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Grigory Perelman Turns Down $1M Millennium Prize

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-buy-me-love dept.

Math 226

Kleiba writes "After turning down the prestigious Field Medal in 2006 for his contributions to mathematics, the reclusive Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman announced yesterday that he is rejecting a $1 million Millennium Prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute for solving the Poincare conjecture."

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226 comments

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Why (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775236)

Yeah, and do you know why? Because this guy believes that most advancements in science are cooperative efforts, and that recognizing individuals for merely putting the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle is intellectually dishonest: It devalues the work of everyone else who contributed.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775296)

He could just accept in and donate it to charity.
That way it would be spent much better.

Re:Why (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775462)

He could just accept in and donate it to charity.

The money already belongs to a charity.

Re:Why (1, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775792)

So the guy should donate it back. This isn't hard to figure out.

because... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775888)

Taxes would be a bitch. It's better to not exchange money in the first place.

Re:Why (5, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776010)

Given the kind of money math researchers at the university level make, redistributing it to everyone who's contributed to his win would be donating it to charity.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775488)

The money would certainly be better left for a new prize that spurs more math research than donating it to some charity.

Re:Why (1)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775590)

Taking from one Charity and giving to another Charity? Now that is just sick.

Re:Why (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775832)

Taking from one Charity and giving to another Charity? Now that is just sick.

Obviously you are not the US President.

Re:Why (1)

morphotomy (1655417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775962)

Or, in a manner more fitting with the first comment he could share it with people who he feels made important contributions, or their heirs if need be.

Re:Why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775306)

Because he's one dumb motherfucker, motherfucker !

Re:Why (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775376)

I think it's pretty clear that the guy suffers some severe abnormal psychology. Not uncommon among the brilliant.

Re:Why (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775544)

This reminds me of people being accused of mental unstability for being republican under a monarchy, pro-western under Soviet communism, atheist under a theocracy, religious among atheists, and so it goes on.

My training is mathematics. I don't have this guy's brain, but I sure hope that if, by some chance, I discover anything remotely as interesting as he has, I'll not sell out either. If every bright man did it for enjoyment of his discipline, life would be glorious.

Re:Why (0)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776042)

My training is mathematics. I don't have this guy's brain, but I sure hope that if, by some chance, I discover anything remotely as interesting as he has, I'll not sell out either. If every bright man did it for enjoyment of his discipline, life would be glorious.

While on one hand, I totally agree with this, on the other hand, I think there's an adult-entertainment industry analogy just begging to be made here.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775568)

I think it's pretty clear that the guy suffers some severe abnormal psychology. Not uncommon among the brilliant.

Why? The purpose of these prize monies is to ensure that brilliant researchers have the ability to spend their time on what they are good at doing instead of worrying about where they work or how much they get paid.

If this guy feels that making a living is not conflicting with his work, why is it irrational to leave the money with the institute so it can help somebody else with less financial security/high student loans, etc.

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

unr3a1 (1264666) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775612)

I think it's pretty clear that the man is very humble and selfless. Since when is being these things considered to be abnormal? He should be honored and respected for his actions, not called abnormal.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775950)

He may be humble, he may be selfless. But he also dances to the beat of his own drum. For instance, when he came up with his solution, instead submitting it for review, he posted it online. And when he returned from America after meeting with a number of people and wowing them with his intellect, he dropped of the face of the Earth for a good portion of time. He quit his teaching job, is unemployed and living with his mother, refusing to even see anyone.

He has 'issues'. They may be minor issues where he is still functional and simply has switched his focus from math to something else, or they may be major issues where we'll be calling him the next Bobby Fisher in a decade. But regardless, he has them.

Re:Why (3, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775452)

"recognizing individuals for merely putting the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle is intellectually dishonest: It devalues the work of everyone else who contributed."

He's got a good point, so why doesn't he take the money and pay all those he believes should be paid for their contribution? Perelman says his contribution is no greater than Richard Hamilton's who first suggested a pathway toward the solution. Why not give the money to him or scores of other great mathematicians?

Re:Why (4, Insightful)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775630)

By turning down the prize he brings wide attention to the issue, which could actually change the situation.

Re:Why (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776206)

which could actually change the situation.

lol. no.

He'll be labeled an "eccentric genius" (aka kook) and the world will go on as before. Where've you been?

 

Re:Why (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776208)

His problem seems to be that Hamilton's work isn't being recognized as well, and more generally that the process used to assess the award is unjust. Why don't the key people at the Clay Mathematics Institute offer to sit down with him and hear what he has to say on the matter with an open mind about changing the way they work?

