Eccentric mathematician shuns prestigious award

YOU have got to be crazy to turn down $1 million and the top prize in your field – unless you are a mathematician, that is, for whom eccentricity is almost de rigueur. Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician who has received widespread acclaim for his purported proof of the Poincaré conjecture, one of mathematics’ most celebrated problems (see “Burden of proof”), did not turn up to collect his Fields medal on Tuesday. It is rumoured that he may also turn down the $1 million that the Clay Institute of Mathematics in Boston would award if his proof passes muster,
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