It's a math, math, math, math world...

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Not sure if you've caught this, but the math world is positively abuzz because a reclusive Russian math scholar named Grigori Perelman has turned down the so-called "Nobel Prize of Math." Known as the Fields Medal, the prize is valued at $15,000 (Canadian), and considered one of the discipline's most prestigious awards. And while the move is essentially the academic equivalent of Jonathan Franzen turning down the Oprah Book Club, it might not be the only award Perelman turns down this year. A foundation known as The Clay Institute has offered a $1 million dollar prize bounty for solutions to 7 historic, unsolved math problems, and because Perelman's work has cracked the Poincare conjecture (a breakthrough which experts say could help understand the shape of the universe) he's up for that prize as well. To date however, Perelman has felt rejected by the academic community, and is unwilling to accept the prizes since "he does not want to be seen as [the mathematical community's] figurehead."

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August 24, 2006 - 7:53am
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