They don't have to ultimately do anything, but here they have a smart guy telling them something is wrong with their organization at great personal cost to himself. Wouldn't that prompt you to take a look at yourself?

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776426)

Less money to pay out equals more money for the chairman of the board.

Re:Why (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776240)

By turning down the prize he brings wide attention to the issue, which could actually change the situation.

Change it in which way? Eliminate it, or distribute it in some equitable way? The person most able to distribute it equitably would be the one who put all the pieces together. So he could do that now and it would still draw plenty of attention to it.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776178)

Why would anyone even want to open that can of worms? Who gets how much? I suspect he just likes solving math problems, and would rather continue doing that, than deal with the bullshit of the "equitable distribution of a million Ameribux". The man doesn't want it, and as far as I'm concerned, doesn't have to explain why. If we take your suggestion, why not have CMI distribute it instead?

Re:Why (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776268)

I think you (and they) do not understand Perelman, his mind does not work like that. They should stop annoying him by trying to give him the money.

A better way to give Grigory Perelman 1 million dollars is to give a monthly allowance to whoever happens to be supporting him (and doing a good enough job of it).

Maybe they could secretly[1] give the money to his mom and sister (maybe a small lump sum in addition to the monthly allowance). They were/are supporting him[2].

He does not seem to be the sort of guy who can take good care of himself. I suspect that the people taking care of him allow him to focus on stuff like math, otherwise he might not be healthy enough to do so (or even alive).

[1] He may not take it well if he knew.

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1526782/Worlds-top-maths-genius-jobless-and-living-with-mother.html [telegraph.co.uk]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/23/grigory-perelman-rejects-1m-dollars [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775484)

Yeah, but... yesterday?!? Wasn't this news several MONTHS ago that he solved said conjecture and turned down the prize?

Re:Why (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775686)

Yes, but to be fair, this time they offered the prize to the OTHER eyebrow.

Re:Why (2, Interesting)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775560)

Either that or he has another theory that the monetary system flawed and fails to adequately characterize the effort = reward by the fact that Money is it's own reward or Money = More Money.

Re:Why (2, Funny)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775598)

Because this guy believes that most advancements in science are cooperative efforts, and that recognizing individuals for merely putting the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle is intellectually dishonest

No, no, no, no, no. You got it all wrong. Please don't paint this with your opinionated brush about intellectual honesty.
It's simple. What USE does he have for money in the 8th dimension?! (It's pronounced Big-boo-TAY)

Re:Why (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776276)

~ It's not my goddamn planet! Understand, monkeyboy?~

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775602)

Because this guy believes that most advancements in science are cooperative efforts, and that recognizing individuals for merely putting the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle is intellectually dishonest: It devalues the work of everyone else who contributed.

Cooperative efforts yes, but I disagree with the rest of your statement. The person who puts the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle together is the one who makes the work the rest did useful. So another guy pointed out the pathway? Yes, but he didn't solve the problem. His contributions may have been valuable, and he should be credited for what he did do, but starting something is not the same as finishing something. Starting something is not worth 1 million. Finishing something revolutionary is. Finding the answer that others, including the starter could not, is what make his work worth 1 million. And it doesn't devalue the work of those who's work he built on. It doesn't say they did nothing. It accurately values their contributions as good, but values his as the more revolutionary contribution, which it was.

As the Clay institute even points out in the article, every mathematician follows in the work of others. Everyone does that. There's nothing to reward there. What not everyone does is tie all the pieces together into a revolutionary advance. THAT's why they want to award Perleman 1 million dollars and that's why they think he should accept it. And I agree, he should take the money as it is not a gift, but rather an earned reward for the hard, revolutionary work that he did.

Re:Why (-1, Offtopic)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776086)

Ah, so apple should have the right to make all of OS X and web kit closed source then? After all, they finished it, that's what's important.

Re:Why (5, Interesting)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775616)

I thought it was because he was angry with some well known profs who he had talked to about his proof method and they had pretty much shut him out when he was a grad student or postdoc or something, and that because these awards are for leaders of the mathematical community, and he feels ostracized by the community, he won't participate.

That said, the dude is being supported by his mother--last I checked--which, if true, in my mind means he ought to take the money and give it to his mom if he doesn't want it.

you have the IQ of an oyster... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775652)

He's just a stinking communist like all the rest where he comes from..

Re:Why (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775892)

Its good to know nothing exploded.

Re:Why (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776032)

Amen

Re:more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776158)

he is too busy raiding with his guild...

its obvious.

