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Mathematician refuses $1 million and several awards for his work leaving everyone baffled

He is strictly against rewards and prizes for the work of his intellect due to many peculiar yet logical reasons.

Mathematician refuses $1 million and several awards for his work leaving everyone baffled
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @grigori__perelman

Professionals often do their jobs to help society and enhance their skills. Society, in turn, rewards them for their noteworthy contributions. While this reward is offered as a form of appreciation and recognition, Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematician, declined. The man known as a “mathematics genius” refused a $1 million award, per The Guardian. The Clay Mathematics Institute offered the prize to Perelman in 2010 for solving a century-old problem set by French mathematician Henri Poincaré.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Max Fischer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer

The institute had set the problem as one of seven mathematical challenges holding a reward of $1 million each. The mathematician, however, refused the reward and settled for living with his mother in a rather small apartment. He posted his share of the story on his Instagram. He wrote with an image of gold coins, “I was awarded the Fields Medal, the highest honor in math, but I refused. I was also awarded the Millennium Prize for $1 million but refused this award.” Perelman had reasons for declining the same which he explained in his post. He wrote, “I do not want to be put on display like an animal at the zoo. I also do not find it fair to be awarded something that I worked on with my partner, Hamilton, who pioneered the Ricci flow and the original aim of attacking this conjecture.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Monstera Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Monstera Production

He added a strong concluding statement, “I know how to control the world so why would I want $1 million?” Over the years, Perelman shared his work on his Instagram but not as something to flaunt. He aimed for it to be more of an information for the world. Several posts revealed he turned down many awards, rewards and even prestigious opportunities. Each rejection had reasons. In a shocking post, the mathematician also revealed that he was against the idea of the awards to a great extent so much so that he stepped down from his field.

“I have decided to resign from mathematics. I am disappointed in the field and the pressure people are putting on me to accept awards, so I have decided to step back and try new things,” he wrote. Perelman has always had a peculiar personality and strange approach. He wasn’t keen on recognition, applause and things of the like. He has been known to have a quiet and unique lifestyle. Living with his family and engaging in mundane and basic practices, the man kept himself on a low profile. A Moscow newspaper shared “He always wears the same tatty coat and trousers. He never cuts his nails or beard.”

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A post shared by Grigori Perelman (@grigori___perelman)


Sergei Kisliakov, director of St Petersburg's Steklov Mathematical Institute shared more about the mathematician who once worked as a researcher. “He has rather strange moral principles. He feels tiny improper things very strongly.” While many deemed him “eccentric” his intellectual work cannot be ignored. Ever since he announced stepping down from math, there hasn’t been much update. "He severed all contact with the community and wanted to find a job unrelated to maths. I don't know whether he succeeded in that,” Kisliakov said.

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A post shared by Grigori Perelman (@grigori___perelman)


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