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Math Science

Millennium Prize Awarded For Perelman's Poincaré Proof 117

epee1221 writes "The Clay Mathematics Institute has announced its acceptance of Dr. Grigori Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture and awarded the first Millennium Prize. Poincaré questioned whether there exists a method for determining whether a three-dimensional manifold is a spherical: is there a 3-manifold not homologous to the 3-sphere in which any loop can be gradually shrunk to a single point? The Poincaré conjecture is that there is no such 3-manifold, i.e. any boundless 3-manifold in which the condition holds is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere. A sketch of the proof using language intended for the lay reader is available at Wikipedia."
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Millennium Prize Awarded For Perelman's Poincaré Proof

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  • by atomic777 ( 860023 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:54AM (#31535084)
    It's amazing that TFA doesn't mention a thing about whether Perelman will actually accept the prize. What will happen to the prize money if he does not accept? The million dollars disappears into Lichtenstein numbered bank accounts 2718-282 and 3141-519?
  • English Please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AP31R0N ( 723649 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:55AM (#31535100)

    Could someone give us non-math geeks an explaination of this that does not include the following words: manifold homologous homeomorphic?

    i'll read the wiki page too, but i'm hoping someone here will take a crack at explaining in it plain English.

    Also: What does this mean? What are the applications? Not that it has to have any to be interesting.

  • Re:I'm amazed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Puff_Of_Hot_Air ( 995689 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:02AM (#31535202)
    Most rocket science isn't rocket science.
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:32AM (#31535766) Homepage

    Has anyone had a hard answer as to why he turned down the prizes and medals?

    What his friends have said is he believes actually proving it is reward enough. It's like being the first person to land on the moon, and someone gives you a "you landed on the moon" prize.

    Still, a million dollars is something that can give you a lot of freedom. Turning it down is something that he might regret later.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:46AM (#31536050)

    He does not want to be defended. As far as I read the controversy, he does not want to fight at all, because he (quite rightfully, imO) thinks that science should not be fought over.
    Criticism is useful. Politics (Yau, you asshole!) is not.

  • by Puff_Of_Hot_Air ( 995689 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:51AM (#31536176)
    Perelman is not a normal guy (obvious I realize, but hear me out). People like to subscribe 'normal' motives for behaviour they see as abnormal. I think this is why the idea that the fields medal was rejected as 'beneath' him was put forward. Arrogance is simple to understand. But what did Perelman actually say? "[the prize] was completely irrelevant for me. Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other recognition is needed". What Perelman was looking for was recognition for solving the problem. This was more important than the fields medal! What he got instead, was Yau and his cohorts claiming to have "really solved it." In Perelman's mind, political play such as this has no place in mathematics! Worse, his peers were not standing up to a) condemn this behaviour, and b) defend his paper. I think an important missing piece was that Perelman had not been officially recognized as having solved the Poincare conjecture. Now that this had been rectified, perhaps the world will be in enough order for him to rejoin it.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra