The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles
ISBN 9781440634284 | 320 pages | 29 Jul 2008 | Plume | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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The amazing story of one of the greatest math problems of all time and the reclusive genius who solved it“[Szpiro] turns the abstract mathematics of spheres into a lucid, lovely romantic odyssey.”
In 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 1904 Henri Poincaré developed the Poincaré Conjecture, an attempt to understand higher-dimensional space and possibly the shape of the universe. The problem was he couldn’t prove it. A century later it was named a Millennium Prize problem, one of the seven hardest problems we can imagine. Now this holy grail of mathematics has been found.
Accessibly interweaving history and math, Szpiro captures the passion, frustration, and excitement of the hunt, and provides a fascinating portrait of a contemporary noble-genius.
—Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
“A wonderful history of a great breakthrough.”
—Bud Mishra, professor, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University
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