man solves one of world's greatest mathematical puzzles and turns down 1 million

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by MohdSalleh, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. World's cleverest man turns down $1million prize after solving one of mathematics' greatest puzzles

    By Will Stewart
    Last updated at 6:00 PM on 22nd March 2010

    An impoverished Russian who has been called the world's cleverest man today said he does not need a $1million prize awarded by a prestigious American institute for solving one of the most intractable problems in mathematics.

    Dr Grigory Perelman prefers to live as a recluse in his grim cockroach-infested flat in St Petersburg.

    Told about the financial prize for solving the Poincare Conjecture which had confounded mathematicians for a century, he said through his closed front door: 'I don't need anything. I have all I want.'

    The bearded genius, aged 44, was named last week as winner of the $1 million prize by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Four years ago, after posting his solution on the web, he failed to turn up to receive his prestigious Fields Medal from the International Mathematical Union in Madrid.

    At the time he stated: 'I'm not interested in money or fame. I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo.

    'I'm not a hero of mathematics. I'm not even that successful, that is why I don't want to have everybody looking at me.'

    Neighbour Vera Petrovna said: 'I was once in his flat and I was astounded. He only has a table, a stool and a bed with a dirty mattress which was left by previous owners - alcoholics who sold the flat to him.

    'We are trying to get rid of cockroaches in our block, but they hide in his flat.'

    It was in 2003 that Perelman, then a researcher at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in St. Petersburg, began posting papers online suggesting he had solved the Poincare Conjecture, one of seven major mathematical puzzles for which the Clay Institute is offering $1 million each.

    Rigorous tests proved he was correct.

    The topological conundrum essentially states that any three-dimensional space without holes in it is equivalent to a stretched sphere.

    The puzzle was more than 100 years old when Perelman solved it - and can help determine the shape of the universe.

    After 2003 Perelman gave up his job at the Steklov Institute. Friends have been reported as saying he has resigned from mathematics altogether - finding the subject too painful to discuss.
  2. every man needs to be approached differently when trying to give him something he does not want.

    in this case instead of "we want to give you $1M" they should have said "your roaches are starving, we will be buying food for them for the next 200 years".
  3. What really happened:

    Dr Grigory Perelman: So, it wasn't an internet scam? I really won the money?

    Clay Mathematics Institute: Yes, but unfortunately, the deadline to claim your prize have been passed. The money has already been donated to our pension fund.

    Dr Grigory Perelman: I am so pissed. I will never bother with mathematics ever again! That includes accurately calculating the ever increasing population of cockroaches in my building! :mad:

    Just kidding. :p
  4. that's probably the guy's edge: the roaches and the absence of furniture, etc. other mathematicians don't realize that or are not willing to sacrifice the comfort of their living.
  5. This all happened a while ago. Why do people suddenly decide to bring it up now?
  6. wave


  7. His decision must be incomprehensible to most who never have known any other system but capitalism.

    BTW. I guess all that inferior Soviet education was not really that inferior.

    I am sure millions who work in Wall Marts and McDonalds in this country have so much more to show for (materialistically speaking).
  8. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

    au contraire, they have a superior education system, the real puzzle is how do they do it with such a meager schooling resources?
  9. Again, not everything can be solved by throwing money at it. Good education does not allow for second chances and teaches among other things responsibility and accountability.

    Perhaps that is why kids over there can walk to school next to a railway without getting run over and do not need a crossing guard to get to school.
  10. dhpar


    it depends.

    mathematics offers a separate reality where everything plays fair - something many people in USSR did not have in their real life. that's why many people studied it. also the fact that there was not much else to do played its role...
    #10     Mar 22, 2010