Talk:Grigori Perelman/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


the most important and difficult

with all due respect to Perelman ....i am bit bemused by the above wording in the introductory paragraph..i think Navier-stokes and P,Np problems are much more difficult to prove and have many practical and immediate applications.i do defintely agree that the geometrization conjecture is definitely one of the very important open problems in mathematics.

Birth date?

Does anybody know Perelman's birthdate? This is a glaring omission. I've had little luck. --C S 05:22, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Many of the news articles give some guesses as to his age, e.g. "late 30s", "almost 40", etc. I've found one article that gives his age as 37, but no info regarding when he was born. Also, I can't be certain of the claim of 37. --C S 05:41, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, he was born in 1961. Surely in the 1960s. I'll check, but please don't expect the results quickly. BACbKA 22:20, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This article (in Russian) by another student of the same math high school lists his birth year as 1966. BACbKA 20:00, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It looks like the 1966 thing was correct. I have found several more places where this year is mentioned, and finally got 2 more references [1] [2] (in Russian again), with an exact birthday, June 13. I'll incorporate the date into the article now. BACbKA 20:14, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Great work! To be honest, one reason I was curious also is that I wondered if he would be eligible for the Fields medal. He barely makes the age requirement. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out. --C S 02:35, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

I probably should not have done it after all, given Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Privacy of birthdays. OTOH, I've just reproduced it from existing (albeit Russian) public sources, referenced above... --BACbKA 16:20, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Sigh, I was a n00b when I made my query and didn't realize this could even be an issue. But yes, now we are in a somewhat gray area. I mean, does the fact that the source is in Russian somehow make it less public? I'm ambivalent. --C S (Talk) 05:51, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I do know that Mr. Perelman is a very private individual, so I think respecting his privacy and only listing the year is appropriate. Anyone who really wants to know can find it here.Wisher 06:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that listing the month would do no harm as well, as per the above policy link, but I don't think it is a must have, so I am not going to be the one to add it back :-) --BACbKA 10:58, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm no longer as ambivalent and agree we should remove the month and day; I was just thinking to do it myself. Unfortunately, now there is this discussion which I foolishly initiated. I think we should perhaps archive all this to ensure greater privacy. --C S (Talk) 13:32, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

No problems with having no month in the article, but I don't think archiving it will help, it's all there in the archives/history, these are all crawled as well by the search bots. And, most important, no dates here have been original researched, they all came from the (still current) press URLs I had found. --BACbKA 13:40, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh good grief, I try to check WP:BLP frequently but I missed the update including the birthday thing. A bit earlier today I added his birthdate, which is given in the Guardian article. It seems to me that this is public knowledge and verifiable since it is mentioned in this article. It is also relevant to the 40 year rule re the Fields Medal eligibility, so I think that omitting it would also be problematical.---CH 22:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

New Yorker Article and Yau

The article by Nasar and Gruber is the only source regarding Yau's supposed attempt to downplay Perelman's work. The objectivity of this source is questionable, given that Yau is mostly quoted out of context. It is very difficult to draw the conclusion from the article that Yau really wants to undermine Perelman's achievement. It could very well be that this is just the spin that Nasar and Gruber want to give in order spice up their story.

Yau is suing the Nasar, Gruber and the fact checker at the New Yorker for defamation. It should have been pretty clear to anybody reading this article that it was highly opinionated and approaching defamation. The fact that it has been used so uncritically in wikipedia is quite disturbing.

Where did Image:Perelman.jpg go?

I hereby confirm that it indeed contained a photo of Grisha. Was there a copyright problem or something? Did the original image contributor get a note and a chance to settle the copyright issues? Where in the logs can one find what was wrong with it?..

i have changed the position of the pic......can any1 reformat to improve he look of the page?


It states that he is Russian in the article I am not sure but I think he is Jew by nationality you could see it from his last and first name typicly name for Russian Jew.Could someone check it please?

He is indeed from a Jewish family. So what? BACbKA 21:48, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Jewish" is by no means a nationality. _ Yes, it is!

See where this is leading us. Why should we have a category for "Jewish mathematicians" in the first place?

Classifying mathematicians by nationality (or religion, or "race") strikes me as rather useless at best. At the same time, one may reasonably speak of, say, an Italian school of algebraic geometers, provided one does not take such terms too seriously. Styles do tend to clump geographically, or at least tended to in the era before rapid communications. But "Jewish mathematicians"? What is next - "Jewish mathematics", as opposed to "Aryan science", or "Goyish mathematics", for that matter? Hasdrubal 01:47, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's a little useful. If you, for example like me, forgot the name, but you remembered that he was Jewish and a mathematican. -- 21:08, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
This seems like an odd thing to remember. I agree with Hasdrubal: unless person X strongly and publically self identifies with established religion R, I think it is absurd to designate X has a R-mathematician. This kind of discussion always makes me highly uncomfortable, although I assume that may simply be unware that anti-semitism has unquestionably played a role in some edits regarding analogous issues for other personalities; see for example Talk:Albert Einstein. In any case, the purported religious belief of highly intelligent and complex individuals is often hard to briefly categorize (Einstein is again an example, but discussion of that should move to some other forum).---CH 19:20, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

spam protection filter false positive

Due to a recent addition of to the spam protection filter,

*[ Mathematics & Mechanics Faculty of St. Petersburg State University]

had to be cut by the last edit out of the external links section.

See also the bugzilla discussion on the spam filter whitelisting. BACbKA 09:21, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Just put it back, seems to work today. --BACbKA 11:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

My revert of speculation regarding Hamilton announcement (and age comment)

First, I think the age comment is redundant anyway. Readers can easily find out this is his last chance. In any case, I don't have strong objection to this, if somebody wants to reinclude a comment about this being his last opportunity for a Fields Medal.

Secondly, inserting speculation about what somebody (Hamilton) may say at the next ICM is just that, speculation, and is not appropriate for the article (see WP:Verifiability). I do want to add one more thing though: even if Hamilton were to make such an announcement, it would be anti-climactic. The Poincare conjecture is already thought to be proven by Perelman's work, and even highly respected speakers at conferences have said so! So things wouldn't be anymore "settled" than it is already, although probably more attention will be brought to the state of affairs. It's a bit puzzling why the media hasn't really picked up on this yet, but I'm sure they will eventually, at which point we can include that into the article with the appropriate citations. --C S (Talk) 16:00, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

My rewrite

In the interests of ludicrously complete disclosure, my former advisor graduated from St. Petersburg, one of my former graduate student colleagues is a relative of Burago, and I am slightly acquainted with some of the others mentioned in the article. Almost inevitable, since math is still a fairly small world, c.f. Erdős number. ---CH 05:11, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm... come to think of it, maybe I should have mentioned that the "others" include Smale, Thurston, and Hamilton, who are mentioned by name in the article, but to repeat: mathematics is such a small world that this is not so surprising. Maybe I can stop making these ridiculous disclosures now, eh? (See my user talk page). In any case, rest assured that I have no axe to grind in this matter.---CH 18:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Paper by Huai-Dong Cao and Xhi-Ping Zhu

It seems that the paper in the Asian Journal of Mathematics is a collection/clarification of the work by Perelman. There is also one by Bruce Kleiner and John Lott and one by John Morgan and Gang Tian. See [3] and [4]. The last paragraph should be re-written to reflect this.

[This issue has been taken care of. --C S (Talk) 20:45, 18 August 2006 (UTC)]

Thanks for clarifying this, Chan-Ho. It seems I either misread or was misled by the Overbye story.---CH 19:22, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The NY Yorker article implies more than a clarification of Perlman's work by Cao and Zhu; it documents an apparent attempt by mentor Yau to defraud Perelman of the credit for this achievement of solving the Poincare conjecture by back engineering work done by Cao & Zhu, directed by Yau.

Quite unethical, can China police these fraud attempts ?

Demystification of his proof

It unfortunate that Mr. Perelman's proof is not elaborated on in a way that can be understood by readers with limited mathematical background. Some diagrams for example could do a lot to that end. The current elaboration references to too many other complicated mathematical concept to make any sense. I appreciate the problem is very complicated in its details and it's impossible to explain it correctly to readers without a prior understanding of related concept. The gradual acceptance of the proof and the potential nomination for the fields medal however interests millions of readers outside the academic community. Any attempt would be appreciated.

Here is a good quote I think, for a NY Times article:

"[..] a topologist considers a cigar and a rabbit’s head the equivalent of a sphere because all these shapes can be deformed into each other. By contrast, a donut and a coffee mug each has one hole and can’t be deformed into a sphere." [5]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

There have been several good explanations for the layman published. For example, see the SciAm article by Graham Collins listed in the References section. In any case, this article is not really the place to go into a lengthy explanation. Perhaps the page on Poincare conjecture could do with one, or maybe a whole separate article. --C S (Talk) 20:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

An old but still useful book on the "Thurston program" itself, by a former student of Thurston, is
  • Weeks, Jeffrey R. (2002). The Shape of Space. New York: Marcel Dekker. ISBN 0-824-70709-5. 
Pictures are very useful here and this book has many. See also the video put out by Geometry Center, which will probably be available in the math libraries of most major universities in the U.S. "Demystification of Perelman's proof" is a rather tall order, given the fact that a handful of leading mathematicians have been reviewing this for two or more years and that AFAIK no articles for a general mathematical audience by any of these experts has yet appeared. Should that happen, and at some point it surely will, no doubt any number of WikiProject Mathematics members can and will promptly produce an improved exposition here for the general public.
P.S. I have interacted with Weeks also; see above, blah, blah... ---CH 19:08, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Perelman's "disappearance"

Hey guys could not edit the page itself so just comment here : Perelman did appear in Spb maths institute at most half a year ago; they say he have resigned less then a year ago...but i cant give verifable references to this info.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Given how the media works, I can easily believe that Perelman has not "disappeared" and that his friends and family are perfectly well-aware of where he is. Unfortunately, if all the newspapers insist on sensationally saying he is missing, there's not too much we can do because of the way Wikipedia works, unless some verifiable references (as you noted) say the contrary. --C S (Talk) 20:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... my rewrite was based on Overbye's article, which is a bit ambiguous, but I agree that the article should not suggest that he has vanished, only that mathematically speaking, he appears to have dropped out of sight, at least for a few years.---CH 23:15, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Too much on proof of GC?

I believe that the part on Perelman's proof may be too much for a bio. It belongs more properly under geometrization conjecture or Ricci flow. I understand that there is much attention being directed toward this page, but then if we are to have an accessible but short description of his work, I believe things can be made much better and simpler by just explaining Ricci flow proof of the Poincare conjecture. This is much easier to explain. --C S (Talk) 03:43, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Additionally, I think we need to keep in mind that this is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper article. So we should try and follow the standard procedures, manual of style, etc. In particular, besides my previous comments, I note that there are extraneous remarks and links. --C S (Talk) 20:05, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I guess I can give a source : ... By the way, many newspapers claim that he is a son of a rather famous popular science Russian writer Yakov(Jacob) I. Perelman who died 20 years before Grisha Perelman was born...maybe you can put a disclaimer into the article ? Like 'GP is not directly related to YP' ?
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I agree with Chan-Ho: I feel that the more technical stuff added since my initial rewrite a few days ago is not likely to help any but graduate students studying geometric topology! In addition, these sentences were quite awkward (e.g. very long and technical, particularly when compared to the previous sentences) and disrupted the flow of my rewrite. I just applied modest cleanup, but perhaps a more technical discussion could be moved to a separate section? In general, especially in an article such as this which we can expect to be widely read over the next few weeks, I think it is best to explain the basic ideas at a general audience level, then a bright undergraduate level, and only then mention stuff addressed to advanced graduate students.
Be this as it may, thanks to all who helped remove/cleanup some far more awkward sentences added by various anons, which had really mangled my rewrite!---CH 23:05, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
In particular, watch out for anon (talk · contribs) who added a rather scurillous paragraph (and then thought better of his comment). This putative IP address is rather suspect, BTW --- see the stuff about suspect IPs in Bogdanoff affair!. ---CH 23:34, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm guilty of adding some of the more technical bits, but I was left in the awkward position of leaving a very nicely-written wrong passage or correcting it. I think I overdid it, but your original rewrite unfortunately stated that there were no singularities. They do happen and correspond to topological decompositions mentioned in the statement of GC. That really is the main idea in terms of what happens! But I think pretty much all of the mathematics could be favorable excised and moved to another location. At the least, if we explain something, we shouldn't attempt to describe what happens with Ricci flow on any 3-manifold, just homotopy 3-spheres. But I feel that is ideal for the PC article to explain, not this bio. --C S (Talk) 03:23, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
By the way, thanks for that correction also. I did try to incorporate it in my interrupted cleanup.---CH 21:10, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Chan-Ho that Perelman's proof doesn't want to be in this article - it wants to be put into an appropriate article, and a summary and Template:main link given. I'd make it so that we have an easily-understandable summary of the work here (at most, a paragraph or two), with the rest wikilinked so those interested can read further. Does someone more knowledgeable than me about the proof want to do this? Mike Peel 15:58, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I could whip something up sometime this week; I don't really have time today or tomorrow though. I will make it at User:C S/todo/PC_proof. Add it to your watchlist and let me know (after I make a draft) what you think. --C S (Talk) 20:45, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

A bit more information

There is a bit more information about whether he will assist or not at [6] -- ReyBrujo 21:36, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

This appears to be a reprint from a story by Nadejda Lobastova and Michael Hirst which appeared in the Daily Telegraph. These reporters say they recently interviewed Perelman in St. Petersburg. They write:

His present predicament stems from a rancorous split with a leading Russian mathematical institute, the Steklov Institute in St Petersburg, which failed to re-elect him as a member in 2003. Dr Perelman, 40, was made to feel an "absolutely ungifted and untalented person", a friend said. He suffered a crisis of confidence and cut himself off.

