Grisha Perelman in Playboy

I HAD NEVER BEEN ON A STAKEOUT, but I knew how it was done. I took a book. I brought a few sandwiches. I flipped on the radio and listened to the traffic report in Russian. That kept me awake as I waited for the mathematician.

Brett Forest in Playboy July-August 2012 issue.


Perelman in August 2006 was awarded the Fields Medal for “his contributions to geometry and his revolutionary insights into the analytical and geometric structure of the Ricci flow.” He turned down the medal and prize.

Then on 18 March 2010, it was announced that he had met the criteria to receive the first Clay Millennium Prize for resolution of the Poincaré conjecture. Again he turned this down.

Perelman clearly shuns publicity…

Grigori Perelman is one of the greatest mathematicians of our time, a Russian genius who solved the Poincaré Conjecture, which plagued the brightest minds for a century. At the height of his fame, he refused a million-dollar award for his work. Then he disappeared. Our writer hunts him down on the streets of St. Petersburg.



Shattered Genius by Brett Forest

Graph theorist given "genius award"


Maria Chudnovsky awarded a “genius award” under the MacArthur Fellows Program this year.

She mathematician who investigates the fundamental principles of graph theory. Her contributions to graph theory include a proof of the strong perfect graph theorem characterizing perfect graphs as being exactly the graphs with no odd induced cycles or their complements.

Although her research is highly abstract, she is laying the conceptual foundations for deepening the connections between graph theory and other major branches of mathematics, such as linear programming, geometry, and complexity theory.

The MacArthur Foundation announcement

She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Columbia University.


McArthur Foundation

Chudnovsky’s homepage at Columbia University

Girls not taking up physics


Girls are under represented in physics post-16, despite about equal success between genders in GCSE physics and science. For the last 20 years, only 20% of physics A-level students have been girls. Have a look at the recent numbers below..

student numbers

Taken from Trends in physics education

Straight from the IOP report It’s Different for Girls: The influence of schools

  • 49% of maintained co-ed schools sent no girls on to take A-level physics in 2011. The figure for all secondary schools is 46%
  • Girls were almost two and a half times more likely to go on to do A-level physics if they came from a girls’ school rather than a co-ed school (for all types of maintained schools in England)
  • Twice the percentage of girls who went on to do A-level physics came from a school with a sixth form, compared to schools that only teach up to age 16 (for co-ed maintained schools in England)
  • For maintained schools in England, the positive effect of single-sex education on girls’ choice of physics post-16 is not replicated in the other sciences

Physics is a subject that opens doors to exciting higher education and career opportunities. This research shows that half of England’s co-ed comprehensives are keeping these doors firmly shut to girls.

Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of IOP


Girls are being left behind (IOP News)