A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the CenturyBook - 2009
A gripping and tragic tale that sheds rare light on the unique burden of genius
In 2006, an eccentric Russian mathematician named Grigori Perelman solved the Poincare Conjecture, an extremely complex topological problem that had eluded the best minds for over a century. A prize of one million dollars was offered to anyone who could unravel it, but Perelman declined the winnings, and in doing so inspired journalist Masha Gessen to tell his story. Drawing on interviews with Perelman’s teachers, classmates, coaches, teammates, and colleagues in Russia and the United States—and informed by her own background as a math whiz raised in Russia—Gessen uncovered a mind of unrivaled computational power, one that enabled Perelman to pursue mathematical concepts to their logical (sometimes distant) end. But she also discovered that this very strength turned out to be Perelman's undoing and the reason for his withdrawal, first from the world of mathematics and then, increasingly, from the world in general.
Baker & Taylor
Offers the true story of a mathematical mystery, a million-dollar prize and the fate of genius in today's world, in a book that focuses on a mathematician's difficulty in dealing with the reality of human affairs and how it caused him to withdraw first from the field he loved, and then from the world in general.
Relates the story of the mathematical genius who solved one of the world's greatest intellectual puzzles--the Poincarâe conjecture--but could not cope with the reality of human affairs, causing him to withdraw first from the field he loved, and then from the world in general.
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Would I, of my own sound and volition, willfully dedicate my time to reading this book? Probably not. Admittedly, the cover is super cool and features some pretty awe-worthy eyebrows, (thanks Perelman) and the summary makes the whole thing seem like some intense, gripping tale of a life-changing event—which I guess it kinda was—but still. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Perfect Rigor… (more)