Valentin Poénaru

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Valentin Poénaru
Valentin Poenaru.jpg
Valentin Poénaru at IHÉS in 2007
Born1932 (age 85–86)
Alma materUniversity of Paris
University of Bucharest
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversité de Paris-Sud
Doctoral advisorCharles Ehresmann

Valentin Alexandre Poénaru (born 1932 in Bucharest) is a RomanianFrench mathematician. He was a Professor of Mathematics at University of Paris-Sud, specializing in low-dimensional topology.

Life and Career[edit]

Born in Bucharest,[1] Romania, he did his undergraduate studies at the University of Bucharest. In 1962, he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Stockholm, Sweden. While at the congress, Poénaru defected, subsequently leaving for France. He arrived in mid-September 1962 at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in Bures-sur-Yvette; the IHÉS decided to support him, and he has remained associated with the institute ever since then.[2]

Poénaru defended his Thèse d'État at the University of Paris on March 23, 1963. His dissertation topic was Sur les variétés tridimensionnelles ayant le type d'homotopie de la sphère S3, and was written under the supervision of Charles Ehresmann. After that, he went to the United States, spending four years at Harvard University and Princeton University. In 1967, he returned to France.

Poénaru has worked for several decades on a proof of the Poincaré conjecture, making a number of related breakthroughs. His first attempt at proving the conjecture dates from 1957. He has described his general approach over the years in different papers and conferences. On December 19, 2006, he posted a preprint to the arXiv, claiming to have finally completed the details of his approach and proven the conjecture.

Among his doctoral students are Jean Barge, Louis Funar, and Pierre Vogel.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ George Szpiro, Poincaré's Prize: The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles (Dutton, 2007)
  2. ^ Poénaru, Valentin (2008), "Memories of Shourik" (PDF), Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 55 (8): 964–965, MR 2441529
  • David Gabai, Valentin Poenaru's program for the Poincaré conjecture. Geometry, topology, & physics, 139—166, Conf. Proc. Lecture Notes Geom. Topology, IV, Int. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995.

External links[edit]