Math genius explains $1M prize refusal

April 29, 2011 at 11:10 AM   |   Comments

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, April 29 (UPI) -- Grigory Perelman, the Russian math whiz who solved a century-old problem, said he refused a $1 million prize because he knows "how to control the universe."

Perelman, 43, of St. Petersburg told the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda he had no reason to accept the $1 million prize the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Mass., offered him in 2010 for proving the Poincare conjecture, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"Emptiness is everywhere and it can be calculated, which gives us a great opportunity ... I know how to control the universe. So tell me, why should I run for a million?" Perelman said.

Perelman, a reclusive mathematician who neighbors say lives in poverty with his mother, presented proofs in 2002 and 2003 proving the conjecture proposed by Henri Poincare in 1904. The conjecture suggested three-spheres are the only possible bounded three-dimensional spaces to contain no holes.

"I learned how to calculate voids, along with my colleagues we know the mechanisms for filling in the social and economic voids," he said.

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