Friday, August 25, 2006

Sylvia Nasar & David Gruber discuss the unravelling of the Poincare Conjecture

This is a great article. For one thing, it tears away at the veil behind Mathematics and the orderly proofs of great conjectures, and gets at the meaty politics of credit-taking and glory-seeking culture of academics in their search for recognition amongst their peers. The irony of Perelman rejecting all the honors that the field of Mathematics tries to bestow upon him constrasts sharply with the glory-seeking national-pride academics who try to claim credit for his ideas and his proofs. If anyone has any illusions that the pursuit of Pure Mathematics is one of idealism without pretension, this article should dispel them. It's delightful, enjoyable, in depth, and enlightening.

Highly recommended!
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