Society » Real life stories
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Grigory Perelman to become academician against his will

Grigory Perelman to become academician against his will. 45381.jpegMathematician Grigory Perelman, who proved the Poincaré conjecture, may obtain the status of Academician. His candidacy was suggested by Ludwig Faddeev, Academician and Director of the Institute of Euler. The Scientific Council of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Steklov Institute unanimously supported this idea, Izvestia reported referring to the academician, chief scientific officer of the Institute, Yuri Matijasevic.


Now, Perelman is to go through the election at the General Meeting of the Academy in December. Prior to that he needs to collect numerous papers, including a list of his scientific works, biography, and other information. In this context, it is rather doubtful that the reclusive mathematician is really going to do this to become an academician.
 It is worth mentioning that the initiative to nominate Perelman originated in the Steklov Institute, where the scientist resigned in 2005, according to some - not without conflict. His former colleagues mention that he was offended by the fact that his work was not duly appreciated.

Another winner of the Fields Medal, Stanislav Smirnov, is more likely to become an academician. In 2010 he was awarded the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematicians. His candidacy has also been proposed by scientists.


After Perelman's discovery he was inundated by various attractive offers, including some from politicians. Back in May of last year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a general meeting of the Academy of Sciences set Perelman as an example for the academicians. After listening to the complaints of RAS President Yuri Osipov about inadequate funding of science, the Prime Minister reminded of the reclusive scholar who made a world-scale discovery. Not only did he not ask for money, he did not accept it. However, at the time Perelman candidacy for becoming an academician was not discussed.  
In addition, he would be welcomed by the presidential project "Skolkovo". This was stated by the project coordinator, billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg. However, Perelman was not interested in his proposal. Former Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov invited him to discuss modernization of the mathematics education and science in Russia, but never got an answer.
Perelman lives on the outskirts of St. Petersburg with his mother and is known for his solitary life. According to media reports, he has his own apartment, but he only visits it to collect utility bills.

Perelman showed his mathematical ability when a schoolboy. He was accepted to the Leningrad State University without entrance examinations. In the late 1980s, Perelman worked in the U.S., and in 1996 returned to St. Petersburg and settled in the Mathematics Institute. In December of 2005, the talented scientist resigned as the lead researcher of the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics.
Director of the Institute Sergei Kislyak said that Perelman was actually a "rather friendly person, even to some extent gregarious, but an introvert." "At the same time he is delicate to the extreme. Sometimes he saw violations of moral norms where there was none," said the scientist about his former colleague.

In March of 2010, the Clay Mathematical Institute of Massachusetts has awarded Gregory Perelman a prize of one million dollars. In 2002, the Russian mathematician has published his work devoted to solving a particular case of William Thurston's geometrization conjecture, from which the validity of the famous Poincaré conjecture followed. Later, Perelman's proof has been tested and presented in an expanded form by at least three groups of scientists.
 

The conjecture proved by Perelman is considered one of the seven mathematical problems of the millennium. It was formulated by the French mathematician Henri Poincare in 1904. It states that " Every simply connected, closed 3-manifold is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere." Now one hypothesis on the list of Millennium Challenge created in 2000 has been proved. Earlier in 2006, Perelman refused to accept the main mathematical prize in the world awarded to him - the Fields Medal.

Izvestia