’. (That man, BTW, had snuck so deeply into Wilson’s life that he got his patient to change his will and leave half of his fortune to the doc, as a reward for ‘saving his patient’s life’).

Wilson fought and got back. I saw him live in London and Amsterdam, with superb shows, in 2002 and 2004. He’s recording two new albums now, one with Disney songs, and one with works by George Gershwin.

Mind over matter, or what?


37 posted on 03/28/2010 5:34:22 AM PDT by Ayn And Milton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Ayn And Milton

Amen, let the man live the life he chooses, he’s not hurting anyone.


38 posted on 03/28/2010 5:35:05 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: 4rcane
anyone ever wondered why theres so many smart Jews

No, you're the first one. Actually, Herrnstein and Murray attribute it to genetics, iirc. They are more specific and attribute the difference to Ashkenazi Jews who are typically about 15 points higher in IQ than average folks.

39 posted on 03/28/2010 5:37:40 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The naked casuistry of the high priests of Warmism would make a Jesuit blush.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

Holy crap!! A neanderthal solved the world’s toughest math problem!!

No wonder those cavemen on the Geico commercials get so mad!


40 posted on 03/28/2010 5:44:25 AM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Speak english please. :)


41 posted on 03/28/2010 5:47:01 AM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: autumnraine
Hell ... I had to look it up.

I'm still dealing with the reason the local tribe on "F Troop" was called the "Howcowya's"

42 posted on 03/28/2010 5:53:05 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: knarf
I wondered the same thing, so I went looking. This was one explanation that I thought was understanble, somewhat:

A proposition in topology put forward by Henri Poincaré in 1904. Poincaré was led to make his conjecture during his pioneering work in topology, the mathematical study of the properties of objects that stay unchanged when the objects are stretched or bent. In loose terms, the conjecture is that every three-dimensional object that has a set of sphere-like properties (i.e., is topologically equivalent to a sphere) can be stretched or squeezed until it is a three-dimensional sphere (a 3-sphere) without tearing (i.e., making a hole) it. Strictly speaking, the conjecture says that every closed, simply-connected three-manifold is homeomorphic to the three-sphere.

Poincaré proved the two-dimensional case and he guessed that the principle would hold in three dimensions. Determining if the Poincaré conjecture is correct has been widely judged the most important outstanding problem in topology – so important that, in 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute in Boston named it as one of seven Millennium Prize Problems and offered a $1 million prize for its solution. Since the 1960s, mathematicians have shown by various means that the generalized conjecture is true for all dimensions higher than three – the four-dimensional case finally falling in 1982. But none of these strategies work in three dimensions. On Apr. 7, 2002 came reports that the Poincaré conjecture might have been proved by Martin Dunwoody of Southampton University, but within a few days a fatal flaw was found in his proof. Then, in April 2003, what appears to be a genuine breakthrough emerged during a series of lectures delivered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by the Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics (part of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg). His lectures, entitled "Ricci Flow and Geometrization of Three-Manifolds," constituted Perelman's first public discussion of important results contained in two earlier preprints. Mathematicians will now scrutinize the validity of Perelman's work (which does not actually mention the Poincaré conjecture by name). In any event, the Clay Institute calls for a two-year cooling-off period is required before the prize can be awarded.

manifold A mathematical object that, in geometrical terms, is nearly "flat" on a small scale (though on a larger scale it may bend and twist into exotic and intricate forms). More precisely, a manifold is a topological space that looks locally like ordinary Euclidean space. Every manifold has a dimension, which is the number of coordinates needed to specify it in the local coordinate system. A circle, although curved through two dimensions, is an example of a one-dimensional manifold, or one-manifold. A close-up view reveals that any small segment of the circle is practically indistinguishable from a straight line. Similarly, a sphere's two-dimensional surface, even though it curves through three dimensions, is an example of a two-manifold. Seen locally, the surface, like that of a small portion of the Earth, appears flat. A manifold that is smooth enough to have locally well-defined directions is said to be differentiable. If it has enough structure to enable lengths and angles to be measured, then it is called a Riemannian manifold. Differentiable manifolds are used in mathematics to describe geometrical objects, and are also the most natural and general settings in which to study differentiability. In physics, differentiable manifolds serve as the phase space in classical mechanics, while four dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifolds are used to model spacetime in general relativity.

homeomorphic In topology, two objects are said to be homeomorphic if they can be smoothly deformed into each other.

43 posted on 03/28/2010 6:16:32 AM PDT by Robert DeLong (u)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: knarf

ONE balloon.

44 posted on 03/28/2010 6:22:57 AM PDT by MestaMachine (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2426869/posts SUPPORT RINO FREE AMERICA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: bruinbirdman

I am better than nothing?


45 posted on 03/28/2010 6:25:08 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek

There is certainly a strong cultural element, but in the old nurture vs. nature choice, there seems to be a strong genetic element as well.

One explanation, conjectural, is that in the shtetl the rabbi was the smartest man, and because of support from the community, was able to have the largest family. These smart children multipled.

I notice that Perelman’s engineer father is in Israel. Little Israel has become a scientific and engineering powerhouse, in part by an influx of highly talented Russian Jews.


46 posted on 03/28/2010 6:41:18 AM PDT by Malesherbes (Sauve qui peut)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Robert DeLong; knarf
The yellow balloon,(Post #44 above,) is a cuboctahedron


This is a 4 simplex ONE balloon.

This is a 5 tetrahedra made of five balloons

All are assembled according to mathematical structures.

It is the simplest illustration I can think of.

47 posted on 03/28/2010 7:00:57 AM PDT by MestaMachine (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2426869/posts SUPPORT RINO FREE AMERICA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Ashkenazi Jews who are typically about 15 points higher in IQ than average folks.

Those are the same Jews who are overwhelmingly liberal.

48 posted on 03/28/2010 7:11:05 AM PDT by drubyfive
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: drubyfive

Well. It took 48 posts to get there. That’s an improvement. Usually it only takes 5 or 6.


49 posted on 03/28/2010 7:14:59 AM PDT by MestaMachine (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2426869/posts SUPPORT RINO FREE AMERICA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: MestaMachine

Besides, it’s a French conjecture and a Russian hermit.


50 posted on 03/28/2010 7:29:42 AM PDT by drubyfive
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-69 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson