What is the shape of our universe? The Poincaré Conjecture promised to shed light on that question. Scores of mathematicians tried and failed to establish a full proof. Some devoted their entire careers to the effort; the frustration of failure drove several of them to the brink of madness. Recently, a reclusive Russian genius named Grigori Perelman offered an innovative proof.
Yet he has refused the Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor. He has also resigned from his research institute and almost completely disappeared from society. The brilliant solution has thus yielded a personal conundrum. This program explores a century of intellectual struggle, a story that spans heartbreaking defeats and awe-inspiring triumphs.
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