— Nadejda Lobastova and Michael Hirst, Maths genius living in poverty, Sydney Morning Herald, August 21, 2006
They quote Perelman as saying "I do not think anything that I say can be of the slightest public interest...I am not saying that because I value my privacy, or that I am doing anything I want to hide. There are no top-secret projects going on here. I just believe the public has no interest in me...Newspapers should be more discerning over who they write about. They should have more taste. As far as I am concerned I can't offer anything for their readers...If anybody is interested in my way of solving the problem, it's all there - let them go and read about it...I have published all my calculations. This is what I can offer the public." Apparently, he does not plan to attend the ICM.
This would certainly appear to correct the impression left by Overbye's story, that Perelman's whereabouts are not generally known.---CH 23:27, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for interrupting, I'm not a Wikipedian. However: this "which failed to re-elect him as a member in 2003" seems to be completely bogus. I work at the Steklov Institute, albeit in Moscow, but administratively these two are branches of the same organization. There is no such thing as "electing", or "re-electing" a member. This procedure does not exist. Members are hired, just as in any academic institution (and to be completely precise, they are not even called "members"; the Russian term is "naucnyj sotrudnik", which is closer to a "researcher", the literal translation is "scientific personnel"). I've seen this claim already translated into Russian and causing controversy; unless you have a better source than an obscure article from Australia quoting an unnamed "friend", you might consider eliminating the claim. Dmitry Kaledin,

Removed. Cmapm 00:07, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Dear Dmitry Kaledin. I am not a Wikipedian either.However it does not take a lot of knowledge to do a Google search using key words "выборы на должность старшего научного сотрудника" ( which means in Russian "elections for a position of senior researcher")( with or without quotation marks). You will see that there is (and has been from the pre-WW2 times) a procedure in the Soviet-now Russian - Academy of Sciences whereby a researcher has to be elected ( "proiti po konkursy") to obtain a position or a "junior/senior researcher". Periodically, he/she has to be re-elected to keep the job. Would you admit that there is a procedure of "electing/re-electing a senior researcher"? Also you are not correct in saying that the article ( by the way published also in the UK Telegraph) refers to an "unnamed "friend". In fact, the name of the "friend" is mentioned at the end of the article. It is Sergey Rukshin, head of St Petersburg Mathematical Centre for Gifted Students. Mr Rukshin is the one that refers to the "rejection" of Mr Perelman by the Steklov Institute. MDG August 27, 2006

"projti po konkursu" in English would be "pass the competition" or something like; "election" implies general vote. Certainly nothing like that happens expect for the position of the director. Thank you for pointing out the identity of Mr. Rukshin; someone already attracted my attention to this elsewhere. Nevertheless, without explicit clarification and confirmation his claim has no place in an encyclopedia article. This is especially true in light of the precarious situation of the institute itself due to the current academic "reform" in Russia. GP certainly was a researcher at the Steklov up to December 2005, when he voluntarily quit. I would suggest that if he has some hard feelings towards his colleagues because of something that happened in 2003, this has to be at least stated by himself to merit inclusion here. Dmitry Kaledin

Dmitry - based on your rebuttal the user Cmapm removed reference to the article by Nadejda Lobastova and Michael Hirst. The article seems to be important as it quotes one of Mr. Perelman friends (whose name and position are specifically mentioned in the article) as to possible motivation of Mr.Perelman's withdrawal from the Steklov Institute. You originally suggested two reasons against this article: a) there is no such thing as re-election applicable to the Mr. Perelman case ( which is wrong as "junior/senior/whatever researcher" is subject to "выборы на должность старшего научного сотрудника" - see any result of the Google search mentioned above), and b) that the name of the source was not mentioned in the article - which is wrong as well as you admitted. I think that as both of your orignal arguments do not hold, the reference to the Lobastova source should be put back. I am not going to pursue this issue anymore but am going to communicate to the user Cmapm directly if needed. Regards. MDG. August 27, 2006

Jewish Russian mathematician or Russian American mathematician

I would like to know how correct is this statement "Jewish Russian mathematician".

Mr. Grigori Perelman was born in former Soviet Union. St.Petersburg belongs to Russia, so, he speaks Russian, studied in Russian University and worked in Russian Institute. And it is logical to consider him as a Russian mathemetician.

Did he claim himself as a Jewish? Does he speak Hebrew? Is he religious person and believes in Judaism? Is he visiting synagogue frequently? Did he work or live in Israel? I could not find any of this in his biography. I consider that he is more « Russian American mathematician » than "Jewish Russian mathematician", at least he worked in US.

I would say he is just a "Russian Mathematician" - religion should not be marked in Encyclopedic entries, otherwise every entry in here should be amended to read "British protestant", "French Aetheist", "American Catholic", "Turkish Muslim" etc etc. Plus I do not think he had American citizenship and lives in Russia so ergo - he's Russian Mathematician. Plus his first name is as "Russian" as you get (Especially his nickname - Grisha) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:43, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

It is hypocricy or ignorance to pretend that "British protestant" and "Russian Jewish" are terms of the same category. First: "Jew" is not a religion. Second: For millenia Jews did not have land to refer to, and they have always been German Jews, Spanish Jews, Moroccan Jews, Persian Jews, etc. Of course, today there is Israel, but this does not change the tradition of millenia. Just the same, there is nothing strange to write "American of Polish origin". Mukadderat 21:24, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Mr(Ms)Mukadderat, of course, tradition of millenia is fine, but my point was that Mr.Perelman is not a "Russian of Jewish origin", because there is no refernce to his "Jewish" origin in his biography. Moreover, even it it is, it should be shown that this specific fact makes an influence on his results in mathematics. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13:48, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I do not know whether it is still true nowadays. However Soviet documents used to carry information called "nationality" (as opposed to citizenship), which referred in practice to owner's ethnic origin. Thus in case of an ethnic Russian, his nationality was described as "Russian"; in case of a Jew or Chechnian, it would be "Jew" or "Chechnian" even though they might live (sometimes for generations) within the Russian Republic which has lots of different ethnic groups. With this interpretation it would make sense to use the term "Russian (from Russia) Jew". Tsf 17:05, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Can someone provide a reference saying that he is jewish, please? Otherwise, that needs to be removed from the article. Mike Peel 17:46, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, it's now been removed from the article by another editor. Mike Peel 17:49, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
No source is given for either
  • Perelman's faith being Judaism
  • Self-identification as Jew
So, in taking into account the the complicated situation, explained in detail in Who is a Jew?, I removed "Jewish" for now.
Pjacobi 17:48, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
"Jewish" has been re-added, giving [7] as source. I've seen this already in my own web search and don't consider it conclusive: The exact wording there is:
The Jewish family - he has a younger sister, Elena, also a mathematician - was always close.
This neither establish religious faith nor self-identification.
Pjacobi 18:38, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I've removed the "Jewish" from the intro paragraph, instead putting a line in about his jewish family into the early life section. Mike Peel 18:48, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I personally wouldn't be astonished of Mr. Perleman's Jewish origin (sic) but failed to find anything about this. Is it so important ? He's a brilliant mathematician named Perelman, clear enough... Baruch1677 19:27, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
"Jew" or "Jewish" means that he is of "Israel" ancestry, his forefathers moved to Russia long ago. We just don't call them "Israelites", we call them Jews, as means of their origin, not if they are religious Jews (Judaism). Shandristhe azylean 19:52, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

BABAZ : Freud didn't speak hebrew, didn't believe in Judaism, wasn't visiting synagogue frequently [...] but he was a jew... There is the same discussion in the french article about this scientific. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:47, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Um, not only is his last name Perelman, but his middle name is "Yakovlevich". So his name is "Yakovlevich Perelman", and the Telegraph describes his family as Jewish. To say that it remains inconclusive whether he is of "Jewish origin" would be a bit like saying the same inconclusiveness existed about whether a mathematician named "Muhammad Abdullah" whose family was described in MSM as "Muslim" could "conclusively" be described as of Muslim origin. The answer is clearly yes, the only way to obfuscate the issue would be to get into epistemological discussions about "What does it mean, after all, to be a Muslim," or "what does it mean, after all, to have an 'origin'". Those conversations are fine, but obviously according to ordinary use of the terms, Mr. Muhammad Abdullah would be of "Muslim origin," and Mr. Yakovlevich Perelman is of "Jewish origin". Babajobu 22:31, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for starting this discussion. Again, I do not see relation between scientific results and percentage of ethnic origins. Top results in science people reach thanks to education, school, university, family environment, communication with other scientists on the language that scientist masters. If any of this factors has links with the ethnic, then we have full right to add this. For example: person X may be called as Korean-German mathematician if he did school in Korea and University in Germany, has Korean professors to talk about his science and German professors, etc... About ethnic. Mr(Ms)Pjacobi uses a reference article in "Daily Telegraph" by Ms.N.Lobastova and Mr.M.Hirst. Wikipedia should have references to possible sources of information but, if Wikipedia quotes it - it means it agrees with it. In this article there is no any other information about Mr.Perelman's family, except that it was Jewish family. And I do not understand why authors wanted to outline that. If we are talking about ethnic we have to outline ethnic ratios of all four grandparents, etc... To Mr(Ms)BABAZ: Freud told about himself as a Jew and this closes the discussion. --Zolden 03:08, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

What Zolden said. You do not have the right to conscript somebody into a (religiously defined!) nationality any more than you have the right to conscript somebody into a religion. To say on the second sentence that he is "from a Jewish family" is even worse than calling him "Jewish" forthrightly, as it sets out clearly that we are defining his religion and his very self by the chance of his descent - and what he calls himself (if anything) is set immediately aside as beside the point. One should have some minimal respect for the privacy of living people. There is a general rule in Wikipedia stating that the religion of living biographical subjects should not be mentioned unless it is made public by the subject. Somehow this rule is being consistently disobeyed in the case of Judaism. The fact that Judaism defines a holy nation into which people are born does not make matters any different; for example, the Mormon church reserves the right to convert the dead, yet that does not mean that it is right for anybody to publicly identify those "converted" in such a manner as Mormons. The fact that Perelman is a deeply private person just makes this matter worse. Mind you, some of the above applies to the dead as well. I have started a discussion thread in the village pump Wikipedia:Village pump over this. The nominal subject is Marx, but what I wrote is meant more generally. Shall we take the discussion over there? Bellbird 14:43, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The New Yorker article also refers to Perelman as Jewish. Obviously, "Jew" has been defined as a nationality in both Russian, Israeli, and other national ID cards; we're dealing with something other than just a simple belief system, here, there's an ethnic/racial component. If a Chinese person never announces that "I am Chinese" this doesn't change the fact that they are of Chinese origin, just as Perelman and Marx are of Jeiwsh origin. Babajobu 17:26, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
The New Yorker can refer to him however the New Yorker pleases. Quite aside from the fact that many Soviet citizens regarded the "nationality" entry as odious, and that at least some Israeli citizens would like to be classified simply as of the Israeli nationality - may I remind you that Israel, the Soviet Union, Judaism and (insert your favorite entity here) do not agree on who falls under the category?
"Jew" is not a neutral category in the sense that "Chinese" is. For starters, it does imply membership in a religion. If I am not mistaken, while Jewish law does state that somebody who is born a Jew remains one forever, even if he converts to another religion, this does not make "Jewish" into a category separate from religion; rather, a convert from Judaism to Catholicism (say) is regarded by Judaism as a truly very bad Jew who is denying his true religion.
This implies neither that Judaism has no right to use such categories, nor that society in general - or wikipedia in particular - should adopt them. Rather, from this - and not just from this! - we can see that "Jew" is a label with serious connotations that cannot be imposed lightly on an individual. A Chinese person is simply a person from within the country called China. A Jew is somebody with a certain religion, certain obligations, and a history that may not correspond to that of his country of birth, and may not correspond at all to his upbringing and self-perception.
You may have the right to impose such a label on yourself, if you so prefer. However, to impose such a label on an individual (let alone to define him by it as a way of introduction!) is simply disrespectful of an individual's autonomy and privacy.
If one buys into the currently fashionable game of tag-the-Jew, it is hard to see how one could see much wrong in the yellow star, other than its unfortunate design. The yellow star was not simply some sort of Nazi GPS; it was, in many cases, a rape of the self. Mind you: even if somebody identifies publicly as a Jew, he may not necessarily be glad to be identified as such gratuitously by others.
I am not accusing anybody here of antisemitism. Rather, what we have here is a philosemitism (sometimes, but not always, of the self-directed variety) that adopts the categories and some of the practices of antisemitism. If you believe that individual "Jews" are clearly and crucially distinct from "goyim", and you believe that this distinction should be made public by third persons, and used as the main definition of the persons involved, then the difference between being an antisemite or a philosemite is simply a matter of taste: some prefer yidn to goyim, and some have the opposite preference.
Oh, and, please, none of the nonsense about how the statement "X is a Foo" in wikipedia means simply "some sources state "X is a Foo"". When Wikipedia states Blah, it is stating Blah, not "somebody claims Blah". It supports its claim by the fact that somebody claims Blah; that is an entirely different matter. If this were not so, then, say, the (simply false) statement "Frida Kahlo's father was Jewish" would have been allowed to stand; after all, a fair number of sources claim as much. Bellbird 20:03, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
PS. The above is not intended as an attack of anybody's right to keep a private list of individuals to whom they may not sell leavened bread (or to whom they can marry their daughters). It is simply that a general encyclopaedia is not the place for such lists. Bellbird 20:07, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

This is my first edit on wikipedia, but it seems that any of the aforementioned meanings of "Jewish" would apply not only to Perelman, but to numerous American scientists as well. However, Richard Feynman's (for instance) entry does not begin by describing him as a "Jewish-American Physicist," and hence for the sake of consistency, neither should Perelman's. Furthermore, in his book Feynman wrote that he was unable to get into certain schools due to the "Jewish quotas," he was as far as I can remember in a "Jewish Fraternity" at MIT; Perelman has made no such statements. Finally, the fact that Perelman stayed in Russia when a majority of his family emigrated to Isreal, and furthermore rejected employment opportunities from both U.S. and Israeli universities with the "In Russia I work better line" seems to discredit the ambiguous label of "racial Jew" as one he would apply to himself.

Yes. Baruch1677 22:27, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Are we losing something in translation? I suspect that there is a single word in Russian that expresses "Russian Jew" that doesn't have a single word in English. Something akin to "Yiddish" or maybe "Kurd" that implies both ethnic and religious history. We are probably searching for what is acutally a translation error. Does anyone have the original articles in Russian? There is probably a single word that espresses this in a way htat will not inflame either the religious or ethnic sides of this debate. --Tbeatty 06:08, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

See Ashkenazi Jew for more of a reference. It explains the religious/cultural/ethnic definitions of jews that live in eastern europe. --Tbeatty 06:16, 2 September 2006 (UTC)


Section "The Fields Medal and Millennium Prize" starts with "In recent weeks, [...]": very informative, if reading this in 2 years. It continues with "[...] there has been growing speculation in the mathematical world": are there sources? Gulliveig 05:13, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Fields Medal Declined

Various news sources have confirmed that Perelman has declined the Fields Medal and he is the first to do so in the history of the award.,,1855723,00.html - this article is very badly written...and looks awful on the main page, I draw particular attention to the paragraph starting "The winners are...".

Tue Aug 22 7:46AM

I can find no explanation of the *reasons* for his rejection of the prize. Does he have some sort of philosophical objection? Does he just not care? Has he never given a reason? --Nephtes 14:43, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Read this article: [8]. It explains it pretty well, I think. If I understand correctly - 1) He was made to feel by the Steklov Institute that he was worthless and fired, 2) He couldn't afford to travel there to receive the prize and was too modest to ask someone for a loan of money. -Esn 18:30, 22 August 2006 (UTC).
Another source is
I have just been reviewing
If I am not very much mistaken, this is indeed the first time that anyone has voluntarily declined the Fields Medal, which is generally recognized as the highest honor in mathematics (roughly four times the prestige of the Nobel Prize, if you allow for the fact that it is only awarded every four years). However, there is a kind of precedent for resigning a prestigious position and withdrawing from the mathematical world after having attained landmark accomplishments. In 1970, Alexander Grothendieck famously resigned from the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in protest of the fact that this institution received some vaguely "military" funding from NATO. (Some say that hurt feelings might have played a role in this episode.) There was also a notorious incident in which a mathematician, Grigory Margulis accepted the Fields Medal, but was unable to travel to the ICM to receive the award, due to travel restrictions imposed by the government of the Soviet Union.
I haven't yet seen Perelman's statement declining the Fields Medal, or any explanation of whether he even intends to continue doing research in mathematics under any circumstances. The Daily Telegraph interview does strongly suggest that his motivation for doing mathematics has been intellectual curiousity rather than seeking fame or fortune (see quotes I added to the article), which I at least find not implausible.
However, I have noticed some strange contradictions regarding his resignation from the Steklov Institute (one news story at least mentions a date: January 1, 2006.) According to the Daily Telegraph interview, Perelman resigned from Steklov over hurt feelings regarding deprecation of his mathematical status (allegedly, he was not re-elected to membership of the Institute). If true, this would be highly ironical in view of the subsequent offer of the Fields Medal, which comprises the most prestigous possible vindication of his status as research mathematician who has done creative work of the highest importance). But according to the BBC News story, someone at Steklov suggested he might have resigned in order to pursue his research. This is certainly a glaring contradiction which suggests that the "truth" of this affair remains murky and may always be controversial.
I imagine that the next issues of the Mathematical Intelligencer and the Notices of the AMS will have much more gossip and possibly even reliable information ;-/ concerning this affair.---CH 18:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
P.S. It does seem rather awful that Hamilton must apparently wait two years to find out whether or not he will be offered the Medal (which would be the first time the award would have been made in an "off-year"). Sheesh, if they are going to put him through that, it would seem churlish indeed if they didn't give him the award! However, I would guess that all three (Smale, Thurston, Hamilton) are delighted with this latest affirmation of the importance of the Poincaré conjecture. I'd also add that it seems to be widely accepted in the mathematical community that many who were not awarded the Fields Medal had done work of comparable quality to those who were awarded a Medal, so sometimes the often disproportionate fuss over awards seems just a bit silly--- which might even be the point which Perelman is making, in a rather pointed manner!---CH 18:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I can sympathize with the man's disgust at his fellow mathematicians' selfish politics and lust for power.Lestrade 02:17, 28 August 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Perelman is touthless and near starving in poverty , and in spite of all that solved this 100+ year Poincare conjecture to see that mega attempt by Yau and crew to steal and claim credit for HIS work (by their reverse engineering the results)....

So he didnt show up as he can't open his mouth to reveal toughless gums. And cant stomach the global fraud going on ... ! Etc

What is the big mystery about his refusal? Why is it so hard to know the cause of his behavior? Take a shy, sensitive person who deeply cares about his subject of interest and throw him into the midst of political, envious people who lust for power. That person will quickly withdraw from such a situation and retreat to his former solitary peace. Persons whose main motivations are power and money will be puzzled by Perelman's actions. They will not be able to understand his behavior, unless they can attribute it to a crafty strategy for gaining — power and money.Lestrade 21:06, 8 September 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Saddle surface redirect to Paraboloid?

(NOTE the section title is obsolete now: "Saddle surface" was red link at the onset of the discussion and it does not redirect to Paraboloid now. `'mikka (t) 00:08, 23 August 2006 (UTC))

[Perelman's] dissertation theme being "Saddle surfaces in Euclidean spaces" " - Do we just want to make Saddle surface redirect to Paraboloid, or would that be wrong? -- 18:44, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I think you mean hyperboloid. ---CH 19:00, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
To answer the question: paraboloids have everywhere positive Gaussian curvature. I don't see why Mikkalai wants to link to a (bad) article on saddle surface, but two-manifolds with everywhere negative Gaussian curvature are sometimes called (informally) "saddle surfaces", which some editor may have been confusing with a three-manifold with everywhere negative curvature.---CH 23:20, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
If the linked article is bad, then fix it. Saddle surface is saddle surface or saddle surface. `'mikka (t) 23:44, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
BTW, hyperbolic paraboloid has everywhere negative gau curv. `'mikka (t) 00:04, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
For your information, the figure in question depicts a surface which is usually called a hyperboloid of one sheet in English, not a paraboloid. ---CH 01:14, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Please allow me to express a yet another total confusion as to relevance of your remark: which exactly "figure in question" you are talking about? the hyperbolic paraboloid mentioned by me above is not called hyperboloid of one sheet. and it does have a negative gaussian curvature. `'mikka (t) 01:25, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Oops, you are correct. I was thinking of elliptic paraboloid, obviously, which does have everywhere positive Gaussian curvature. Can we stop arguing now? TIA ---CH 01:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
And what is exactly wrong with confusing 2-manifolds with 3-manifolds? and with n-manifolds, to the heap? Especially within this context? Never thought that 3-manifolds could be called "surfaces" (may be I am mistaken, but "3" looks like dimension here, so I would expect "hypersurfaces" at best). `'mikka (t) 00:04, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
It would be wrong: hyperboloid is but a particular case. Mukadderat 19:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
But paraboloid would be even more misleading, surely? ---CH 19:23, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually both are misleading. Hey, mathematicians? Where are you? A saddle surface is a surface whose all points are saddle points. (By the way, "Saddle point" article sucks.) Examples of second-order saddle surfaces are hyperboloid of one sheet and hyperbolic paraboloid. Mukadderat 21:32, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, yes, I agree. (I'm a mathematician by training--- see my user page--- but I've been too busy to respond to this point until now, obviously.) The translation of the title of Perelman's diss is literal and adding these links is misleading for readers of and should be reverted if it happens again. ---CH 22:57, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh, gee whiz, now User:Mikkalai has again inserted the misleading links. Please help me persuade this user that he is not helping here. ---CH 23:00, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Please prove that they are misleading. And keep your emotions at bay, please. This is mathematics not Israeli-palestinian conflict, and you may actually prove your point. `'mikka (t) 23:03, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree - links would be helpful for non-specialists. And I'm pleased to see, that saddle surfaces are already "bluelinked". Cmapm 23:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Mikkalai, you mentioned Israeli-palestinian conflict, not I! I'd like to WP:AGF, but it is a bit difficult to believe you are not just trolling. I think it is up to you to explain what you think these links would be helpful. Do you even realize that hyperbolic geometry is not the same think as "saddle point" in the sense of elemetary analytic geometry? There is a relationship, but it seems to me that this article is not the place to try to explain it. We haven't even tried to explain here the exact relationship between three-dimensional hyperbolic geometry and the Thurston geometries, nor should we, in my view. ---CH 23:13, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
"Седловая поверхность" is saddle surface and euclidean space is "evklidovo prostranstvo". I am utterly baffled why would these links be "misleading". If you are saying that in Soviet mathematics these terms meant something else, you are very welcome to update the corresponding wikipedia articles. And what would "hyperbolic geometry" mean in this context? The PhD is about "euclidean spaces". Once again, don't pull authority on me. If this article "is not the place to explain", find another place and link from there. This is wikipedia. `'mikka (t) 23:17, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I've already explained that the standard names in mathematical English are not what you naively assumed. Perfectly simple, really. Also, saddle surface is currently a rather badly written article. Again: why do you think adding this link would be useful? What does it tell a reader of about Perelman's thesis, really?
I am not "pulling authority" on you, but it seems reasonable to ask: what are your qualifications to discuss geometric topology? It seems to me that you may not be acting in good faith here.---CH 23:25, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Your personal attacks are disgusting. For the third time, this is an exact translation of russian mathematical terms. If links lead to "poorly written" artilces, please improve them. Wikilinks cannot be misleading, unless they lead to wrong diasambiguation. Articles can. Fix them, then. So far you didn not prove they are misleading. Sorry colleague, in wikipedia your PhD and your ego mean nothing. And your disrespect to fellow wikipedians will eventually lead you into trouble. `'mikka (t) 23:31, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The redirect to paraboloid would have been potentially misleading entirely incorrect, as I've already explained up above. Is that what Mikkalai is talking about, or what? ---CH 23:29, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Where do you see a redirect to paraboloid? `'mikka (t) 23:32, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

<personal attack removed>. User:Hillman/CH, if you don't stop this right now, you will be reported for incivility. `'mikka (t) 23:39, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

This might be a big kerfluffle. In trying to revise this article while avoiding edit conflicts with others, I didn't realize that a very misleading redirect to paraboloid (see above) had been removed. I think this is now settled, although I must disparage the unneccessarily confrontational remarks which Mikkalai has seen fit to make. ---CH 00:55, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
In my defense I must say that my colleague came to my talk page with accusations of my ignorance and bad faith, and mentioning them having a PhD (probably implying that they are a better man for wikipedia, but I may be mistaken). This branch of talk (i.e., about me) may be continued in my talk page. I am ready to comment on all my sentences of response. `'mikka (t) 01:39, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I think we have established this was a big to-do over nothing. I propose that we drop the subject. If you have Perelman's dissertation at hand, and if this topic seems terribly relevant to you, perhaps you can translate the abstract (if any) and put it here, since it is not clear to me from the title exactly what this is about. OK? ---CH 01:49, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
For me it was sufficient to find a translation in a reputable source, namely, J. Differential Geometry. Perelman was quoted in context of "nonpositively curved sufaces" (which are saddle surfaces for me):

The best known nonexistence results about immersing nonpositively curved surfaces make no extrinsic hypotheses other than regularity. Hilbert showed that a complete surface with constant negative curvature can’t be C4 isometrically immersed in to R3 [7]. Efimov proved that there are no C2 immersions of simply connected surfaces with sufficiently negative curvature. This means curvature is bounded above by a negative constant [5], [14], or is slowly varying but allowed to decay inversely with the distance squared [6]. Perelman generalized Efimov’s Theorem to halfspaces [17].

`'mikka (t) 02:37, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, I think this has been resolved, but I would not object to changing the link to [[saddle surface|nonpositively curved sufaces]]. Even better, if you know from an expert that Perelman's diss was regarded as a highly important contribution, why not add a sentence summarizing it based upon the quote you found? Better yet, what about writing the missing article on comparison theorems?---CH 02:56, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


"Some have rumored that he is not uninterested in money; rather, that he is afraid the Russian mafia will kidnap his mother and hold her for ransom for the money they know is associated to the prize and to any other prize."

I put a "citation needed" tag on that sentence; I'm not sure that it belongs at all. It might be reasonable to assume that that much money would attract some unsavoury attention to Perelman in Russia, but still - I'd like to see a source. It should be reworded at the very least. What do the rest of you think? -Esn 19:06, 22 August 2006 (UTC).

I deleted this phrase altogether, per WP:LIVING. Mukadderat 19:10, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
(EDIT CONFLICT) This sounds like a highly irresponsible rumor to me and I agree should probably be removed entirely. Thanks to Mukadderat for doing that.---CH 19:12, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The Guardian article does mention that a joke making the rounds is that having money is regarded as dangerous in Petersburg. Sadly, there is probably some foundation in fact for this joke, but I am still reluctant to add this back in. ---CH 22:48, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup attempt

User:Tanyia, by inserting the flag I politely asked you not to edit the article while I was trying to clean up numerous infelicities in diction/organization, but you went ahead anyway, so you might as well also remove the flag, eh? I give up; someone else will have to finish the job I tried to take on. I have to say that I think it will be clear to anyone who compares that my first version was better written than its immediate predecesor and that my unfinished second revision was better written than its immediate predecessor.---CH 20:35, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

As the result of the edit conflict with Tanyia, about fifteen minutes hard work was lost. Just so you know, Tanyia. ---CH 20:49, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I've left a note on your user page about this. I really am sorry--I didn't notice the flag, and I was not in any way trying to disrupt your work. I was just trying to fix a typo parenthesis, and I hope you can accept my apology for my blindness and stupidity. Your work cleaning up the article is very admirable and beneficial to Wikipedia, and I really was not trying to disrupt you or destroy your work. I'll be the first one to say I'm a total newbie to Wikipedia, and I do feel awful that my mistake has convinced you to stop working. I don't know how to say strongly enough that that wasn't my intention at all. I really was trying to help, not to destroy. Tanyia 20:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thanks, and apology accepted. If I put back the flag, would the community be amenable to my trying to restore the lost 15 minutes of work? ---CH 21:00, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

If there's anything I can do to help you with this (edit: to fix what I destroyed), please let me know (not that my editing skills are to be trusted, lol...). Again, I'm very very very sorry. Tanyia 21:09, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

There seems to be an edit war in progress now, so unfortunately I think my efforts have been for nothing... sigh... ---CH 21:33, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

"His advisors at the Steklov Institute were Aleksandr Danilovich Aleksandrov and Yuri Dmitrievich Burago." I don't quite see why this is so important to state; maybe someone at Steklov can explain? Also, it would be nice to know more about this mysterious de-election.---CH 22:26, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the citation of the Daily Telegraph article (reprinted in The Age), this is a bit weird: since yesterday it seems that the byline has dropped someone formerly listed as a coauthor! Someone already updated (corrected?) that, however. ---CH 22:28, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

"Works" section?

I believe, it would be helpful to create such section and put bibliographical inf. on his dissertation and three famous preprints there. There are also other works, authored or coauthored by him, inf. on which could be added in case of such section's creation. Cmapm 23:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The diss is already there, plus a link to his arXiv eprints. Oh, see, someone removed that link! Arghghgh... this might have been because is overloaded; see their main page if you must. I delibately added a link to a mirror site for this very reason. I'll add back the mirror link now. ---CH 00:30, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I still believe, it would be more convenient to make a separate section for his works. After all, it's a biography article about him, and inf. on his works should not be hidden in "References" section. Cmapm 00:48, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Already done. ---CH 01:08, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


Should 'unqualified to access his work (even positively).' read 'unqualified to assess his work (even positively).' or am I missing something? 23:42, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Yep. Fixed. Thanks. `'mikka (t) 23:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, it was a typo. Thanks, Mikka, for fixing it. ---CH 01:49, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

"Perfect score" on Mensa test?

To repeat what I said on our anon's talk page: is there even such a thing as a "perfect score" on an IQ test? Can anyone explain and provide some kind of verification of the claim? TIA ---CH 01:37, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Perelman's Mensa membership:
  • Mensa International directory. A perfect score is achieved when the norm of the IQ test is not able to determine an upper boundary. This would imply that Perelman's IQ is higher than measurable by standard techniques. In contrast, Albert Einstein's IQ was determined to be 165.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

The above was added to the article itself (apparently a newbie mistake)., thanks, but I think it is better to say "off the charts" or something like that, if it is really neccessary to mention this at all (seems to me that the IMO result is far more significant!) Be this as it may, can you provide a citation for the alleged result? What age was GP when tested? Where was he tested and by whom?

I added 'citation needed' in the article. --Stijn Vermeeren 07:14, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I have to say the remark about Einstein is a perfect illustration of why many feel this kind of point by point discussion of IQs is rather silly; it seems to me that IQ is intended to give some rough indication of the future intellectual potential of children, whereas Einstein and Perelman are notable for adult accomplishments. It seems to me that "potential" matters for little after an age certain; accomplishment is what life is all about (if one has intellectual ambitions, at any rate). ---CH 02:35, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. IQ measures intellectual capability, NOT INTELLECTUAL POTENTIAL, whatever the age. Norms are computed for each age. Einstein had 165 IQ (probably much less when he was a child), which is enormous, and the surprising would be for him to have 65 IQ. This is the biography of a GREAT genius, and any personal detail connected with his geniality (such as IQ) should be included. That's far more relevant than the politically interested discussion of whether he is a Russian Jewish Mathematician or a Russian Soccer-fan Mathematician. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:46, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea what you are trying to say, and I think I'm happy to let it stay that way. ---CH 05:05, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I can't understand why Mr. Perelman, with his limited focus on mathematics, would have any motivation to take an IQ test for admission to Mensa. Would he have answered correctly when asked to explain the difference between "syzygy" and "orrery"? Why would he care? The comment about his score on such a test seems, to me, to have been a fabrication.Lestrade 17:21, 6 September 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

How about moving it to Grigoriy Perelman?

In the spirit of WP:RUS, this would be a more correct transliteration of his name. In his own papers, he calls himself "Grisha", and various English news sources call him by various spellings, including "Grigori" and "Grigory". In short, I don't think it would hurt too much to get people to pronounce his name more correctly by moving it to the more correct spelling. --Esn 02:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC).

Wait for others to comment, please. I might have an objection. ---CH 02:35, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Moving a heavily edited article can cause problems with edit history. I think you are probably right that eventually it would make sense to move it. But I strongly urge you to wait a month or so for the fuss to die down, OK? ---CH 02:36, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Usage of "Grigoriy" /"grigori"/ Grigory is 1:6:6 in google.
  • Grigoriy Perelman: 66 google hits,
  • "Grigory Perelman" 148,000
  • "Grigori Perelman" 27,600

So it seems that "Grigoriy" is out of question here: for proper names the priority is the most common usage, rather than any formal transliteration rules. `'mikka (t) 02:48, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... those are pretty striking results. I take back what I said: even after waiting a month, it seems that Grigori beats Grigoriy for the sensible reason that Mikka offered. ---CH 03:11, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the edit history would stay with the article if I moved it to a new page or a redirect page that hasn't been edited since it was created. According to the google search history, perhaps the article should be moved to the Grigory Perelman redirect, as that is the most common spelling by far (it is also the official spelling on his homepage!). WP:RUS would allow this as well, as it says in the first few paragraphs. In any case, I'm going to go ahead and create a redirect page at Grigoriy Perelman - somebody might try to search for that spelling... by the way, don't worry - I'm not going to move anything without getting some kind of consensus first. --Esn 03:16, 23 August 2006 (UTC).

OK, I think I would support a move to "Grigory Perelman", for the reason you cited, but I agree that it would be wise to wait for a few days to see if anyone strongly objects.---CH 03:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Done deal?

BTW, the announcement of the Fields Medal is the strongest imaginable endorsement of Perelman's proof, but in another connection I have recently dealt with "the Enormous Theorem", aka the classification theorem for finite simple groups. As many here know, some years after it was announced that this had finally been proven, the discovery of a major gap was announced. Does anyone know the latest on that? Does anyone know whether Serre is still a skeptic? ---CH 03:05, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


I don't know all the Wikipedia rules, but it seems to me that the first section is unduly speculative in saying that Perelman will likely decline the Clay Institute Prize if it's awarded to him. According to this AP article, , "Ball said he asked Perelman if he would accept that money. Perelman said that if he won, he would talk to the Clay institute." We know so little about Perelman's feelings on much of anything, so I don't think we can really say that he would decline, as opposed to either taking the money or directing it to some other recipient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:39, 23 August 2006

Agreed. In the New Yorker article he is also quoted as saying he would not decide until it was offered. aww 13:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I changed it to "has not accepted" since that is less speculative at this point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mellow honey (talkcontribs) 14:18, 23 August 2006

References system

We currently seem to have three different types of reference system used on this article - footnotes/cite.php, in-line citations (i.e. the citation and link are part of the text) and pseudo-harvard (i.e. there is a list of references at the end, but no links in the body of the text). I plan to switch the references system to footnotes only in around a day's time, unless anyone has any objections to this (or does it before I do). At that point, I will also add Template:citation needed's where appropriate. Mike Peel 17:38, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I like citation templates, but don't know how to integrate these with footnotes. In this case, with so many demanding verification for every assertion, it seems that the community is demanding footnotes. In my rewrite, I opted for both as a slightly awkward compromise. I still feel this is an acceptable compromise even at the cost of some redundancy. ---CH 02:36, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Apology, Withdrawal, Outline of Major Corrections Needed

I have just read with close attention (and with much sadness) "Manifold Destiny" by Sylvia Nasar and David Gruber, New Yorker, August 28, 2006. I recommend it urgently to everyone editing this article, even though it's fascination is mostly macabre, since it focuses on the human dimensions, rather than the mathematical ones. Alas, it seems clear that in an encyclopedia article for a general audience, these dimensions must dominate, but I can certainly anticipate that Perelman himself would be very unhappy with the Wikipedia article for this reason alone, which I find very regretable, so I hope his friends in Petersburg don't rush to make him read it. I gravely doubt that he deserves any more grief at this juncture... sigh...

Short version of my reaction to reading Nasar and Gruber: Wow! I had simply no idea what a hornet's nest I was stepping into...although I probably should have had some idea...

A brief apology for my well intentioned, but naive, misinformed, and somewhat misguided efforts to improve this article: In my work on this article over the past week, I was only trying to improve some rather awkward writing by committee (stochastic conflict?). I truly had no axe to grind here and (being mathematically rather isolated myself) I was truly unaware of just how ugly this affair had already become well before I happened along. I regret that I seem to have offended many WP editors by trying to reorganize and improve the article, in service (as I thought) to the interests of our readers. I regret far more that what, in an ideal world, would be a happy occasion for worldwide celebration of the beauty of mathematics has become traduced into a rather vicious disagreement over who should be credited with proving the conjecture (and possibly over whether it has really been proven at all, although my impression is that this part of the controversy has largely blown itself out). Alas--- this is surely of one of the least admirable aspects of the long and eventful history of mathematics--- there are many precedents for this miserable development.

Longer version of my reaction to Nasar and Gruber: I find that I have a good deal of sympathy with several of the leading figures, and I think I understand much better Perelman's unprecedented refusal to accept the Fields Medal. Sadly, I have to say that I think he has acted properly in refusing it, and the Committee may well have acted improperly in awarding it even though (as I have learned) they knew in June that Perelman would not accept the Medal under any circumstances. It may well be that GP has set a precedent for refusing the Fields Medal, for some very good reasons which might come as a surprise to non-mathematicians. I'm even beginning to wonder (others have wondered about this before) whether the Fields Medal itself might not be doing more harm than good to mathematics, not because of the intentions of Fields himself, which were entirely benificient, but because of the way the Medal has been hijacked since his day to become something he never intended. If any good comes of this, maybe it will be that the whole darn medal tradition should die before it does any more harm.

In fact, I'll go a bit further: Nasar and Gruber briefly describe the blind referee process. May we dare to envision doing away with the notion of academic credit itself? Maybe all papers should be anonymous? Maybe noone should ever be paid more than minimum wage to pursue mathematical research? Is the prospect of earning a million dollars really the best motivation for doing good work in mathematics? Will I be brought up on treason charges for even asking this? ;-/

I'm too disheartened to muster the energy to try to really explain just what I'm talking about or why I feel so dismayed. Instead, let me just try to draw attention to some major factual corrections which the new piece by Nasar and Gruber has brought to light, so that others can try to ensure that the Wikipedia article at least gets the major facts straight (the newspaper articles I had read previously did not get even the basic facts straight):

  1. Yuri Burago was Perelman's Ph.D. advisor (rough equivalent, anyway),
  2. In 1992, GP spent a year at NYU and SUNY Stony Brook,
  3. He met Gang Tian at this time and shared a ride with him to a weekly Princeton seminar where he first heard Richard Hamilton speak about the Ricci flow,
  4. Shing-Tung Yau has been championing Hamilton's approach for many years,
  5. In 1993, GP spent two years at UC Berkeley, where he heard several more talks by RH, and kept returning to this while writing important papers which led to tenure track job offers from Stanford, Princeton, IAS (three of the most prestigious American departments right there), Tel Aviv,
  6. In 1995, GP declined these and returned to Steklov; he told Nasar and Gruber "in Russia I work better", and he has not denied a rumor that he returned to Petersburg specifically intending to work in semi-seclusion on the geometrization conjecture,
  7. For those who like monetary figures, according to Nasar and Gruber, GP's salary at Stekhlov was the equivalent of about one hundred dollars per month; I doubt the American job offers could have involved less than six thousand dollars per month),
  8. At about this time, GP read Hamilton's latest paper and sensed that RH's progress had "stalled",
  9. After many years of steady work, which he had shown to no-one before posting his first eprint to the arXiv, on Nov 11, 2002, GP emailed Yau, Hamilton, Tian, and others, saying "May I bring to your attention my paper" (i.e. his arXiv eprint "The Entropy Formula for the Ricci Flow and its Geometric Applications),
  10. Yau and Hamilton were "stunned", Tian "enthusiastic",
  11. On Nov 19, in response to an email from a third geometer asking if he claimed to have proven geometrization, GP replied "That's correct. Grisha",
  12. Yau complained that GP's eprints were too sketchy, but other experts were far more positive,
  13. GP gave invited talks on his work at MIT in April 2003, then at SUNY Stony Brook, and was disappointed that Hamilton did not turn up,
  14. On April 18, 2003, Science published an interview with Yau in which he harshly criticised the "vagueness" of GP's eprints,
  15. At about this time, Gang Tian and John Morgan began to study the eprints under a grant from the Clay Foundation re a possible award of the Millenium Prize,
  16. Also in the spring of 2003, Xi-Ping Zhu and Huai-Dong Cao, urged on by Yau (who I think is their former Ph.D. advisor), also began to study GP's eprints; according to them and Yau they wound up inventing new mathematics to fill various gaps in the exposition,
  17. On Sept 10, 2004, Tian emailed GP saying that after long study he had concluded that Perelman had indeed proven the geomerization conjecture, but recieved no reply (apparently because Perelman had simply stopped checking his email),
  18. In July 2004, Michael Freedman implied that he now accepted that GP had proven the conjecture,
  19. Upon the death of Chern, Yau began to battle with Tian over who would inherit the mantle of the leader of Chinese mathematics (see the article for much more detail on this; the relevant point here is that this is upsetting to those who are dragged into such unseemly fights--- it seems that Nasar and Gruber agree that Gang Tian did not court a battle with his former Ph.D. advisor over who would inherit Chern's mantle, incidently, which agrees with what I've heard from other sources),
  20. This battle has spilled into the political arena, with Beijing papers backing Tian, and some Hong-Kong and Taiwan papers backing Yau (this part seems a bit murky),
  21. In June 2006, Yau began pushing for acceptance of the premise that Zhu and Cao had completed a flawed sketch by GP, thus finally proving the conjecture,
  22. John Morgan (Columbia) feels that GP's sketch is, well sketchy, but suffices to establish GP as author of the desired proof,
  23. Perelman, while no doubt hurt by the nastier insinuations, more or less disavowed the value of this argument, saying he never intended to try to go down in history as sole author of the ultimate proof of the conjecture,
  24. Nasar and Gruber pass over entirely the issue of why Perelman resigned from the Stekhlov, but they say this happened in Dec. 2005, not Jan. 2006,
  25. Perelman has never been "in hiding" as Overbye's article seemed to suggest (dammit, Dennis!), he simply declared his intention to abandon mathematics, resigned, and thereafter was of course was no longer available via email to his account at Stekhlov,
  26. John Ball learned a few months ago that the 9 member Committee wished to award the Fields Medal to GP, but he knew that GP had clearly expressed his intention to refuse the Fields Medal if it was offered,
  27. Consequently, he quietly traveled to Petersburg in June 2006, told GP the Committee intended to award the Medal to him on Aug 22 at the Madrid ICM (by tradition, the awards are not announced in public before an ICM), and spent two days in confidential discussion with GP,
  28. In these discussions, Ball offered GP three choices:
    • come to the Madrid ICM and accept the Medal,
    • don't come but accept,
    • don't come and don't accept,
  29. Perelman might have prefered a fourth choice, not to be named at all, but given these three, he insisted on the last, telling Ball that he had quit mathematics entirely.
  30. GP has explicitly said that he will not decide whether or not to accept the Millenium Prize until it is offered (which now seems inevitable).

OK, I'll stop here, although there's much more in the New Yorker piece. It's probably clear now why I am feeling so depressed, eh? I should add that unlike the other pieces I read when I was working on this article, the Nasar and Gruber piece was clearly not written in a day, and is based upon extensive interviews with almost all the major figures and persons close to them, including Perelman himself.

Important note: if you want to use the above in editing the WP article, feel free, but please, please do not just paste the above list into the darn Wikipedia article: read carefully for yourself the piece by Nassar and Gruber (and other sources), and choose wisely what to include and where. Please!

Still...having taken the trouble to try to "reverse engineer" some "bare facts" from the Nasar and Gruber piece which are not (apparently) in the current version of the Wikipedia article, I guess I would like to make a few comments about my own reaction to what I read in their piece:

  1. It is well known in mathematics that the Fields Medal was originally endowed by Fields with the hope of encouraging talented young mathematicians who had shown promise as researchers to stay in mathematics. This was before the dawning of Big Science, but the intent was similar to the intent the NSF Graduate Fellowships in modern American mathematics--- hence the infamous 40 year age limit. The Medal was never intended by Fields himself to become the most prestigious award in mathematics (with all the bitterness such awards can entail, by inevitably passing over nonawardees who made major contributions. If you take GP at his word regarding his (apparently frequently reiterated) statement that he has quit mathematics entirely, then in deference to Fields's intentions, it seems undeniable to me that Perelman was quite right to decline the Medal and the Committee was quite wrong to insist on awarding it against his clearly expressed wishes, especially knowing that this would subject him to an unwelcome media scrutiny. This seems especially mean-spirited given the well-established fact that Perelman has consistently avoided seeking large salaries, so that it seems to me that one cannot argue that he really owes a huge personal sacrifice to the mathematical community.
  2. Perelman is not wrong to complain that other parties are trying to force him into assuming some kind of leadership role which he has stated he finds utterly abhorent. Likewise, he is not wrong to suggest that various parties are trying to drag him into all manner of political disputes, possibly even involving something as absurdly nonmathematical as the China-Taiwan dispute. Certain recipients of previous Fields Medals have stated in places like The Mathematical Intelligencer that they resent having had their careers "hijacked" by those hoping to influence mathematics by manipulating medalists into backing this program or that, instead of allowing them to follow their own research wherever it might lead.
  3. Given the ugliness of the priority dispute, which it seems that Perelman did not court, it is easy to understand, I think, why a sensitive individual who dislikes controversies might want to just walk away from the whole mess, even at the cost of walking away from mathematics itself (perhaps a love of opera or mathematics can only indulged as a rare and secret personal vice? or perhaps should even be socially deprecated, like an addiction to cocaine?).
  4. I imagine that Perelman (and in fact many quoted by Nasar and Gruber) might agree that perhaps the saddest part of this affair is that this priority dispute seems likely to be perpetuated indefinitely, and in the short term may well overshadow interest in the actual mathematics, which no doubt many young math students intrigued by what they've heard about the Ricci flow would prefer to study without this noisy distraction.

Sigh...Well, good luck to anyone who wants to work on this article. You will need it.---CH 05:53, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

The Nasar and Gruber article is online at [9]. Mike Peel 08:08, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I have now added an article about the Nasar and Gruber article. It is still a draft version, and as CH says, the dispute is rather ugly, so I'd need more time to sort things out. May I also take the opportunity to thank CH for clarifying here the facts, according to Nasar and Gruber, and request permission to make use of some of these, if needed, with proper attribution. Kidiawipe

There is always another side to the story in such complicated affairs. Various contributions to this blog, some from well known and frankly spoken mathematicians, make fascinating reading.

It seems clear that some of the mathematicians quoted by Nasar and Gruber were horrified to find their words used to support the case against Yau, who may not have been given adequate opportunity to clarify his positions. (Sheesh, you'd think mathematicians would be canny enough not to talk to journalists! Just kidding, of course...) Nonetheless, from what I have heard over the years, there has been considerable anger in the mathematical community about what some have seen as a tendency by Yau to try to grab credit for himself and his students, while deprecating the contributions of other contestants, so I can't agree that the general impression of a brewing coup attempt on the Emperor of Geometry is entirely inaccurate. But it should be noted that Yau's defenders say that his many public statements have been misinterpreted as a selfish power grab; these defenders insist that his motivations are both more complicated and less selfish than they might appear on casual inspection, e.g. by readers of N&G's article who haven't seen the relevant mathblogs. A Chinese proverb comes to mind: when walking through your neighbor's melon patch, do not stoop to tie your shoelaces.

