Support The Moscow Times!

Eccentric Math Genius Ditches Russia for Sweden

Mathematician Grigory Perelman.

Mathematician Grigory Perelman, famous for solving a Millennium Prize Problem and turning down the award, has moved to Sweden, a Russian newspaper reported.

Perelman led a reclusive life with his mother in her apartment in St. Petersburg in recent years.

The man who once turned down $1 million had no job and no income and subsisted on his mother's pension, Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid said Thursday.

The academic eventually grew tired of the situation and scored a job with an unspecified Swedish firm working in nanotechnologies, the paper said.

Perelman moved to a small Swedish town a few months ago with his mother and stepsister on a 10-year visa, but retained his Russian citizenship, the report said.

The tabloid added that the mathematician was currently in St. Petersburg and uploaded a brief video of Perelman — looking notably better groomed than in older pictures — running away from reporters.

Perelman, 48, hit the public spotlight after he proved the Poincare conjecture, one of the seven most important problems in modern mathematics.

His proof, published in 2002-2003, earned him the prestigious Fields Medal and a prize of $1 million, but he turned both down.

In rare media statements, Perelman, who held research positions in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, explained his decision as being down to disappointment in the math community. Reports alleged rivals had tried to downplay his achievements and steal his glory.

See also:
Math Genius Snubs Academy of Sciences

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.