Re:Why (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776230)

Doesn't Perelman live with his mom? Doesn't she support him? Wouldn't the ethical thing be to accept the money for her sake?

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776272)

There should be a foundation managing and carefully investing the unreceived prize money for Perelman, however, just in the case he or his family needs the money eventually. In fact, if Perelman doesn't personally ever use the money, perhaps the foundation, lets call it the Perelman Foundation could provide some healthcare and means for communication for the "third world" mathematicians who are unlikely to get much support from the communities around them since their contribution to the society is not immediately "practical".

Re:Why (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776326)

Prizes for everyone! Yay!

lol (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775246)

lol

A true mathmetician (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775250)

There aren't too many of 'em left out there. I wouldn't be surprised if he had requested his name to be withheld from being publicly acknowledged.

Re:A true mathmetician (-1, Troll)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775450)

Gee, do you mean that to be a true mathematician you have to be a social outcast and refuse a $1M dollar price while unemployed... Andrew Wiles would like a word

And then people are supposed to not feel weird about the stereotype

Grigory is a prime example of mental disease.

Re:A true mathmetician (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775576)

Actually, no...I was referring to someone who does math with the intent on solving problems, not gaining recognition.

Re:A true mathmetician (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775806)

Good point.

But good work usually brings recognition in math, I mean, not many "pop mathematicians"

I'm not sure how this plays out in the math field, as opposed to tech field, I'm more used to, where about 70% of works are irrelevant/dead ends/redundant/not even trying/etc.

Re:A true mathmetician (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776390)

The truly great ones tend to be, and I haven't seen any evidence that there's many of them out there at any given time. Mostly because most choose to go under the radar. But it does seem to require a certain amount of brokenness to the thalamus region of the brain to even get these sorts of ideas to begin with, and that tends to be somewhat counter the purpose of desiring recognition.

Also, trying to gain recognition is counter the process as it tends to drive people to fence in their thinking to areas that are somewhat conventional, if you want to look at the conventional you're not going to discover things like relativity or most of quantum physics. It just doesn't work. Quantum physics actually makes a whole lot more sense than is generally accepted, but it requires a certain amount of brokenness to comprehend how things like the Copenhagen interpretation apply to everyday life. And why that's surprisingly important to not know when one wishes to function in society with other sentient beings.

Re:A true mathmetician (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776022)

I don't think there's ever been too many, but I think there's still probably more but there now than there ever has been. He did a great job, but is by no means unique, although certainly the way he has responded to his achievements is fairly unique in modern times.

Don't forget that people like Andrew Wiles are still alive and kicking, who proved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1995 to give one example.

I think the real problem is that mathematical and scientific achievements are just going ever more unnoticed amongst the latest big titted blonde who got rich and famous simply by being dumb, or the currnet expert at kicking a ball around a field, or the latest celebrity to retardedly kill themselves with a drug overdose or whatever.

Re:A true mathmetician (2, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776088)

A true mathmetician ... There aren't too many of 'em left out there.

*facepalm*

Again? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775270)

Didn't he reject the award repeatedly, over the past few years, every time he was asked? Why are people still annoying the poor guy?

Re:Again? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775552)

he's got 99 problems but the poincare conjecture aint one

Re:Again? (5, Informative)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775632)

No. Multiple awards. Field medal first, now millennium prize.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775794)

He has mentioned before that he WOULD turn down the Millennium Prize. (Which, by the way, is misspelled in the headline. The letter n should be there twice. Editors, fix it?)

Yesterday, he DID turn down the Millennium prize.

So technically, it's a new event.

Re:Again? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775808)

Yeah, "poor guy," getting offered millions of dollars but having to make the effort of turning it down instead of donating it to a good cause. I can't imagine that kind of hardship.

Get them out of the way (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775272)

Common replies:

1. I'll take it!

2. He should just donate it to charity

3. It's insulting to other mathematicians for him not to take it

4. Give the guy his privacy

5. Did you see how he lives?

6. He should just give it to his family

7. He's dumb; with that money he could be a recluse for much longer

Glad we got those out of the way. You're welcome for time saved.

The least he should have done... (0, Redundant)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775312)

Would be to have selected an appropriate charity to receive the award on his behalf.

Re:The least he should have done... (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775716)

First off, charities can get quite political.

This guy doesn't see of it as his money to determine where it ends up. He is just doing his part. He does not require a monetary award for his actions, he believes the benefit will come from him doing his work.

He's not a mathmetician for his own benefit, so he's basically trying to say that by saying "Take the money out of the equation".