Quite a few commentators raked N&G over the coals for exposing to public view the priority dispute over the apparent proof of the geometrization conjecture. While I agree that N&G seem to have set out to write a profile of Perelman and to have wound up writing a (highly effective) attack on Shing-Tung Yau, I can't agree that mathematical community can or should keep this kind of thing "in house". Still, I too find it deeply frustrating that the only things the public appears willing/able to understand about contemporary mathematics are the factious failings of its human practioners.

My direct knowledge of this particular contretemps is minimal. Without prejudice toward Yau, who may or may not have behaved unethically some of his geometrization-related activities, which at the very least do appear open to an interpretation which does his reputation no good, I strongly agree with a general lesson which some commentators wish to draw. Namely, as a body, mathematicians (and more generally scientists) do not do enough to curb unethical behavior by their peers.

One of the most acute comments I've seen so far came from John Sidles (see link above). Sidles picks up the political thread in an extremely interesting way. I complained above that one downside of the New Yorker piece is that the mathematical point will be lost in the human drama of the Yau-Tian epic and the controversy fight, and I mentioned the murky role (apparently) of China-Taiwan politics. Sidles remarks that in his view, this story needs to put in the context of "the role of mathematics in the (re)emergence of China as a global leader in science and technology". This re-emergence is indeed perhaps the biggest story currently being utterly drowned out, at least in the American media, by another epic story, the conflict between Islamic extremism and "the West". This seems deplorable, particularly when one reflects that everyone agrees that if American enters this century as the only true superpower, China is rather likely to leave it playing a similar role. I'd have to agree that the crucial role being played by mathematics in such an important historical development is surely by far the biggest story the media hasn't been telling here, at least from the point of view of a general audience. In the long run, I suspect that the Perelman flap will become a footnote in Yau's biographies, which are much more likely to focus on his possibly unprecedented role in fostering the emerging intellectual-technological-economic-military global dominance of China. When you stop to think, it is perfectly extraordinary that one intellectual, S.-T. Yau, should constitute a kind of nongovernmental entity which through sheer intellectual force is having a noticeable impact on the development of the most populous nation on Earth, and on her neighbors! Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson rolled into one are too remote to really constitute a viable analog from American history; Yau, NGO, appears to be to be, as I said, unprecedented.---CH 04:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Paragraphs removed during rewrite

During my rewrite, I removed the following section:

Interestingly enough, very broadly interpreted, there is a common thread between the geometrization conjecture and one way of thinking about FLT: both can be said to concern a kind of uniformization. The geometrization conjecture is often considered to be the analogue for 3-manifolds of the uniformization theorem, which concerns two-manifolds, or surfaces. Similarly, according to Barry Mazur, FLT can be related to uniformization (see the article cited below).

As interesting as that is, I don't think it has a place in this article. If others disagree with their removal, please feel free to put it back in the appropriate place, with appropriate references. Mike Peel 13:15, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

removal/addition of "Grisha"

I've seen regular addition of the nickname "Grisha" to the heading of this page (probably by English-speaking authors), and regular removal by Russian-speaking ones. "Grisha" is a standard diminutive of "Grigori" and I see it unreasonable in a scientific article. In Russia, nicknames/diminutives are virtually never used officially, people virtually never publish scientific articles under nicknames, etc. I've removed it from the heading again. I think that it is unreasonable to begin the article with Grigori "Grisha" Perelman, but it might make sense to say who sometimes published under the dimimutive "Grisha" or something like that. Unfortunately I cannot phrase it correctly. ringm 13:50, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Ringm: I am aware, as I believe many are, that the name "Grisha" is a nickname. However, "Grisha Perelman" is the name under which Perelman submitted his 3 preprints to the arXiv. Hence, I believe it would better serve others if the name "Grisha" were retained in the heading, perhaps with an explanation as to why this name is used. Kidiawipe
It is indeed difficult to phrase this gracefully, but I vote with Kidiawipe here. ---CH 05:17, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

A link to forum post

I've removed this link again. Because messages on forums can be posted by everyone, and because of this they are never reliable sources. Hence, the link does not contribute to the article at all. Cmapm 16:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

While I disagree with your reason (less reliable external links can also be helpful for the reader), I agree with removing the link. I feel that the article is concentrating too much on the verification process, and the Tian-Yau conflict. This article is supposed to be about Perelman. A brief section that his proof of Poincare (and probably Thurston geometrization) has withstood scrutiny is certainly warranted, but it seems to me that it is starting to overshadow the rest of the article. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 23:53, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

factual error

"Perelman went on to earn a Candidate of Science degree (the Russian equivalent to the Ph.D.)"

Candidate of Science Degree in Russia is an equivalent of Master of Science Degree in the USA. Doctor of Science Degree in Russia is an equivalent of Ph.D. in the USA.

Yuri Ostrovski.

I think you are wrong. M. Sc. degree in US is equivalent to 5-6 years of education that you spend in Russian university. Candidate of Science is equivalent to Ph.D. Wikiolap 20:58, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Степень Кандидат наук соответствует степени доктора философии, существующей в США, Великобритании и др. странах. (Candidate of Science degree corresponds to Doctor of Philosophy degree, existing in the USA, the United Kingdom and other countries) Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd. edition. Hence, such a situation was in the 1970s. If you have an information, that it changed in the late 1980s or can cite other sources, claiming, that it corresponded to M.Sc. in the late 1980s, you are welcome. Cmapm 22:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Pravda, lots of info here from this russian new paper

As it turns out the mysterious genius who turned his back on a huge sum of money is actually living in complete poverty with his elderly mother. Though he avoids all media, Grigoriy Perelman agreed to answer a few questions.

…To find Perelman in his hometown of St. Petersburg was akin searching for a top-secret agent. The apartment he used to rent recently on Budapest Street had no inhabitants. According to his neighbors Perelman disappeared from there as soon as his decision to reject a million dollars became known on a global scale. No one was able to figure out where the great scientist had gone.

The Apartment

But the search was nonetheless successful. The 40-year-old genius lives in the Kupchino region of St. Petersburg in his mother’s three-bedroom apartment. The home of a 78-year-old Liubov Leybovna is located on the sixth floor in one of the local business buildings.

…An ordinary entrance, a worn-out wooden door. An elderly mother of a famous mathematician was holding tight her defenses and was determined not to let the uninvited guests in. Only after many long persuasive talks did the door into the apartment hesitantly open, allowing access to the most famous and the most “closed” scientist of all Russia.

All three rooms of Perelman’s house were packed with books and writings. The smallest room contained an antique piano that hasn’t been touched in a long time.

Further along the hallway is the living room with a small dinner table. An old violin and contrabass are visible in the corner.

All the pictures of the mathematician are cut out from the family album which his mother hugs tightly to her chest…

“We aren’t well off, as you can tell,” Liubov Leybovna sighs, “the three of us live here together: I, my son and my daughter, Grigoriy’s half-sister. Elena is currently living abroad but my son…”

Suddenly the woman gets anxious realizing that she might have said too much and attempts to correct her sentence.

“In any case Grigoriy rarely comes here and you shouldn’t wait for him because I doubt he’ll show up tonight. He has his own rented place.”

Liubov Leybovna was unable to explain where an officially unemployed scientist could find the money for rent, so she hurried to get rid of her inquisitive guests.

Grigoriy Perelman appeared at his mother’s house later that evening around 6 pm . In the tradition of the best detective stories, thirty minutes prior to her son’s arrival Liubov Leybovna came outside and carefully examined the area in search of suspicious strangers. She paid much attention to the windows of the cars parked nearby as she walked around the house.

Ten minutes later her world-known child showed up. Wearing a dark beat-up jacket, a black T-shirt, old jeans and worn-out sports shoes Perelman quickly ran up to the house entrance. As soon as he noticed the journalists his face turned gloomy and he tried to get behind the door as soon as he could.

-Grigoriy Borisovich, why have you refused the million bucks?

-I had my reasons, - he said as he was running.

-Why are you hiding now?

-I have enemies.

-Where do you work now?

-Nowhere. I quit my job at the institute last December. Now I don’t work anywhere.

The Green Fish 09:10, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I think, it's cruel by journalists to burst into his personal life and in this pressing way. Provided, that he said explicitly a lot of times, that he can't speak to journalists. He is already forced to run into the apartment! Do journalists realize, how dramatically their pressing may influence him?
I think, such journalists' uncivility should be mentioned in this article. Cmapm 11:10, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


I have a question. Why the article is titled Grigori Perelman INSTEAD Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman ????? It does really sound like if the author of the article has something against Russian names or wants to favor the Perelman name for no known reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Yakovlevich is his patronym; most will search by given name and family name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Probably that's because of some group or circle of people or may be Perelman himself are accustomed to call him this way. Grigory Yakovlevich sounds rather officially in Russian. The way children appeal to theur teachers, workers to their chief etc. E.g. [great:)] Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky or just Tchaikovsky, but never Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Surprisingly Vladimir Putin as well as Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, depending of context, but never in a direct compellation. Consider Bill Clinton (aka william jefferson clinton) for example. Perelman's preprints at cited in the 'bibliography' section are signed just 'Perelman, Grisha' which is diminutive form of the name (as 'Billy Clinton'). Rather unusual, but some Russian mathematicians tend to prefer informal names:)
Beside of this - of course the form with the patronim would be uncomfortable for english-speaking folks. Nothing 'against of Russian names' in this. -- (talk) 06:35, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

"Claimed to have outlined"

"In November 2002, Perelman posted to the arXiv the first of a series of eprints in which he claimed to have outlined a proof of the geometrization conjecture" Is this necessary? Isn't it enough to say "in which he outlined"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 28 March 2008 (UTC)


It is absurd to exclude the fact that Perelman is Jewish from this article. Nobody denies that there are good sources that say that he is Jewish (remembering that Judaism is an ethnicity as well as a religion), and nobody has produced a source that he isn't. We don't work by speculating about whether he would want it stated in the article that he is Jewish. No doubt, if he is such a private person, he would not want the article at all. Is anyone prepared to move for the deletion of the whole article? If not, it is a violation of WP:NPOV to require the removal of some verified facts and not others.--Newport 11:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

As an aside, Perelman said quite pointedly in his interview with the Telegraph that he doesn't care what anyone writes about him. Rklawton 17:07, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I very much doubt that anybody here is willing to go check on his maternal line of descent in order to discern whether this alleged fact of "Jewishness" is true or not.
At any rate - how is this entire game of pinning labels about "facts"? The only fact here is that you are trying to pin a little symbol onto his shirt. This is not a fact about him any more than "fetch me this handbag" is a fact.
Judaism is a religion. Whether Perelman believes in it or practices it is his business. Now, just like (say) Catholicism states that somebody who has been baptized is a Catholic, Judaism also claims that certain people - namely, those born of mothers who belonged to Judaism - belong to the religion automatically. Does it have a right to make such a claim? Yes; you can have whatever religious beliefs you prefer. Should you publicly conscript third persons into membership in a religion? Should we make such categories a part of general public discourse? Obviously not.
Perelman's mathematics are everybody's business. Perelman's background is his business. Labels that presume to describe Perelman in absolute terms, and thus make both his life and his actual background (whatever it may be!) irrelevant, are noxious; if they are based on bloodlines - well, then they are abhorrent.
The fact that membership in the Jewish religion is sometimes overlayed with the notion of "nationality" makes matters only worse, not better. Let the man decide what country he belongs to; what country formed him is clear. Bellbird 12:46, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Nobody needs to check anything. We have a good source saying that he's Jewish and no source saying he isn't - end of discussion. Anything else is original research.-- 13:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

This sort of argumentation stinks to high heaven. Why should we let monomaniacs decide what is encyclopaedic and what is not? We usually do not. Moreover, the religion of living persons is not to be discussed unless they choose to make it public - that is certainly a clearly stated and very specific Wikipedia rule. Bellbird 13:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Incidentally, can anybody check up on all of these IP addresses? There have been plenty of anonymous reverts in the last few days; is somebody trying to get around the 3-revert rule? Bellbird 13:28, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Ethnicity includes self-identification. We don't have sources for that. Neither we have a source stating his religious beliefs. --Pjacobi 19:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

This is all nazi propaganda. Like just because your great ancestors worshiped some god then you are by some way different. If you were born in russia and your parents were born in russian and their parents were born in russia and so on then you are russian who cares what religion someone worhsiped. The only ones who care are the nazies. And the nazies got a BIG Soviet Flag placed in their capital, Berlin and hitler killed himself, and a pice of his skull was taken to Stalin and the skull is now in the Kreml. TheftByEating 00:34, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but these assessments of your are no basis to remove properly sourced facts. The fact that he was born into a Jewish family was reported in the Daily telegraph, and that has absolutely nothing to do with Nazism. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:37, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
First of all reading any article about any person in wikipedia you will see that it does not say protstant Mike was born in... or catholic Sam was born in... So adding religion of parents is very doubtfull indeed and only serves as nazi propaganda. He was born in the Soviet Union where the was no religion so it is very doubtfull indeed to include such nazi propaganda. TheftByEating 03:15, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
 ????? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
THERE WAS NO RELIGION IN THE SOVIET UNION SO HE CAN NOT BE "JEWISH" SINCE HE NEVER JOINED THE "JEWISH CHURCH" do you understand or is this to complicated for you. You are only a member of a religion if you join its church. In the Soviet Union everyone was born into NO church since he has not joined the jewish church he can not be jewish. And in all wikipedia articles it dosent say at the very top the religion of the persons parents. For example does it say Protestant or Catholic Bill Gates, I think not! TheftByEating 03:59, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Not to discuss nationality in any way, like you are doing, but to correct an obvious error. There was a religion in the USSR, see Religion in the Soviet Union. I was born in the USSR in the 1970s and was baptised in the Russian Orthodox Church with no problems. Cmapm 10:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Not to be too rude, but as others have attempted to point out Jewish has an ethnic/cultural/racial element to it (and I would think most secular Russian jews today would be quite surprised to be considered just "Russian"). In addition to the problem pointed out by Cmapm, please note that there is no such thing as "Jewish church" and the fact that you think there is indicates pretty fundamental misunderstandings of the topic. (For the record I have no strong opinion either way as to whether "Jewish" should be mentioned here, but these are basic facts that need correction). JoshuaZ 18:08, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with TheftByEating, in the Bill Gates article it just says Bill Gates not Bill Gates whos parents belonged to Religion X. And to get baptised the parents must actively do so where is the proof that Grigori Perelman parents did so. Ramand 13:22, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Let us also remember that three of the proponents for removing the reference to religion have less than 100 edits between them. We should note their point of view, place it in the over context of Wikipedia, and move on. If they should become disruptive, we have processes for dealing with that as well. We might start with investigating possible sock puppetry. Rklawton 16:02, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

As has been pointed out many times before in this discussion a simple bit of scrolling will show that in the vast majority of articles it does not say Name Last Name parents belonged to religion X it just says Name Last name. Adding such information serves no purpose what so ever and this has been pointed out also many other things have been pointed out like for example there is no proof that his parents were even jewish or that he is a member. And adding such information at the very top when in all other articles it is if mentioned at the bottom. Ramand 16:28, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
The vast majority of bios don't have sources that include the subject's religion in their title. This one does. Rklawton 17:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
In the vast majority of all articles there is no mention of the persons alleged religion. As has been stated before Where is the proof. Has he been baptazied, has he had a bar mitzvah if not then he is not jewish period. And why isnt the religion of Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and many others mentioned at the very top of the article? And there is only one link that says that he is jewish and this is from an internet page that itself says the name sounds jewish their is no real proof and even if he is why is it mentioned at all? In the Einstein article the religion of him is not mentioned at the very start at the very top of the article. Ramand 17:28, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Anyone who believes that you have to be baptised to be Jewish clearly doesn't understand the issue.--Newport 20:05, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Newport: you can believe that humanity is divided among Jews and Gentiles, whose respective status is determined at birth. That does not mean that, in the mainstream discourse, people should be defined and classified according to this categorization, or any other categorization by blood. If the rules you believe in determine a person's religion, then there is only more of a reason not to define the given person by rules of descent; the religion of living people is not to be discussed here, and, if we are imposing a religion on a person - a religion that may be different from the one he privately holds! - then this is only so much the worse.

