Perfect Rigor

Perfect Rigor

A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century

Book - 2009
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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.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
ISBN: 9780151014064
015101406X
Branch Call Number: 921 Perel
Characteristics: xi, 242 pages ; 24 cm

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baldand
May 05, 2012

A wonderful book about the Soviet and Russian education system in general and the unique mathemetical genius that it produced. Hardly anyone is a Grigory Perelman, but any honest independent minded researcher who has had to deal with institutional bureaucracies will read it with a certain sense of déja vu.

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PatEe
Oct 11, 2010

There is a lot of interesting information about Russia and mathematics, but the book tends to stretch small uninteresting and inconsequential items out into infinite detail to fill up space; to create more pages basically.
It can be a tedious read in places because of this, but easy to skip over such places without missing anything.

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