Tuesday, August 22, 2006


It sounds like someone got a hold of Perelman - but his friends are protecting his whereabouts because he doesn't want the media attention which would be considerable - since he won the "Field's Medal" today. Perelman reportedly said that he "does not want to be seen as its figurehead."

This explains what he solved more basically than some other things:

The Poincare conjecture essentially says that in three dimensions you cannot transform a doughnut shape into a sphere without ripping it, although any shape without a hole can be stretched or shrunk into a sphere.

Proving the conjecture — an exercise in acrobatics with mindboggling imaginary doughnuts and balls — is anything but trivial. Colleagues say Perelman's work gives mathematical descriptions of what the universe might look like and promises exciting applications in physics and other fields.


Apparently Perelman posted his proof on a Math web site in Nov. 2002 instead of the normal procedure of publishing in peer reviewed journals.

I think it's interesting - and not surprising that someone who is so exceptional at Mathematics that he is also so reclusive. And that he doesn't follow standard procedures. It's not generally the sociable type of people who have the time or inclination to come up with these things. Einstein became quite the public figure - discussing religion and art and all kinds of things - taking a stand against nuclear weapons and wars - but that is probably pretty unusual.

My previous post about his was here.


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