Holy crap!

How was I not aware that one of the Millenium Prize Problems—specifically, the Poincaré Conjecture—just got officially solved three days ago?

OK, so it was actually solved like seven years ago, but Grigori Perelman just got awarded the million dollar prize on March 18, 2010.

That’s it; I’m tackling P versus NP.

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4 thoughts on “Holy crap!

  1. Bragaadeesh says:

    I got really really curious when I read about Grigori Perelman. He has not only turned down the fields medal but also he quit from mathematics citing that as one of the reasons.
    I see that you are a philosopher. What crazy reason you think that Perelman abandoned Mathematics. I mean majority of the people work really hard and the satisfying thing a person can get is recognition. But what would be Perelman’s state of mind? Is he a nut-job or people’s wavelength are simply not matching with his’?

  2. Daniel says:

    I agree about Perelman; his behavior is really puzzling! Certainly, I assume that if I were offered the Fields medal, I’d display it proudly and boast about it to all of my friends.

    As for understanding Perelman’s mindset, I think this quote from The New Yorker (included in the Wikipedia article) sheds some light on it: “As long as I was not conspicuous, I had a choice. Either to make some ugly thing or, if I didn’t do this kind of thing, to be treated as a pet. Now, when I become a very conspicuous person, I cannot stay a pet and say nothing. That is why I had to quit.”

    It seems like Perelman, having some exposure to the culture of the Mathematics community, must feel that there is a significant amount of dishonest or dishonorable behavior happening within the field. Perhaps this is in regards to individuals being recognized on the basis of reputation rather than merit, or certain areas of research being pursued for political rather than purely academic reasons. I don’t know, but it does make me curious to learn more about Perelman!

    Of course, he could also just be crazy 😉 In any case, he’s clearly a lot more intelligent than I could ever hope to be…

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