Forget becoming a world-renowned millionaire for his mathematical genius-Grigori Perelman was satisfied enough just by solving a tough problem. In 2002, Perelman proved the Poincaré Conjecture, which had stumped mathematicians since 1904. However, Perelman refused to accept the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics, for the proof. He was the first and, thus far, only person to turn down the award. Four years later, he turned down the awarding of the first Clay Millennium Prize, as well as the accompanying $1 million.
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Key Facts In This Video
The Poincaré conjecture was picked by the Clay Institute in 2000 as one of eight of math’s biggest unanswered questions. 00:00
Henri Poincaré posed the Poincaré conjecture: you can have an object with no holes, is finite, and can be made into a sphere in a variety of dimensions. 02:20
The Fields Medal is like the math equivalent of the Nobel Prize. 05:47