# Poincaré's Prize

## The Hundred-year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles

Book - 2007**Baker & Taylor**

Traces the hundred-year effort to solve the Poincarâe Conjecture and its successful solution by Grigory Perelman, an impoverished Russian recluse who refused all prizes and academic appointments while solving an array of mathematical conundrums.

**Book News**

A reclusive Russian posted the solution to one of mathematic's major puzzles on the Internet in 2003, but Grigory Perelman has yet to claim the prestigious and lucrative prizes to which this entitles him. Szpiro (a Jerusalem-based mathematician/author of Kepler's Conjecture) traces the quest to solve Poincoré's 1904 problem concerning how an ant on a large surface would know whether it was flat, a round sphere, or bagel-shaped. Notes supply details for those wishing to be more mathematically literate about its implications. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

**Blackwell North Amer**

The Poincare Conjecture was a holy grail to mathematicians around the world. Decade after decade, the unproven theorem that would help us understand higher dimensional space and, possibly, the shape of the universe defied every effort to solve it. Now, after more than a century, an eccentric Russian recluse has found the solution to one of the seven greatest math problems of our time, earning the right to claim the first one-million-dollar Millennium math prize.

George Szpiro begins his masterfully told story in 1904 when Frenchman Henri Poincare formulated a conjecture about a seemingly simple problem. Imagine an ant crawling around on a large surface. How would it know whether the surface is a flat plane, a round sphere, or a bagel-shaped object? The ant would need to lift off from the surface to observe the object from afar, so how could one prove the shape was spherical without actually seeing it? Raise the surface to the next higher dimension, and you have the problem that Poincare sought to solve.

In fact, Poincare thought he had solved it but soon realized his proof was flawed. Across generations and around the globe, from China to Texas, great minds stalked the solution in the wilds of higher dimensions.

**Baker**

& Taylor

& Taylor

Traces the hundred-year effort to solve the Poincaré Conjecture and its successful solution by Grigory Perelman, an impoverished and enigmatic Russian recluse who refused all prizes and academic appointments while solving an array of history-influencing mathematical conundrums. By the author of Kepler's Conjecture.

Publisher:
New York : Dutton, c2007

Description:
ix, 309 p. ; 22 cm

ISBN:
9780525950240

0525950249

0525950249

Branch Call Number:
510.76 Szp

## Comment

Add a CommentI did not know the mathematical community could be so intriguing. This book follows the development and many false starts into a conjecture that took almost 100 years to solve. This could have had a bit more mathematics, even if only in an annex but still a great story and well presented.

This book is a good read regarding a topic in topology. It is accessible to the average reader, and interestingly enough, the conjecture (now a theorem) can be introduced with basic notions of topology but the work involved to prove it far exceeds the statement as it can be shown in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in knowing what is the characterization of a sphere. I.e. What makes a sphere a sphere?