If certain rules on privacy are being violated elsewhere, then they should be followed elsewhere, not violated here. On the matter of POV and NPOV, please see the comments I have just left on Runcorn's page. Bellbird 14:57, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Copyvio ?


I have found an article about Perelman on an extern site ( that is very close to this one. I dont know if it is a copyvio or a GFDL violation, both cases are problematics. At first look, it seems to be a GFDL violation, because all the links on Wikipedia are in bold on the WESAS page.

The article is "A small contribution of the WSEAS Staff to GRIGORI PERELMAN", without any reference to Wikipedia or GFDL. Nojhan 17:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

It seems to be a GFDL violation. Please report it to meta:Non-compliant site coordination. Thanks. Mushroom (Talk) 17:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
You may also send them a Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter. Mushroom (Talk) 17:16, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I have sent them a GFDL violation letter and I'm waiting for an answer. Mushroom (Talk) 00:48, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
That website is now fully compliant with the GFDL :) Mushroom (Talk) 08:46, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

WP:3RR warning

To involved editors: Please refrain from undoing other people's edits repeatedly. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia under the three-revert rule, which states that nobody may revert a single page more than three times in 24 hours. (Note: this also means editing the page to reinsert an old edit. If the effect of your actions is to revert back, it qualifies as a revert.) Thank you. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Continued removal of properly referenced material because of a POV assertion that it should be discounted is vandalism. 3RR does not apply to reversion of vandalism. Tyrenius 20:46, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that's not vandalism. See Wikipedia:Vandalism. Disputes over content should be taken through the dispute resolution process. Fagstein 19:36, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Removal of referenced material

Please note that the removal of properly referenced material, because of a POV that it doesn't count, amounts to vandalism and repetition of this behaviour will be treated as such. The verifiable reference given from The Daily Telegraph states:

Friends were not surprised to learn that he was living with his mother. The Jewish family - he has a younger sister, Elena, also a mathematician - was always close.

A verifiable reference will be needed to disprove this, if it is wished to delete the fact that he is a Jew. Even if he does not consider himself a Jew, that is still no reason to delete the statement, although it would be a reason to add his self-identification additionally to the article. That too would have to be properly referenced. If you don't understand this, I suggest you dialogue with me on my talk page, before you make an edit change, rather than after. Tyrenius 20:46, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

My statement has no bearing on whether this information should be in the lead section, or elsewhere. That is an entirely different discussion. Tyrenius 22:14, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

So far, I don't see anything about his alleged Judaism which makes it so important that it needs to be mentioned in the lede. In the Einstein article it is mentioned in the categories, and then further down under "Religion", but not in the lede. Making sure all Jews are marked as such is just ethnic form of nationalism. Ashibaka tock 14:25, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

The recent edit which moves the information from the lead to a personal section, seems to me to be a very sensible way of dealing with this. It also uses the words of the reference "Jewish family", so is accurate to that particular media perception. Please bear in mind in a collaborative project that different people with opposite positions on an edit decision have to find a way to accommodate each other. Tyrenius 15:37, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, with no other comments, that seems like an acceptable wording to me. Ashibaka tock 15:46, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

"No other comments" over an American holiday weekend is hardly a surprise. Be patient. Also keep in mind that a couple of articles list his religion in their headlines. Thus, the emphasis seems justified. Rklawton 19:13, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with the current solution in the article for now. Whereas I question the relevance of listing religion and ethnicity in biographies with specific relevance, it seems to be the current practice in en.wikipedia. --Pjacobi 19:34, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Please see my comments above, and my comments in Runcorn's page on the issue of POVs. May I remind everybody that there is a standard rule here on (not) mentioning the religion of living people? The fact that members of some religions believe one can be born into them does not change the matter. Bellbird 15:00, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Incidentally: the criterion of verifiability is an excellent thing when it comes to statements of fact whose meaning we can agree on. However, there is no clear agreement in the popular press on who or what is a Jew. Given that this is the case, how is citing a source any better than citing one to support the statement that Perelman is a good or bad person? What are we even saying when we say he is a Jew? Bellbird 15:03, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The Daily Telegraph is considered a reliable source, and we are citing from that reference, inmwhich they state that Perelman's family is Jewish. What is wrong with citing the telegraph? We are not passing a judgement is this is valid, important, sensible, better ot worse, we are describing what a reliable source wrote about him: "The Jewish family - he has a younger sister, Elena, also a mathematician - was always close.[10] ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:26, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. It can be disputed, whether including religion or ethnicity (or hair color, height, haplotype) of scientists is really encyclopedic. It is not linked to the reason they are notable.
  2. The quote about the the "Jewish family" was used to construct Perelman himself as Jewish. This is now fixed.
Pjacobi 21:42, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Just a comment on your first point: once a person is notable, then other information about them becomes valid, which is not necessarily specifically to do with their notability. For example, their place of birth is probably nothing to do with their notability per se. Tyrenius 00:47, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually their place of birth has to do with what country they are, or were from. That's like saying the fact that he was born in Russia isn't relevant to anything. Even though he's probably one of several Field Medalists who wear a beard, I don't think "He has a beard." would be any more relevant that what religion his ancestors practiced, unless he identifies or practicies it too. There are plenty of pages without birth place locations anyway. LaGrange

More on "ethnicity"

(What you'll find below was a response I wrote a few hours ago to Tbeatty's comments further up the page. I originally posted it in the wrong talk page by mistake. My apologies. Bellbird 17:46, 4 September 2006 (UTC))

Dear Tbeatty:

You raise a very good point; we are being constrained by language. However, we are fated to write in English here, as it happens - and there is also a good reason why there is a single word for what sometimes seems to be separate concepts. The issue is that, according to some religions, one can be a member of a religion by virtue of one's birth or bloodlines. (In others, one's status may be determined shortly after birth, and changes may be very difficult; thus, for example, somebody baptised as a Roman Catholic would be seen as such by the Roman Catholic church even if he declared himself an atheist, or were to be excommunicated.) Many religions also state that membership in a religion is not simply a matter of belief, but also a matter of belonging to a clearly defined social body. There are secular Jewish nationalists nowadays - especially in Israel - who adhere strongly to the belief in a Jewish nation, with criteria of membership identical to those for the "holy people" defined by religion. An Israeli acquaintance of mine states matters in the following way: "Judaism is my religion, but I do not believe in it". Ethnicity is a different and much vaguer matter. Some immigrants to the United States in the early twentieth century shared certain ill-defined cultural traits that persisted for a time even after some abandoned the religion. (Nowadays, many of the cultural traits have disappeared even among practitioners of the religion; thus, for example, very few people outside some very specific groupings speak Yiddish.) It sometimes makes sense to speak of a culture; however, if one is truly thinking of a culture, and not of something else, then it becomes very difficult to speak of membership; one can be a carrier of a culture to a greater or less extent, but it is not a binary issue. Part of the problem here is that people are projecting onto a living individual categories that may be descriptive elsewhere or at some other time, but not necessarily there and now. One hundred and fifty years ago, practitioners of Judaism in Eastern Europe did indeed speak Yiddish and live separately from their neighbours. This is no longer the case. When categories lose their descriptive value, they become a way to classify human beings in absolute ways that may be severely misleading as to their actual (and private!) backgrounds. The point is not that Perelman is a non-Jew, whatever that means; the issue is whether or not it is proper for an encyclopaedia - in particular, this one - to classify living individuals by blood, in ways that, furthermore, impose on them some particular religion. I would agree that, say, Marc Chagall had a Yiddish background (as much as that involves some radical simplifications; one could just as well say that he came from a small-town Belorussian background). As one moves to the present, reality becomes vaguer, and firm categories sometimes become acts of violence against the individual and against reality. Mind you, I, for one, have no objection to private persons' belief in such categories; rather, the question is whether such categories should form part of the general discourse. Perhaps we should all talk about the matter in the village pump? There seems very little here that is specific to Grigori Perelman. As far as I can see, he is simply a person who does mathematics, lives in Russia, and happens to have a typically Russian first name and a last name often found among descendants of Russian Jews. Some people in the press jump to conclusions from this last fact. So what? Bellbird 16:04, 4 September 2006

References are fubared

I'm sure this is unintentional, but a number of citations (as webcites) were removed and ref tags now surround words like "Jackson." (see note 8). If the intention is to reference the Jackson, A. reference in the ref list, this was not done correctly. Since I'm not familiar with the article in its current state, I hesitate to fix these things as I assume they should direct/link/reference. Could someone go through and fix the ref tags so that everything is pointing to an actual reference and not just saying things like last names. A good place to start on how to go about doing this is the <ref> tag page on Wikimedia. Thanks. ju66l3r 16:41, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

All works cited, or used as a reference should be listed with complete bibliographic information in a "References" section, cites of those references works, whether inline (e.g. Harvard referencing), or in a note, do not need to repeat all of the bibliographic information, all that is really necessary is to give enough information to uniquely identify the cited work. So since there is only one work by the author "Jackson" listed in the "References" section, a citation of "Jackson" is sufficient. Paul August 21:48, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

POVs and not

Were we talking about whether (say) a tax break on gnus will encourage their reproduction, we would indeed be talking about a POV issue: we have a fact whose exact truth value cannot be determined, as so we present different opinions. Were we talking about (say) the viewpoints of Orthodox and Reform Judaism on "Who is a Jew?" or whether Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God, we would be talking about a different kind of POV issue, namely, one in which the ultimate answer may not even exist in any absolute sense; all that is left is to report POVs.

Here we have a different sort of issue. The problem at hand is not whether (say) Cantor and Grigori Perelman are Jewish. (An interesting hypothesis: what would happen if Grigori Perelman's mother turned out to be from a non-Jewish line of descent? Would the hubhub in these pages quiet down? What would we have learned of new about Perelman - his life, his actions, his character?) You see, it is not my wish, at the very least, to assert that they aren't, or to believe that they aren't. (Though: you are aware that no Jewish denomination would recognize Cantor as Jewish, and that all this business boils down, then, to issues of the racial pride of some chaps who believe they belong to a non-existent race?) The issue is whether biographical subjects should be defined in terms of bloodlines at all - in any way.

- A country of origin and a date of birth may be imperfect forms of definition as well, but, at least, they tell us something certain about the way in which an individual was formed - something certain that affected every moment of the upbringing. At the same time, because we are talking about something concrete, we have something that can be relativised. When people are classified by bloodlines, the inverse phenomenon occurs: we have something that may not have affected an individual's upbringing at all, or that may not even be a "something" - even if, later in the individual's life, a constructed "something" may have suddenly hit him. At the same time, we are implicitly or explicitly told, this "something" (or non-something) constitutes a valid way in which to classify humanity into two hermetic categories, each inaccessible to the other.

If bloodlines were an intellectually sound and moral way to classify individuals, we would have them in all articles. Thus, for example, we would have lists of Jewish bankers, Jewish Bolsheviks, Jewish spies and Jewish slave traders, to rattle off four categories often put together by fairly diseased individuals. Great criminals would also be defined, in their biographies, as being Jewish (or "from a Jewish family".) To make myself perfectly clear: I am not proposing that we keep such lists; if somebody does, I propose that he be vomited upon. This is simply a thought experiment.

Would it not be best to describe people simply in terms of their actions, prefaced by the most salient concrete features of their actual background? Would this not be fair to subjects and readers, and most informative?

Incidentally, stacking sources against each other wouldn't work here. It would be like deciding between noise and quiet by having both in actual proportions. This "compromise" would be especially unworkable if somebody showed up tooting a megaphone. Bellbird 10:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Comments about “compromise” solution

While I appreciate user:Pjacobi's efforts in trying to find an agreeable compromise, I must disagree with the removal of the category, for that removes the incredible indexing power that this encyclopedia is supposed to bring. The debate over ethnicity vs. religion to the side, if the person is agreed to be Jewish, that should be an index key as much as being male, Russian, or a mathematician is. Removing the key destroys the information. Now, in cases where there is significant doubt as to ethnicity, I agree the key does not belong--it is not verified. But here in wiki, our overriding principle is verifiability, and not truth, as unfortunate as that may be, and if we have verified, reliable sources claiming such, it deserves to be a key as much as in the article. I do not believe they should be split. Thanks. -- Avi 16:20, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

It is not agreed, that Perelman is Jewish. No reliable source report selfidentification.
It is also not agreed, that these categorisation makes sense or should be done, except for the narrow case where the religion of a mathematican was a notable factor in his life, compare the criterium at Category:Christian mathematicians.
Pjacobi 21:07, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to make it really simple. If we have a category called "Russian Jews", we need reputable sources that say A. the person is Russian B. the person is Jewish. We have sources that state both, so that's the end of that story. Wiki editors may not decide if the person is "Jewish enough" for whatever standard they come up with. That's original research. If a reputable source said so, we may say it, regardless of whether or not a particular Wikipedia editor thinks the source is wrong. No such requirement as "self-identification", nor may you have one. The only requirement for "any" piece of information on Wikipedia is "source-identification", which is what reliable sources say about that particular topic, and, of course, also what that topic says on themselves. But not just one or the other. Please, don't debate me on the meaning of Jewishness, your opinions on self-identification, etc. Wikipedia is not a debate forum, which some people need to realize. When it comes to article content, it's 100%-source based. I suggest editors that have a problem with Wikipedia stating that Perelman is Jewish either A. contact the reliable sources that have said he is, since we are just the messenger or B. find a source that disputes Perelman being Jewish. There is no other course of action. It's all about the sources. I also suggest these editors go on to Terence Tao, Perelman's fellow Fields Medal winner, and inquire why it is so necessary that the article not only identify Tao as having (gasp!) parents who were immigrants from Hong Kong, but also puts him under the categories "Australian Americans", "Chinese Americans", "Chinese Australians" and last, but, not least, "Hong Kong-Australians". Enough is enough is enough with this crap. Mad Jack 03:05, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the hint regarding Tao. Regarding Perelmann, we all know that different sources have different ideas, when to call someone a Jew. --Pjacobi 17:52, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Well I think removing those Tao categories was a bit much. Certainly some apply. As for different sources have different ideas - doesn't matter. Wikipedia is supposed to represent what the majority of sources say. In this case, the majority (or actually, all the sources on this subject) say that he is Jewish, and none say anything else, so there is no problem at all. If, like in George Cantor, we had one source that said Jewish and another that said something else, we would have a problem. Mad Jack 19:00, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I was going to comment, but Jack has made the case impeccably. If anyone has any source that Perelman is not Jewish, we can discuss further, but nobody has yet found one. Thus Perelman is Jewish. Anything else violates WP:NOR, which is non-negotiable.--Newport 12:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I will rest my issue here, as it seems pointless to continue this as a prolonged edit war. If you at least keep in mind, that (alleged) ethnicity doesn't belong into section zero, I'll leave this alone for now.
My two general criticism:
  • Ethnicity and Religion tagging is unencyclopedic for persons not notable in this respect. Please compare a real encyclopedia.
  • Yes, Wikipedia relies on sourcing, but sometimes source criticism is needed. If I haven't missed a new one, two websites were cited as source, for tagging Perelman as Jew. But I pretty much assume that all (few) interviews with him are explicitely known and both these sites haven't had their own interview. So they are simply re-interpreting other sources. What our sources have reported as Jewish Family was re-interpreted as being a Jew, mirroring one of many differing definitions.
Pjacobi 13:29, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, that's a pretty logical interpretation (i.e. "Jewish family" equals "Jew", much like "Italian American family" = "Italian American"). Although I suppose Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to make that interpretation themselves, reliable sources certainly can (don't know if that's the case this time - but). As for section zero, yes, ethnicity or religion isn't supposed to go in header, so that's definite. As for noting ethnicity, etc. well, a large number of Wiki articles do, and a lot would look awkward if some of these were removed. As long as its got a good source and its not something like shoe size, I don't see why information can't be included in the article. But anyway, since this seems to have wrapped up, cheers... Mad Jack 16:29, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Failed GA Nomination

Due to the ongoing edit war, this article failed to satisfy GA criteria #5, that the article should be stable. When this matter has been resolved, this article can be renominated again in the Good Article candidate list. — Indon (reply) — 15:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

What does it take to understand Perelman's proof?

