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Contents Preface (to follow) Chapter 1: Fit for a King Grigori Perelman's unprecedented refusal of a Field's Medal for solving one of the greatest problems of our age. The king waits in vain. Chapter 2: What Flies Know and Ants Don't The importance of dimensions for Christopher Columbus and for bugs. Chapter 3: The Forensic Engineer The life of Henri Poincaré, in particular his investigation of a disaster in a coal mine. Chapter 4: An Oscar For The Best Script Poincaré's prize-winning theory of the solar system's stability ... and the scandal. Chapter 5: Geometry Without Euclid Topology, how this mathematical discipline developed since Euler Chapter 6: From Copenhagen and Hamburg to Black Mountain, North Carolina Poincaré's first, incorrect, attempt to prove the conjecture... and the parts he got right. Chapter 7: A Question that Leads Too Far Astray What the conjecture is really all about, or, imaging things that are unimaginable. Chapter 8: More Dead Ends and a Mysterious Disease Around the world with three-dimensional spheres. Chapter 9: Voyage to Higher Dimensions William Thurston's geometrization conjecture (in which space is made of eight building blocks). Chapter 10: Inquisition ¿ West Coast Style P ursuing the elusive objective and how the hopefuls end up with egg on their faces. Chapter 11: Watching Things Go ¿Pop¿ Richard Hamilton gets going with the Ricci Flow... and then gets stuck Chapter 12: The Cigar Surgeon The proof lands on the internet. Swooping up Poincaré, Thurston and Hamilton. History is made. Chapter 13: The Gang of Four, Plus Two Vetting the proof, Harvard prof pushing his protégés into the limelight. Chapter 14: The Prize The minor matter of a million dollars. Does money motivate math? Endnotes Bibliography (to follow) Index
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Mathematics -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Mathematics -- Popular works.