February 09, 2004

Bully for homotopies

It seems as if Grigori Perelman's on the cusp of solving the Poincare conjecture. Weep for a spell: This will probably decrease the number of grad students who are rarin' to specialize in topology, seeing as how the Big One has just been up and solved. Not to fear, lads, there are six more Milennium problems just sitting around. Incidentally, one of my topology professors once told me that he spent his Fridays quite quixotically, taking a crack at proving one of those big six-- the Riemann Hypothesis. Lest we think his weekends ill-spent, we should remember that "a proof that [the hypothesis] is true... would shed light on many of the mysteries surrounding the distribution of prime numbers." Diggity. But still....

Oooh, speaking of which, reminder to throw John Derbyshire's book on Riemann on the to-do pile. Hopefully it proves less slavering than this little dud, by truly one of the suckiest writers of our time.
-- Brad Plumer 7:26 PM || ||