Haha, see what I did there?

So... (1, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775328)

If that million dollars is just sitting around doing nothing, can I please have it instead? I'm pretty good at adding.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775518)

I got division down pat! The prize money is mine!

Aid Society! (0, Redundant)

cadience (770683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775422)

1. Accept prize
2. Create trust fund or some other fancy-smancy-thingy with the money.(or, go straight to step 3)
3. Make the money available for the pursuit of mathematics knowledge.
4 Profit! (of world knowledge - improvements of collaboration, etc.)

Re:Aid Society! (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775548)

I was under the impression that he publicly stated why he wouldnt accept the money, and it was basically:

"If I had that money then I would feel compelled to use it to do good charitable things, but what I really want to with my life is more math and as such, that money would be a burden"

Re:Aid Society! (0, Offtopic)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776254)

I was under the impression that he publicly stated why he wouldnt accept the money, and it was basically: "If I had that money then I would feel compelled to use it to do good charitable things, but what I really want to with my life is more math and as such, that money would be a burden"

Seems fitting he might use that money to build a spacecraft, even if it does look like junk, and finally solve the big question about how long it actually takes to do the Kessel Run - and if it's measured in time or distance.

Though I guess that would be if a physicist won the prize, not a mathematician

Re:Aid Society! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776186)

except the money is already in the hands of a "fancy-smancy-thingy" that makes it available for the pursuit of mathematics knowledge. Why on earth would he do it all over again?

What's a Millenium? (0, Troll)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775424)

Is that anything like a Millennium?

Re:What's a Millenium? (2, Insightful)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775476)

Oh, you don't have the kdawson->English plugin installed, do you?

he did it because (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775458)

he thinks he doesn't deserve the lion's share of the prize because there were others who contributed to his (their) achievement

the man has principles, that's for sure

all of our work, whatever we do, whether science, math, movies, music... we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, or on the shoulders of those working right next to us. often recognition for making a contribution is just a matter of luck, of being the one who accumulates the most media coverage for being at the tipping point when there was a tipping point to be had (as if anyone knows where or when the tipping points lie)

not that i'm denigrating grigory's contributions. HE is denigrating his own contributions. a genuinely humble man, even in the face of a cool million. he's more of an ascetic than i could ever be. he's married to his intellectual pursuits, he's foregone earthly indulgences because they will just get in the way of all he cares about doing. he knows that the money will ruin his mental discipline. locking himself in a room with his mind out of genuine intellectual passion

i admire him, i could never do that. i like the earthly indulgences too much

Re:he did it because (1)

beschra (1424727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775546)

According to TFA, he lives with his elderly mother. I wonder how she supports herself. You'd think $1 million would help her out a bit.

i think his elderly mother (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775766)

is pretty damn proud of him, for doing the math, AND rejecting the prize

his value system came from somewhere

Re:i think his elderly mother (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775868)

Why be proud of someone who refused helpful money? Think of the positive things he could have done by contributing it to a good cause, such as a math program for children. Refusing it and justifying it as some ethical behavior is actually the more self-centered, attention-seeking action to take.

anything can be selfish (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776028)

rejecting the money is selfish, accepting the money is selfish, giving it to his mom is selfish, keeping it from his mom is selfish, etc. it all depends upon the motivation

all that i am saying is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so therefore whatever his motivation for rejecting the money, his mother probably shares the same motivations in her personality. therefore it is likely that she would be happiest with him rejecting the money. giving the money to his mother may very well be the absolute worst thing in the world he could ever do to his mother

so don't assume that your perspective is the only perspective that matters in situations like this, especially since you are not even in the situation. people are different, potentially very different from your own personality

Re:i think his elderly mother (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776048)

He refused it and therefore left it with the Clay Institute, a charitable organization "Dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge". So already done.

Re:i think his elderly mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776068)

Think of all the bad things money has done to people. That should scare most people but it doesn't. Its scary how some of those who won many millions at the lottery and now pennyless and homeless 10 years later.

Let me guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776264)

Refusing it and justifying it as some ethical behavior is actually the more self-centered, attention-seeking action to take.

Oh, so you're a fucking American. What a shock.

Re:he did it because (4, Funny)

emudoug42 (977380) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775572)

yeah, earthly indulgences are wicked sweet. You could buy a lot of waffle mix with one million dollars. about 592,000 lbs of waffle mix.

you would spend it on waffle mix? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776118)

what are you, some sort of imbecile child?

grow up

he should spend it on ice cream, duh

Re:he did it because (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775774)

he thinks he doesn't deserve the lion's share of the prize because there were others who contributed to his (their) achievement

Fair enough. Maybe everyone who has worked with him in some way should get together and agree that they would like him to take the prize, even if it is simply to help out his mother.

