Perfect Rigour: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of a Lifetime (Google eBook)In 2006, an eccentric Russian mathematician named Grigori Perelman solved one of the world's greatest intellectual puzzles. The Poincare conjecture is an extremely complex topological problem that had eluded the best minds for over a century. In 2000, the Clay Institute in Boston named it one of seven great unsolved mathematical problems, and promised a million dollars to anyone who could find a solution. Perelman was awarded the prize this year  and declined the money. Journalist Masha Gessen was determined to find out why. Drawing on interviews with Perelman's teachers, classmates, coaches, teammates, and colleagues in Russia and the US  and informed by her own background as a math whiz raised in Russia  she set out to uncover the nature of Perelman's astonishing abilities. In telling his story, Masha Gessen has constructed a gripping and tragic tale that sheds rare light on the unique burden of genius. 
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Review: Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century
User Review  Andrew Martin  Goodreadsvery good. insightful explication of the Russian educational system + a portrait of a exceptionally singular mind. writing a biography with no access to its subject is a difficult endeavor  one that ... Read full review
Review: Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century
User Review  John  GoodreadsA truly fascinating book, as much about Russian education as about Grigory Perelman and the Poincare Conjecture. Read full review
Contents
Howto Make a Mathematician Chapter 3 A Beautiful School  
A Perfect Score  
Rules for Adulthood  
Guardian Angels  
Round Trip  
The Problem  
The Proof Emerges  
The Madness  
The MillionDollar Question  
Epilogue  
Acknowledgments Notes  