I'm still a freshman math major, but I'd like to know what it takes to get hold of the ideas he presents. Could someone kindly elaborate on this?

I imagine a very dedicated student might be able to try and understand it at the end of their university degree. My university ran a course this year on it (mostly attended by professors): apparently you would need to know Riemennian Geometry which I imagine would be difficult and take a few years, working up from basic topology and then manifolds. Apparently you need to know a bit about partial differential equations, but not that much. You should a least be able to understand the statement of the Poincaré conjecture after a first course in topology (I understand the statement, but the proof is far beyond my abilities at the moment). Tomgreeny 22:09, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Voting for modification of Yau's wiki-entry

Here I have suggested voting for modifying Yau's entry, or creating a new entry on Yau vs. Perelman affair. Yau, already has been involved in another scandal of plagiarism, and after his abuse of his editor position in a journal, it is not clear who is the scientist with great moral (see also Tian-Yau affair). Voting at: [11] Danko Georgiev MD 02:26, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

On the Yau crew - Zhu and Cao completely derogated Perelman's proof

Dear wiki-editors, I was informed some months ago about the proof of Poincare's conjecture by Perelman by prof. J. F. Glazebrook with whom I work on math modeling of some neurobiological processes. At that time the Fields medal was not awarded, and I have downloaded and read in brief some passages of Zhu and Cao original paper. BUT IN THE ORIGINAL PAPER [12] (see also [13]) BOTH OF THEM CLAIM FOR PRIORITY IN PROVING THE THEOREM, AND THEY ARGUE TO BE THE FIRST PEOPLE DOING THAT, AS WELL AS EXPLICITLY STATING AT SEVERAL PLACES THAT THE PERELMAN'S PROOF IS INCOMPLETE, AND EVEN PROBABLY UNPROVABLE [FALSE] BY HIS OUTLINES GIVEN IN THE EPRINTS. They state explicitly at many places that they have completed the proof by novel approach (method) invented by them!!! So I was greatly disgusted by this fact, and now I have read in the Wiki-entry that Yau organized all this sh..t. What is more Zhu and Cao seem to reject in press that they have claimed priority for the proof and have completely underestimated Perelman's work. After seeing this public statement I decided to contribute to revealing this extremely un-ethical behavior of Yau crew, and shortly I will post quotations from the Zhu and Cao paper. I hope that then some of wiki-editors will be able to insert them in the main article(s) [of Perelman, and/or Yau's crew]. Danko Georgiev MD 12:08, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Some preliminary citations, with specific claims in bold without commenting, the bolded passages speak of themselves:

Zhu and Cao's paper (published before awarding the Fields medal to Perelman):


  • "In this paper, we give a complete proof of the Poincare and the geometrization conjectures. This work depends on the accumulative works of many geometric analysts in the past thirty years. This proof should be considered as the crowning achievement of the Hamilton-Perelman theory of Ricci flow."


  • "In this paper, we shall present the Hamilton-Perelman theory of Ricci ow. Based on it, we shall give the first written account of a complete proof of the Poincare conjecture and the geometrization conjecture of Thurston."

page 170

  • "When using the rescaling argument for surgically modified solutions of the Ricci flow, one encounters the difficulty of how to apply Hamilton's compactness theorem .. The idea to overcome this difficulty consists of two parts. The first part, due to Perelman .. The second part, due to the authors and Chen-Zhu, is to show that the surgically modified solutions are .. Perhaps, this second part is more crucial. Without it, Shi’s interior derivative estimate may not be applicable .. . We remark that in our proof of this second part ... we require a deep comprehension of the prolongation of the gluing "fine" caps for which we will use the recent uniqueness theorem of Bing-Long Chen and the second author for solutions of the Ricci ow on noncompact manifolds."

page 171

  • "As we pointed out before, we have to substitute several key arguments of Perelman by new approaches based on our study, because we were unable to comprehend these original arguments of Perelman which are essential to the completion of the geometrization program."

Cao has stated (after awarding the Fields medal to Perelman):

  • "Hamilton and Perelman have done the most important fundamental works. They are the giants and our heroes. In my mind there is no question at all that Perelman deserves the Fields Medal. We just follow the footsteps of Hamilton and Perelman and explain the details. I hope everyone who read our paper would agree that we have given a rather fair account."

RHETORICAL QUESTION: Does "this second part (due to the authors and Chen-Zhu) is more crucial" means "explain the details"??? If Cao is not a hypocrat, then who has modified their paper? Danko Georgiev MD 01:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

REPLY TO CAO: "Well, I have read your paper, even couple of months before your interview and I think you have completely derogated Perelman's contributions, plus you have tried quite un-ethically to use the fact that Perelman's work is not published in peer-review journal and steal his priority. Is this Mr. Cao a "fair" account? " Danko Georgiev MD 01:53, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

REPLY TO DANKO: Maybe you are right, but Prof. Richard S. Hamilton stands up for Prof. Yau in a letter to the New Yorker 01:51, 25 December 2006 (UTC)Henri Eber

With all due respect, it seems very self-serving for you to criticise a bunch of Chinese mathematicians for 'unethical behaviour' in academic research when individuals within the mathematical community (such as yourself) have been criticised by Perelman for unethical behaviour. Anyhow, given that we are take to believe that Perelman did put up his proof before the other Chinese mathematicians (the Yau group), I still detect that those in authority would not take too kindly to Perelman's proof being on Arxiv, or, indeed, any freely available online source of information given the statements of organisations such as the London Mathematical Society :

I could banter on about this issue. Essentially, you are attempting to convince other mathematicians that Perelman's proof is correct and has been verified. Given the amount of POLITICS that I have seen exercised within mathematics on both sides of the Atlantic, I very much doubt that I would be willing to accept ANY of your statements in regards to whether or not either Perelman's proof, or, even, the proof by Andrew Wiles (for Fermats Last Theorem) could EVER be verified via the use of, for example, Proof Verification utilities. Anyhow, what was my point? Ah, yes, the way in which you have criticised the “unethical” behaviour of Yau, et al. Leaves much to be desired (perhaps you have vested personal interest in playing the politics necessary to criticise them?). Well, this is not my argument (actually, I'm about to make a good point, so, in a sense, this is my argument...)

What examinations was Perelman required to take AFTER graduation? I understand that he performed impressively when he was young - but what about after this time? Did he participate in any professionally standardised examinations afterwards? What "POLITICALLY ETHNICAL" decisions were made in order to ensure that he could study in HIS CHOSEN FIELD OF MATHEMATICAL STUDY? Afterall, many other mathematicians would probably not get the opportunity to do so (something of his personal circumstances should when proved the Poincare conjecture should be mentioned.

What about the availability of his thesis? Is it available online? The phrase ("Saddle surfaces in Euclidean spaces") seems only to crop up 4 times on the internet, with no direct hits.

Also, a few comments about automated proof-verification of either the "proofs" for Poincare conjecture or, even, Femat's Last Theorem.

MrASingh 01:58, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

As to his Candidate of Science degree dissertation ("Saddle surfaces in Euclidean spaces"), I doubt whether its full text is available for free and to everyone online. I found its Russian title in online catalog of the Russian State Library (input the string "Григорий Яковлевич Перельман" into the search window there to find it yourself). Cmapm 16:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand anything from the two rumbling posts commenting on my position. It is almost 100% sure that Perelman's dissertation is written in Russian, and also by that time internet was not available, nor electronic copy of it might be found. What one can do is to find the original printed copy in Russian at the University. I have no vested interest in anything, and I voluntarily try to manifest the moral standards in science. If one has disproved Perelman he might well claim priority, but to steal and slightly modify a completely novel approach developped by Perelman is a crime. I have nothing to add as a further clarification. I just ask more concretely in what I am accused, because I did not get the point of the bracketed "yourself". Regards, Danko Georgiev MD 07:11, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Fields vs Abel

The current version contains the phrases (1) <<The Fields Medal is widely considered to be the top honor a mathematician can receive. >> and, further down, (2) <<The Fields Medal is the highest award in mathematics; two to four medals are awarded every four years.>> In my view the Abel Prize ought to be mentioned along with the Fields. It has a shorter history (Serre got the first, in 2003), but is (again, in my view) destined to become an even more prestigious prize than the Fields. Such statements, along with "the Abel Prize is the Nobel Prize of mathematics", etc., are admittedly more vaguely worded than mathematical theorems, but nevertheless matter to the mathematics community. I therefore wished to edit in (1') <<The Fields Medal, alongside the Abel Prize, is widely considered to be the top honor a mathematician can receive.>> and (2') <<In addition to the Abel Prize, the Fields Medal is the highest award in mathematics; two to four medals are awarded every four years.>>, and did so yesterday, thinking that these small amendments would not be controversial in the slightest. But they are, apparently, since Chan-Ho Suh immediately took them out, citing "revert incorrect remarks".

This is a relatively small matter in the present encyclopaedic context, perhaps, and I have no wish to contribute to the editing war -- adjusting the initial and partly unfair views on Yau's conduct might be more important, for example. Nevertheless, we might attempt to converge to proper statements that meet intended wikipedia standards. Statements with "is widely considered" etc. risk being classified as using weasel words. So I wait for sufficiently convincing arguments for _not_ editing back (1') and (2') above. Slavatrudu 07:32, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the Abel Prize has far less prestige than the Fields Medal. More importantly, we have references corroborating the status of the Fields Medal (see Fields Medal), while you have offered no proof for your opinion on the importance of the Abel Prize. If the Abel Prize will ever become more prestigious than the Fields Medal, then we'll have to change the article, but I see no reason to change it now.
You might be interested in Talk:Wolf Prize for a comparison of that prize with the Abel Prize. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 08:05, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

three times Nobel Prize winning author Anton Yavorsky

huh? can somebody fix that, i just don't get it. --Rajah 21:40, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

It's vandalism - I shall revert it.--Runcorn 22:44, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Picture of Perelman

Why is that nobody didn't try to put just a single picture of this great mathematician. Is it due to copyright restrictions or what. Please try to put us some. Edyirdaw 11:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Basically it is due to copyright issues. It is not a matter of just getting permission to use some copyrighted image even. The image would need to be licensed appropriatedly to be compatible with the GFDL, which is what the content for all of Wikipedia is licensed under. So basically an appropriate license would be GFDL or a typical Creative Commons license. --C S (Talk) 16:24, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know why my comment was erased but you can find one here... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC).
I don't know what you mean by erased comment (can't see anything looking through the history), but thanks for the image! I have added it to the article. --C S (Talk) 03:34, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Is it my eye or my browser, I can't see the image. Edyirdaw 14:01, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Yau's crew "forgivven"?

Dear editors, the entry in its current form is biased, because it does not reflect the truth concerning the severity of Yau's not moral actions, which are actually a crime according to the Declaration of Scietific Freedom. The fact that Yau ruined Perelman's life should not be tolerated, nor be polished by people who soften the tone of the article concerning Yau's crime. Also I have access to Russian articles, and original papers by Cao-Zhu, so saying "sorry" is not enough. The story goes like this

[1] let us publish in China some propaganda for 1.5 billion people - saying Cao-Zhu are discoverers!
[2] let us publish first some grandoman, maniac paper without peer-review, [see my protest in Wikipedia against EDITORIAL CORRUPTION]
[3] let us hope we get the Fields medal
[4] we get caught in naughty action ... what shall we do?
[5] let us say "sorry", and hope we shall be forgiven, and considerred as good guys

See also PlanetMath post of mine The article pushes biased view in favour of Yau's crew, that is why I have put a POV label. Danko Georgiev MD 06:19, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The article looks pretty good to me. Please be more specific on what you want to see changed. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 06:45, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
There is no way Cao and Zhu thought either of them would get Fields Medal, and in case you didn't notice Yau already has one and he is ineligible to get another, even if they were willing to give a Fields Medal to the same person more than once. I think you have a rather strong POV on this and the tag is unwarranted. --C S (Talk) 11:06, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
My point is not about Fields medal for Yau, but for Cao and Zhu. I don't know how many of you can read Russian [I do] so one of last interviews with Perelman found him in extremely miserable condition, without work, without suitable place for work, no affiliation, and there are several photos showing extreme misery. From Perelman's words, all this plus the fact Perelman has quited math work is consequence of the fact his enemies underestimate what he has done, and tried to steal the credits. As an MD, and as a person who has been severely plagiarized by established academician, I might assure you - 2-3 years of uncertainty when somebody else is trying to steal your life-time work is DEVASTATING for your mental health! I do belive mathematicians should be more concerned WHY Perelman does not do maths any more?? This is undoubtedly a genius who must continue his math work for the benefit of society. In the article should be clearly said WHY Perelman REJECTED THE FIELDS MEDAL - paraphrase of Perelman: "NONE OF THE JURY IS COMPETENT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I HAVE DONE!!!", and also "I DON'T SEE WHAT CAO-ZHU HAVE DONE, THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND MY PROOF AS THEY ARE INCOMPETENT, SO THEY HAVE REPLACED PLACES OF MY OWN PROOF WITH PROOFS THAT ARE ALREADY CONTAINED IN MY WORK". p.s. This is the true history, and I don't understand why now defence of Cao-Zhu is to be mentioned in the article, with forgiveness.
Q: Did Cao-Zhu knew that their paper is solely peer-reviewed by Yau, and pushed for publication for claiming credits of the proof?
A: Yes, they used corruption to get published!
Q: Did they wanted credit with "crowning achievement" and passage saying "they have completed the proof with NOVEL theorem, one not used by Perelman"?
A: Yes, they did, the original article is aiming at stealing the credit!
Q: Did in Chinese press appered Yau's propaganda with percents who and how much contributed to the proof?
A: Yes, such parody appeared, this is deliberate brain wash of 1.5 billion Chinese people.

