Not only is Grigori Perelman turning down a $1 million prize for solving one of the world’s hardest math problems, he is giving up math for a life of table tennis. From the Huffington Post:
Dr Grigori Perelman, a reclusive Russian genius, is refusing to accept the prestigious $1 million “Millennium” mathematics prize awarded by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Perelman was awarded the prize for solving the one-hundred-year-old Poincaré conjecture, one of the most complicated mathematical problems in the world – so complex, in fact, that after Perelman posted his proofs in 2002 it took several years for other experts to confirm he was correct.
Perelman has apparently given up on mathematics, dismayed at the intellectual and moral failings of his peers. Instead, according to reports, he likes to play table tennis against a wall in his apartment. “You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms,” he told a journalist who managed to get in touch with him.