The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 26, 2009 - Mathematics - 304 pages
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Henri Poincaré was one of the greatest mathematicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He revolutionized the field of topology, which studies properties of geometric configurations that are unchanged by stretching or twisting. The Poincaré conjecture lies at the heart of modern geometry and topology, and even pertains to the possible shape of the universe. The conjecture states that there is only one shape possible for a finite universe in which every loop can be contracted to a single point.

Poincaré's conjecture is one of the seven "millennium problems" that bring a one-million-dollar award for a solution. Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematician, has offered a proof that is likely to win the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel prize, in August 2006. He also will almost certainly share a Clay Institute millennium award.

In telling the vibrant story of The Poincaré Conjecture, Donal O'Shea makes accessible to general readers for the first time the meaning of the conjecture, and brings alive the field of mathematics and the achievements of generations of mathematicians whose work have led to Perelman's proof of this famous conjecture.

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The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1904, Henri Poincar� (1854-1912) challenged the world to solve one of the 20th century's most famous mathematical problems, collectively named the Poincar� Conjecture and ... Read full review

Review: The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe

User Review  - Erickson Tjoa - Goodreads

Good introduction to Poincare Conjecture as well as some mathematics surrounding it. However, it contains a little too much of historical accounts and contexts in which the conjecture was made, thus making this book less informative mathematically than expected. Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Donal O'Shea is professor of mathematics and dean of faculty at Mount Holyoke College. He has written scholarly books and monographs, and his research articles have appeared in numerous journals and collections. He lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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