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# Poincare's Prize: The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles

The amazing story of one of the greatest math problems of all time and the reclusive genius who solved itIn the tradition of "Fermat's Enigma" and "Prime Obsession," George Szpiro brings to life the giants of mathematics who struggled to prove a theorem for a century and the mysterious man from St. Petersburg, Grigory Perelman, who fi nally accomplished the impossible. In
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ebook, 320 pages

Published
July 1st 2008
by Plume Books
(first published 2007)

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## Community Reviews

(showing
1-30
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299)

More importantly, though, the mathematical descriptions were lacking! I know it's a hard subject, but if I couldn't follow what was going on mathematically, I don't know how people without a math major under their belts could. If this were more of a human drama ...more

Here's the statement of the conjecture:

*Every simply-connected closed 3-manifold is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere.*See the problem? "Every" is the longest comprehensible word in the sentence. [The other familiar words, like "closed," do not have their standard me ...more

For one or two dimensions it's trivial (the latter in fact being our familar world of two-dimensional surfaces embedded in three-space); in five or more, there's enough room ...more

It's a darn shame, too, because the historical account he's desperately trying to cobble together seems like it could be pretty fascinating. I get the sense that a truly heroic editor

*might*have been able to salvage a readable book out of this, but in this case they appear to have thrown up their hands in despair and run away.

The first book was ...more

**English summary**

Too many (utterly) irrelevant anecdotes and not a single picture/illustration/graphics (the topic is after all differential GEOMETRY) hinder the reading, unless you already know something of the topic. I finished the book one week ago, and do not remember much of the story - and very little of the techniques which helped solve the problem. Just a few general ideas remain - about the dynamics of problem solving in the mathematical field. T ...more

Mar 31, 2015
Makomai
rated it
4 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
matematica-e-racconti-matematici,
reviews

La storia di come Grigory Perelman (un genio straordinario, di quelli che confermano l'accostamento della genialita' alla "stranezza", la cui vita sarebbe da sola materia di un romanzo: uno dei pochi "coriolani" contemporanei) sia giunto a dimostrare la congettura di Poincare' - e a rifiutare gli onori e la ricchezza che ne sarebbero conseguiti. La topologia e` quella branca della matematica secondo la quale tutti gli esseri umani - come ha acutamente osservato Richard Dawkins - sono delle ciamb
...more

It attempts to explain the mathematical background (topology), but doesn't explain much of the essential background. Terms are used without explanation.

The history and personalities are interesting.

Recommended.

Jan 15, 2010
Carmen Mandel
rated it
5 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
number-theory,
physical-mathematics

The Poincaré Conjecture was an attempt to understand space in a higher dimension and was finally solved.

My review on LibraryThing.

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George G. Szpiro is an Israeli-Swiss applied mathematician and journalist, who has emerged as a writer of popular science books.

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