Friday, July 2, 2010

Perelman Rejects Million Dollar Math Prize

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the speculation as to whether (or not) Grigoriy Perelman would accept the $1,000,000 math prize from the Clay Institute. According to the Clay Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts (and this news was even reported in our local paper), Dr. Perelman, of St. Petersburg, Russia, has decided to decline the Millennium Prize for his contribution to solving the Poincare conjecture.

The Institute President, Jim Carlson, was quoted as saying that Perelman's decision was not a complete surprise, since he had declined some previous math prizes.

Dr. Perelman told Interfax that he considered his contribution to solving the Poincare conjecture no greater than that of the Columbia University mathematician, Richard Hamilton.

"To put it short, the main reason is my disagreement with the organized mathematical community," Perelman, 43, told Interfax. "I don't like their decisions, I consider them unjust."

In our local paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, it is stated that the Clay Institute officials will meet this Fall to decide what to do with the million dollars with Carlson saying,"We have some ideas in mind." "We want to consider that carefully and make the best use possible of the money for the benefit of mathematics."

May I suggest that the money be used for scholarships and fellowships for deserving students and researchers in mathematics and associated technical subjects?