**#4241 -
Friday, May 6, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz**

"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?"

-Grigori Perelman

**Math genius Grigori Perelman explains why he turned
down $1 million prize**

By Nadine Bells

Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman solved the seemingly
unsolvable Poincaré conjecture, a 100-year-old problem to prove that any shape
without a hole can be formed into a sphere.

The problem was one of the seven listed on Cambridge,
Massachusetts' Clay Mathematics Institute's Millennium Prize list.

The bounty on such a solution? One million dollars and the
Fields Medal, math's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Considered one of the world's smartest men, Perelman published
two proofs of the theorem in 2002 and 2003. It took until last year for a team
of mathematicians to validate his results.

While his work was celebrated, he rejected any accolades. The
reclusive genius is only now talking about why he turned down the
money.

After years of avoiding interviews, he has agreed to
participate in a documentary about three of the world's major mathematical
schools.

Despite rumours of madman-esque reclusiveness and self-imposed
poverty, a journalist who interviewed Perelman says previous media coverage on
the man has misrepresented him:

"Perelman produces an impression of an absolutely sane,
healthy, adequate and normal person. ... What the media say and write about him
that he is off his head all of that is nonsense," he wrote.

When it comes to awards and monetary gain, Perelman just isn't
interested; the genius refused the prize, claiming the knowledge gained to be
worth more than the financial reward.

"I'm not interested in money or fame," Perelman
stated.

"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?" he told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya
Pravda.

~ ~ ~

Elsewhere the above paragraph is expressed as
follows:

I've learned how to calculate the voids; along with my
colleagues we are getting to know the mechanisms for filling in the social and
economic "voids". Voids are everywhere. They can be calculated, and this gives
us great opportunities ... I know how to control the Universe. So tell me
why should I chase a million?