Therefore, please I am talking about HUMANITY! Here nationality and pride has no place. Perelman has been derogated by Cao-Zhu and these should not be treated as Chinese criminals, but as HUMAN criminals. A criminal is criminal, no matter whether he is white, black or yellow. So I expect support from all Chinese editors to defend Perelman, not to defend Cao-Zhu. If one remembers the movie "Hero" and the king of Qin, then the words "for the world" should be give how one should decide in such situation. Perelman lives in misery and never did PROPAGANDA - he is modest scientist, caring only of development of maths. He must be respected for this, because he can serve as moral icon for the 21st century mathematicians. [I am currently writing essay on the topic, with translations of the Russian published materials, because not everyone can read them]. Regards, Danko Georgiev MD 01:59, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

You wrote quite extensively so forgive my short response; I hope to write more later. Anyway, you are wrong in thinking either Cao or Zhu thought they would get Fields Medal. I don't know how to convince you of that, except to say that I do know something about mathematics and the mathematical community. What you are suggesting is laughable. I can't read the Russian, so I won't comment very much on what Perelman may have said in Russian. However, I know for a fact (perhaps it is mentioned in New Yorker article) that Perelman was offered full professorships at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton before the Cao-Zhu paper even appeared; he turned them down. If he is indeed in dismal surroundings, that can hardly be blamed on Cao and Zhu or Yau. It is obvious that Perelman is a very pure soul, and if you see him in a sad light because he does not have certain materialistic things (like a prestigious professorship), that's your opinion. Obviously, Perelman has charted his own course. --C S (Talk) 04:40, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Dear Chan-Ho, I don't know whether my thesis is "laughable" or Cao-Zhu's quotation "crowning achievement" is "laughable"? Whether Perelman turned down professorship at MIT, etc., is NOT relevant to what Cao-Zhu attempted to steal. Why then HURRIED to publish first, and did not post at arXiv as Perelman did??? Why Cao-Zhu did NOT release their "crowning achievement" on web page, or any other web source where it shall not count for the 1 million prize offered for solution of Poincare's conjecture? Let us see the truth, I think your post is rather weak defence of Cao-Zhu. p.s. I have seen your profile, and I respect what you are doing. Please do not take personally my remarks concerning Cao-Zhu. :-) Regards, Danko Georgiev MD 07:43, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
You don't get a Fields Medal for filling in details in a proof, putting in the finising touches, giving a complete description or even for pointing out a mistake and fixing it. The suggestion that Cao and Zhu would think so without any evidence is ridiculous. Looking at Cao's curriculum vitae, it's unlikely that he's eligible anyway. The paper was indeed rushed through the journal. I don't know why they rushed to publish, and I haven't seen any evidence that Cao and Zhu were behind this. But it is quite normal in science that if several teams are working on the same stuff, they will try and finish first. See for instance the Human Genome Project and Craig Venter for a much publicized example. Many mathematicians do not publish on the arXiv. Finally, publications on a web page will in all probability also count for the Millennium Prize. You must have a very low opinion of the people deciding whom to award the Fields Medal and Millennium Prize to if you think that Cao and Zhu could get either without deserving it.
I agree with Chan-Ho that the tag you placed is unwarranted and you haven't yet given an example of what would be acceptable to you, so I removed it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 09:13, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
PS: I have no personal experience with the procedures of the Editorial Board of a journal, but I believe it's not uncommon to fast-track invited papers and papers which are deemed important. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 09:30, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Verification section- POV

I agreed with some of the above comments that not the whole article is biased. So I target only the verification section - the true story does not go in the way described - it goes directly to the appology by Cao-Zhu, and does not describe correctly what they have done in order to beg for appology. p.s. THEY ARE NOT ACCUSED IN "PLAGIARISM" - they obviously did replace parts of Perelman's proof with their own proofs. They are indeed accused in downplaying the role of Perelman and attempt to steal his credits for Fields medal. Explanation - it is obvious that if they plagiarize 1-to-1 Perelman's proof they will not get the Medal, they must [1] find putative error in Perelman's proof - they say an unsurmountable problem is found resolved ONLY after their NOVEL proof, and only after founding an error of Perelman they can go to step [2] - Not Perelman, but WE have proofed first the conjecture. The accusation of plagiarism is debated. This is not correct! Danko Georgiev MD 02:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Revised version of Cao-Zhu?

Dear editors, please let us not confuse official revision of the article with pre-print post! Revised article should be published in Asian J of Maths either in full reproduced in new journal issue, or published a list with Errata - with saying where was made error in the previous article. Cao-Zhu did NOT officially submitted request for withdrawal or revision of their paper. Preprint appology is not equivalent to official withdrawal. This should be reflected in the article. Danko Georgiev MD 02:27, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

An erratum was published (Asian J Maths, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 663-4). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 10:17, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have seen the erratum, still it does NOT withdraw the claim of ORIGINALITY! See they "beat around the bush", and they correct claim (1), but I still see no withdrawal of claim "(2) we give a new approach to extend the limit backward in time to an ancient solution". This is NOT a real withdrawal of their claim of originality. They as if are afraid of accusation of "plagiarism" of Kleiner and Lott notes, but I see NO reply to the main accusation - attempt to derogate Perelman's completion of proof. Still Cao-Zhu consider themselves AS THE FIRST TO PROVIDE COMPLETE PROOF. i.e. "put the finishing touches". This is laughable. Morgan and others say that Perelman has completed the proof, explanation is needed [i.e. one must study the basics of the Ricci flow as a base :-)))], but finishing touches are not needed. The article as is is biased in favour of Cao-Zhu. One "sorry" is not enough to "wash the dirty hands". Regards, Danko Georgiev MD 11:25, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
There wouldn't seem to be a need for Cao and Zhu to explain they are not attempting to "derogate Perelman's completion of proof" in this erratum, when they have explained that already in an ICM interview (Cao by himself) and in a letter to the AMS Notices (by both). You need to separate the media hype (particularly by the Chinese press) from the actual paper. One can also speculate and attach various nefarious motivations to the people involved in the whole thing. But that's all it is, speculation. In this article, we have refrained from inserting such speculation, sticking strictly to the Wikipedia policies on reliable sourcing and NPOV. To a large degree, this means the related stuff goes into Manifold Destiny, where, I hope you agree, we have done a fair, impartial job of reporting the facts and notable viewpoints without giving undue weight to some side.
It's clear that nationalism and promotion has played a part in this whole affair. But let's not elevate that to some sinister plot to stealing a Fields Medal from Perelman. Your accusation that NPOV is not being adhered to seems centered on the idea that the article does not vilify Cao and Zhu. But as editors of the article, we should not be out to crucify somebody. We just report the facts and relevant viewpoints. We report on Perelman's reasons for withdrawing from mathematics (which necessarily paints others in a bad light), because it is highly relevant to his biography. It is not our job (far from it!) to be the judge or jury here.
Also, let me just clarify something. Everyone, including Morgan, agrees that Perelman left important details barely explained, where by normal standards, one would expect more discussion. This is not unknown for geniuses, and has been done in the past. As before, people expected a lot of work would have to be done (and is still being done) to clarify the papers. Nobody expects to get a Fields Medal for doing so. True vision and genius is easy to recognize; filling in details or completing this or that has always been left to the mortals, albeit very accomplished ones. --C S (Talk) 10:12, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your long post, I agree with most of it, however - Yes, me must report exclusive WHY Perelman did quit mathematics, and WHY nobody cares about his stand against academic corruption. So notable things that are to be included and specially stressed upon -
Perelman rejected the Fields medal because:
[1] He was subjected to humiliation by other colleagues who attempted to steal and derogate his credits, cite "other people do worse" -- note: this does not mean that some colleagues were not interested to check objectively his work
[2] He wanted to show the world that scientific corruption is threatening and he paid the price for this fight with his historical decline of the notable prize
[3] He wanted to be an example for the scientists NOT to be silent, and NOT to be afraid to back up the truth
[4] He wanted to show that science is done at first place for the science, and not for money, prizes, PhD degrees, etc.
[5] He wanted to show that we are primary humans, and must be humanists, and to watch the misery of someone without raising your voice is hardly to be called humanistic act.

So I conclude one might extend the main article with some ethical aspects of Perelman's behavior. He is also philosopher, and Diogenes Laertius once in Greece, as well as other Greek philosophers prefered to do philosophy with behavior, not with words. How you can find reference for such a behavior without writing your own impressions stemming out from such a behavior. So the border between philosophy via actions, and personal judgements on one's behavior is quite a vague one. Danko Georgiev MD 05:28, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Perelman is against the "fair job" excuse

Here I provide a quotation from a post just several paragraphs above by Chan-Ho:

we have done a fair, impartial job of reporting the facts and notable viewpoints without giving undue weight to some side

Perelman declined the Fields medal because he was disgusted by the fact that people always say they have done fair job, just to cover the fact that they are afraid to do something more. One can easily find excuse himself by saying "I have no reference", "It is not verifiable", "I have impartially reported what has been published" ... etc, etc. Yet, Perelman declined all prizes just because he wanted to show that such a behavior is not too far from a crime. If you see someone drowning and NOT HELP is equally irresponsible behavior as pushing one in the water to drown. So the humanistic attitude is to support Perelman and publicly criticize the plagiarists and criminals, so that in future we prevent others from doing such crimes. Danko Georgiev MD 05:40, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

How is it that you know Perelman's motivations so clearly? In any case, why not give clear, precise comments on how the article can be improved rather than fanciful explanations of Perelman's refusal to accept the Fields Medal? Phiwum 20:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Fields medal in infobox

I am removing the Fields medal from the infobox, since Perelman is not a Fields Medalist: he declined. --Taejo|대조 08:49, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

It was offered, so it is considered a "prize", I have inserted in brackets "(declined!)". This is NOTABLE precedent in history. Danko Georgiev MD 11:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

here some photo


Linkspam removed. WP is not a place to promote your blog. I was amazed why nobody recognized him, I was making a photos with my camphone trying not to attract his attention. --- typical media attitude towards Perelman. Give him some privacy, he is pretty clear about his want of it, and, with his achievements, he certainly has right to it. --BACbKA 18:45, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

GOOD JOB FOR THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS!!! IF ONE HAS SOMETHING TO ADD IN DEFENCE FOR YAU, CAO AND ZHU, PLEASE FIRST SEE THESE PHOTOS! I request most editors to reflect the scientific truth, it is a pitty for the whole humanity to see the GENIUS in this poor condition, just because some EGO-MANIACs like Yau, Cao and Zhu tried to steal the Fields medal from him. It is NOT the first case in history when a GENIUS get diseased after long term attack of givn problem -- once Cantor himself get in psychiatric hospital because of the vain he couldn't solve the continuum hypothesis. Now Perelman COULDN'T SOLVE the problem of HIGH HYPOCRACY IN COMMERCIALIZED SCIENCE and why nobody feels a little bit ashamed of himself for NOT doing anything to voice against such unjustice. So what most wiki-editors do -- keep silence, and if one raises voice like me, then starts personal war against him by anonymous cowards, who call themselves math PROs. See the recent farce between me and anonymous math PRO coward nicknamed Mathsci. Please reflect the information from these photos in the main article, because they deserve special attention, and for me [too BIASED??] I even can vote for over 50% of Perelman's article to be focused not on math schievements but on MORAL in science, and the Perelman's stand against scientific cowards with high titles, who's only job is to steal credits or derogate one's contributions. Not to mention what appeared in chinese press on Cao-Zhu brilliant discoveries. Danko Georgiev MD 05:05, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

What exactly do you want changed in this article? This discussion page is not a blog. Mathsci 22:44, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Inappropriate attribution of solution to Hamilton

If two mathematicians jointly or independently solve a problem, that is when it is appropriate to attribute both their names to the solution(s). But unless this be the case, mathematicians do not list as solvers all historical contributors to the mathematics used in the solution. As is well-known, Hamilton did develop mathematical ideas that were later used by Perelman to solve the problem. But Hamilton did not solve the problem.

Especially since Hamilton wasn't even willing to meet with Perelman to discuss the latter's ideas that led to the solution of the Poincaré conjecture, it would be a particularly cruel miscarriage of fairness to attribute the proof to Hamilton. (No one would deny that Perelman's proof makes crucial use of mathematics developed by Hamilton about two decades earlier. It also makes crucial use of ideas developed by Riemann and Poincaré and many other mathematicians as well.)Daqu (talk) 21:07, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

What are you referring to specifically? If you're referring to the title "Hamilton-Perelman solution....", it's because the title is not only giving attribution to the person who completed the proof of Poincare. That's not the point of the title. The point is to explain the proof, and the macroscopic aspects of the proof, the "big picture" is largely due to Hamilton. If you don't mention his name you would be misleading the audience into thinking Perelman devised the Ricci flow approach all on his own. It's not the job of the page title to give a full and complete attribution to who solved the problem. The point is the big picture. The complete attribution you look for inside the article. Rybu (talk) 23:53, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I am specifically referring to centuries of mathematical practice according to which those who solved the problem are given credit for it, and those who did not solve the problem are not.
As a recent example, consider the 1994 proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. This is attributed to Andrew Wiles (and occasionally to Richard Taylor as well, who proved a crucial piece of the proof). But it is not attributed to Serre, Frey, Ribet, or other mathematicians who made crucial recent progress on which Wiles built to complete his proof.
The article is the place to give the big picture, but the title of the article should not fabricate pseudo-mathematical phrases that do not exist within mathematics.
And this misattribution is especially inappropriate in this case, because of what I wrote above re Hamilton's shunning Perelman, refusing to discuss his idea for using Hamilton's work to solve the Poincaré conjecture.
But I'm just repeating myself. Maybe I should put it another way: What specific part of what I wrote don't you understand?
[Disclaimer: I am a geometer/topologist, concerned about fairness, but with no personal bias whatsoever in this issue .]Daqu (talk) 10:29, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


Found a picture

Hey all....I found a picture of Perelman. Not sure how to add it to the wiki page though, and not sure what the rules are regarding hosting pictures on wikipedia (can we hotlink to external sites? I don't think so, but I don't know how to upload to wiki)


Hopefully it takes less than another year for someone to comment on this discussion page and see this post :P (talk) 19:52, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Is this image copyrighted? I checked the site and it says it's copyrighted. We need to have the copyright information before it can be uploaded on Wikipedia and used in this article. I have uploaded images before, so if somebody could verify if this image is copyrighted, I can upload it. RG104 (talk) 00:31, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Here are some from 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 28 March 2010 (UTC)


Someone has vandalized this section. It needs to be corrected immediately. I would report it to someone but I don't know where else to put this.

Metzae (talk) 15:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I am monitoring and will continue to correct.

Ahroun (talk) 15:37, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Automate archiving?

Does anyone object to me setting up automatic archiving for this page using MiszaBot? Unless otherwise agreed, I would set it to archive threads that have been inactive for 30 days and keep ten threads.--Oneiros (talk) 15:22, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I mildly object to automatic archiving on this page. On articles where there is a great deal of discussion I would agree, but I find it useful seeing 2 years of past discussion on one page. -84user (talk) 19:07, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
This talk page is getting too long. If you think that 30 days are too brisk, how about 180?--Oneiros (talk) 19:17, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
 Done--Oneiros (talk) 15:54, 24 March 2010 (UTC)