ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A Russian mathematician is rejecting a $1 million prize for solving one of the most challenging problems because he considers it unfair.
Grigory Perelman said Thursday according to the Interfax news agency that a week ago he told the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was turning down the prize.
Perelman was quoted by Interfax as saying he believes his contribution in proving the Poincare conjecture was no greater than that of U.S. mathematician Richard Hamilton, who first suggested a program for the solution.
Turning down money and celebrity is nothing new for the reclusive math genius. In 2006, Perelman made headlines when he stayed away from the ceremony in Madrid where he was supposed to get a Fields Medal, often called the Nobel prize of mathematics. He remained at home in St. Petersburg instead.
The Clay Mathematics Institute confirmed in a statement on its Web site that Perelman had informed it of his refusal to accept the prize.
The Poincare conjecture deals with shapes that exist in four or more dimensions.
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