Good Grigory Perelman Not Hunting $1M Prize Because He Already “Control(s) the Universe”

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Perelman in 1993

Grigory  (“Grisha”)Perelman is an unusual man  — in very many respects. Living in near poverty with his mother in St. Petersburg, the forty-three year old Russian mathematician had a strange interest in an arcane problem known as the Poincare’ Conjecture. Proposed in 1904 by French mathematician, Henri Poincare’, the theorem contends that three-spheres are the only possible bounded three-dimensional spaces to contain no holes.

The conjecture also surmises that if a closed three-dimensional manifold is sufficiently like a sphere in that each loop in the manifold can be tightened to a point, then it is really just a three-dimensional sphere. This is the essential problem in topology which is the study of  the spatial properties of objects that are preserved under steady deformations. Or, as a math professor of mine called it, “rubber band studies.”

In Cambridge Massachusetts the esteemed fellows at the Clay Mathematics Institute were also interested in a proof of the theorem, so much so in fact, that they offered a prize of one million dollars to anyone who could do it.  Enter Perelman with two proofs which he deduced in 2002 and 2003.  You can read them here. In 2010, the prize was offered and to the dismay of the offeror was summarily rejected.

Explained Perelman,”I learned how to calculate voids, along with my colleagues we know the mechanisms for filling in the social and economic voids.”  The prodigy also added, “[e]mptiness is everywhere and it can be calculated, which gives us a great opportunity … I know how to control the universe. So tell me, why should I run for a million ?”

Perelman prefers to stay out of public view. “I do not think anything that I say can be of the slightest public interest. I am not saying that because I value my privacy, or that I am doing anything I want to hide. There are no top-secret projects going on here. I just believe the public has no interest in me.”

“…why should I run for a million ?”   Er, I’ll take that question for you there Mr. Genius.

Source: UPI

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

34 thoughts on “Good Grigory Perelman Not Hunting $1M Prize Because He Already “Control(s) the Universe””

  1. Gosh, we just solved the most incredible math problem — EVER! Now if only we could count votes…

  2. pete
    1, May 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm
    40 y/o long hair, beard, lives in his momma’s basement and thinks about closed loop manifolds in three dimensional space.


  3. 40 y/o long hair, beard, lives in his momma’s basement and thinks about closed loop manifolds in three dimensional space.

    this boy knows where the good stuff is in st petersberg.

    and if he needs money he can go to work for geico

  4. WoW, I’m probably the only one among the visitors here to actually have apple fritters at hand- just polished off two of them. I made a double batch last night (which is actually about 4am) so I and mine are awash in nasty-looking but delicious apple fritters. It must have been some kind of future-looking space/time wave distortion thing-y going on, I just got the urge for them. BIL, I would send you one if I could.

    Someone should really force Mr. Perelman to take the money; a million dollars (like a good leftover apple fritter) is a terrible thing to pass up.

  5. Blouise
    1, May 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    (I learned something very important at the age of 10 years which has served me well all my life … not wanting to belong is the quickest way to gain acceptance (belong) … works every time in every situation.)

    magnetics can be fun…..but why think about it so hard?

  6. You can have some of my Hostess Donettes, Grisha, but stay the hell away from my coffee cake!

  7. rafflaw,

    re: Secondly, beignet’s are dreamy even if you aren’t at the Cafe Du Monde. I had my first one in the late 70′s during my only trip to New Orleans. Now that I think of it, I am getting hungry.

    Couldn’t agree more, rafflaw. Haven’t had one in years… Now you’ve done it… Guess I’ll have to order a box of the mix…

    Many beignet lovers here, I see… An apple fritter would be good right now, too.

  8. Remember, the guy is Russian–now. He was raised in a socialist/communist system that taught consideration of the common good, the needs of the people more than the self, we more than me, etc. And we shouldn’t forget that there’s a little bit of Leo Tolstoy (giving away the rights to his all of his literature to “the people of Russia”) in every Russian.

  9. Doc, now you have done it. You have probably killed poor raff.

  10. OS,

    Whatever you do, don’t mention the Feigenbaum constant!

    … um…


    s’rry raff…

  11. Doc, I have discovered that the very mention of math in raff’s presence is enough to cause palpitations. I mentioned the Fine Structure Constant to him a while back and he had to go lay down. 😀

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