Russian Mathematician Rejects $1 Million Millennium Prize

On March 18, 2010, the Clay Mathematics Institute announced it had awarded Grigory Perelman a $1 million Millennium Prize for solving a problem that has stumped mathematicians for a century. (AP Photo/International Mathematicians Congress) |

A Russian mathematician is rejecting a $1 million prize for solving a problem that has stumped mathematicians for a century because he considers it unfair.

Grigory Perelman said that, a week ago, he told the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was turning down the prize, according to the Interfax news agency. Perelman was quoted by Interfax as saying he believes his contribution in proving the Poincare conjecture was no greater than that of U.S. mathematician Richard Hamilton, who first suggested a program for the solution.

The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) confirmed in a statement on its Web site that Perelman had informed it of his refusal to accept the prize. In the fall of 2010, CMI will make an announcement of how the prize money will be used to benefit mathematics.

The Poincare conjecture deals with shapes that exist in four or more dimensions.

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