Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mathematics Suffers Again

Russian mathematician Dr. Grigori Perelman may turn down a one million dollar prize for solving the Poincare Conjecture. He turned down a similar prize several years ago, and may also turn down this one offered by the U.S. Clay Mathematics Institute. The 46-year old reclusive genius does not seek fame or fortune.

In one way, I applaud him for his love of mathematics and his total devotion to it, not wanting the awards. I also appreciate his integrity.

In another way, it bothers me that once again we have a genius mathematician who does not fit into society, nor wants to. It gives the "normal" members of society another reason to think that anyone who devotes their life to mathematics is "weird." The study of mathematics is already held in disdain by many. We really don't need to give them any more reasons to think this.
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