Russian may have solved great math mystery
Thu Jan 08 @ 21:12
A publicity-shy Russian researcher who labors in near-seclusion may have solved one of mathematics’ oldest and most abstruse problems, the Poincare Conjecture. Evidence has been mounting since November 2002 that Grigori “Grisha” Perelman has cracked the 100-year-old problem, which seeks to explain the geometry of three-dimensional space. If Perelman succeeded, he could be eligible for a $1 million prize offered by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Clay Mathematics Institute, formed to identify the world’s seven toughest math problems. Mathematicians around the world have been checking Perelman’s work in search of the kind of flaws that have sunk the many other supposed solutions to a problem first presented by the French mathematician Henri Poincare in 1904. “This is arguably the most famous unsolved problem in math and has been for some time,” said Bruce Kleiner, a University of Michigan math professor reviewing Perelman’s work. Perelman’s work has advanced the furthest without falling apart, and there is optimism that it will ultimately hold up.