There is another view point, that the best work sometimes comes from lack of resources, not with the abundance of.

Re:he did it because (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775830)

Perhaps he could apply his math skills and divide the money among those who contributed. Or he could donate it to a good cause. This really doesn't seem like a hard problem to solve.

I know how to solve this problem. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775480)

On his behalf, I accept the money.

For solving this problem, I will gladly accept any additional prize money.

Too much paperwork... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775520)

...and the guy rather will spend this time doing his next research.

Millennium, not Millenium. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775608)

Millennium. Two Ns. From Latin "mille", thousand, and "annus", year. A thousand years.
If you write it with only one N, it would be derived from mille and anus, which would be "a thousand assholes".

Re:Millennium, not Millenium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775720)

If you write it with only one N, it would be derived from mille and anus, which would be "a thousand assholes".

I'd refuse the Millenium Prize, unless it came with a million dollars.

Re:Millennium, not Millenium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776266)

Well, this is Slashdot.

Re:Millennium, not Millenium. (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776298)

If you write it with only one N, it would be derived from mille and anus, which would be "a thousand assholes".

Well, this is Slashdot...thought your estimate may be a little low.

Re:Millennium, not Millenium. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776318)

If you write it with only one N, it would be derived from mille and anus, which would be "a thousand assholes".

...which, incidentally, is the prize for excellence in management.

Home school (1)

glittermage (650813) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775626)

Grigory Perelman is simply amazing. Wonder if he would home school my children in mathematics...

Ummmm (1)

flipper9 (109877) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775746)

I'd be willing to take it for him!

Fields (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775820)

It's Fields, not Field.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fields_Medal

Not because it's a plural: Fields is a last name.

boo hoo... cry babies (3, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775822)

This gave me a chuckle;

Carlson said. "But what he did is definitely not the way things are normally done."

And the only reason they took him seriously was from past work. So in other words; if someone cracks an astounding math problem and they don't know you; they will ignore you because you did not "follow their procedures"; even though your work might be the basis for faster than light travel or some current science fiction technology. What a bunch of self absorbed petty cry babies. They remind me of the scientists in HHGTTG for hanging the guy that created the infinite improbability drive; simply because they didn't like a smart-ass.

Re:boo hoo... cry babies (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776128)

A bunch of people spent several years of their lives to validate that his solution was correct. The point is that those people wouldn't have bothered unless the source of the proposed solution was credible - because there are tons of crackpots who post all sorts of theories on the internet that aren't worth spending minutes let alone years of your life trying to validate or disprove.

Re:boo hoo... cry babies (0, Redundant)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776182)

Thanks for supporting my point that they are self absorbed cry babies that will ignore a mathematical proof because you did not follow their procedures.

He (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775884)

He thinks they're offering him a milli-dollar. Good in math, not so good in English comprehension.

Jerk (0)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775906)

He should have at least twitted his rejection. Or update his facebook. What a jerk.

Scholarship fund instead? (3, Insightful)

xirtam_work (560625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775912)

How about they put the prize money into a scholarship fund. Surely he couldn't object to this. He could outline the type of benefactor he'd like to receive a stipend from time to time and leave the actual selection to a committee formed by associates of the Millennium Prize board.

Freedom... (1)

markisses (1847356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775930)

The last free man! Just for pure mathematics.... Grigori you are just a God....

Donate it? (0, Redundant)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776018)

I haven't RTFM, but couldn't he have taken the money and donated it to further advance math?

Give it to some school or program for children? Or started a non-profit of his own with some good seed money?

I dunno.

He can now answer another famous question - (3, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776050)

"If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"

.

While we're all nitpicking... (4, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776110)

it's Field*s* Medal. Named after the Canadian mathematician, John Charles Fields.

Not Field Medal.

Intellectual honesty... (2, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776122)

It's an amazing demonstration of intellectual honesty. I'm in no way denigrating his contribution but the essential breakthrough was made by Hamilton's use of the Ricci Flow. However he's no doubt brilliant and the beauty of his solution seems to be enough for him.

Am I the only one cynical enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776136)

... to have had the reaction - "Oh hell, they just chose him KNOWING he'd reject it, so they could save themselves a million bucks!!"

Re:Am I the only one cynical enough... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776196)

Idiot.
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