They were Jewish, which would present their son with some problems in a country where it was feared that those of Jewish descent had divided loyalty. Grigori Yakovlevich, their first child, is often known by the name Grisha. As a young child Grisha was taught to play the violin both by his mother and by a private tutor. Speaking about his father, Perelman said see [ 11 ] :- He gave me logical and other maths problems to think about. He got a lot of books for me to read. He taught me how to play chess.
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In Perelman had left academia and apparently had abandoned mathematics. He was the first mathematician ever to decline the Fields Medal. Perelman earned a doctorate from St. Petersburg State University and then spent much of the s in the United States, including at the University of California , Berkeley.
He was still listed as a researcher at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics, St. Petersburg University, until Jan. In the s Thurston won a Fields Medal for his efforts to extend the geometric classification of two-dimensional manifolds to three dimensions. In the American mathematician Richard Hamilton took up the idea of studying how a manifold develops as its curvature is smoothed out, using what is known as a Ricci flow after the Italian mathematician Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro.
Much was achieved, but Hamilton reached an impasse when he could not show that the manifold would not snap into pieces under the flow. It is generally believed that the techniques he introduced will have a profound influence on other branches of geometry and analysis.
As he had done with the Fields Medal, Perelman refused the prize. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today.
Grigori excelled in all subjects except physical education. In the late s and early s, with a strong recommendation from the geometer Mikhail Gromov ,  Perelman obtained research positions at several universities in the United States. After having proved the soul conjecture in , he was offered jobs at several top universities in the US, including Princeton and Stanford , but he rejected them all and returned to the Steklov Institute in Saint Petersburg in the summer of for a research-only position. Then the soul of M is a point; equivalently M is diffeomorphic to Rn. Among his notable achievements was a short and elegant proof of the soul conjecture. Any loop on a 3-sphere —as exemplified by the set of points at a distance of 1 from the origin in four-dimensional Euclidean space—can be contracted into a point. The analogous result has been known to be true in dimensions greater than or equal to five since as in the work of Stephen Smale.
Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman