26 Perelman in a Subway

Perelman in a Subway

Posted on June 15, 2007 by

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One Russian blogger have met Gregory Perelman, Russian mathematician who refused to get $1,000,000 Field’s prize some months ago. He didn’t give any interviews and refused to meet anybody. And here he is, in St. Petersburg subway (his native city). According to the comment by the guy who made photos: “He looks like totally homeless trash, he had a very big nail on one of his fingers and was constantly touching with it his mouth. I was amazed why nobody recognized him, I was making a photos with my camphone trying not to attract his attention. Later, when I told my friends that I met Perelman in the subway many just asked “Who is he?” so I understood why nobody recognized him.”

You can also read more about Perelman refuse to get the medal and million dollar prize here.

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26 Responses to “Perelman in a Subway”

  1. Justin says:

    Damn, that has to suck to be so damn good at understanding math and not care about anything else.

  2. texas1 says:

    he looks like a mad man

  3. Igor says:

    Did you see Tarkovsky “Stalker”? He is afraid to loose his gifts if he takes the money. He passed the test.

  4. TexasTriangle says:

    if he were a bit fatter he would look exactly like Dr. Robotnic/Dr. Eggman from Sonic!

  5. neoclassic says:

    the story reminds me ’bout the film “Pi” by Aronofski. this is wery cool.

  6. Publius says:

    lol good job

  7. Grim says:

    That was his choice, and I respect it.

  8. yoda31419 says:

    I greatly respect this man as a fellow mathematician and hope that he comes to terms with his own mental health.

  9. Nazar says:

    QUOTE from wikipedia:

    “As of the spring of 2003 Perelman no longer works in the Steklov Institute.[4] His friends are said to have stated that he currently finds mathematics a painful topic to discuss; some even say that he has abandoned mathematics entirely.[16] According to a recent interview, Perelman is currently jobless, living with his mother in St Petersburg.[4]

    Although Perelman says in The New Yorker article that he is disappointed with the ethical standards of the field of mathematics, the article implies that Perelman refers particularly to Yau’s efforts to downplay his role in the proof and play up the work of Cao and Zhu. Perelman has said that “I can’t say I’m outraged. Other people do worse. Of course, there are many mathematicians who are more or less honest. But almost all of them are conformists. They are more or less honest, but they tolerate those who are not honest.”[3] He has also said that “It is not people who break ethical standards who are regarded as aliens. It is people like me who are isolated.”[3]

    This, combined with the possibility of being awarded a Fields medal, led him to quit professional mathematics. He has said that “As long as I was not conspicuous, I had a choice. Either to make some ugly thing” (a fuss about the mathematics community’s lack of integrity) “or, if I didn’t do this kind of thing, to be treated as a pet. Now, when I become a very conspicuous person, I cannot stay a pet and say nothing. That is why I had to quit.”[3]”


    I greatly respect such honesty and integrity, after all you cant take money with you after life, but you can remain true and faithful to your cause and belief even after death.
    I also don’t jump to the conclusion that this is a madman, as sanity is a relative term in this day and age.

  10. alex says:

    schizophrenic or asperger’s

    • Boris Abramov says:

      Yes, many geniuses have Asperger’s syndrome, which is incedentally a mild form of Autism. But many of them who do have it, tend to keep it a secret if diagnosed at all. I also don’t think he is a shcizophrenic..

      • alex says:

        then asperger’s it is, dr. i-can-diagnose-people-i’ve-never-met-before-abramov.

        • Boris Abramov says:

          Man, you seem to have an aptitude problem. It’s ether that or sexual frustration. Why don’t you get yourself a rent boy?

          • alex says:

            i’m sexually frustrated by schizophrenics, and when you said this man wasn’t one then i became irrate and i lashed out at you. these pictures are useless to me now. i apologize.

  11. bellpepper says:

    Just because he doesn’t want money doesn’t mean he’s mentally ill. I think it’s cool that he cares more about math than material things.

  12. Paul says:

    I wouldnt hate Jews if I were you, I used to due to the pennies by Jewish boss tried to cheat me. But something tells me not to anymore. I still dislike other peoples like the people who commit half of all homicides in USA but make up just 16% of the population!

  13. alex says:

    This is normal. In Brazil, Cesar Lattes almost received twice the Nobel Price in Physics, but none knows him. People know Britney Spears.


  14. OLUT says:


    He’s up for another million dollars for solving that same Poincare conjecture — mathematical problem that involves a lot of stuff I’ve no clue of — the Millennium Prize awarded by Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This time, he’s actually considering accepting the money.


    I need to become a mathematician.

  15. Besome says:

    Like his attitude. Of course, whoever that has lived past his 40-ties are not desillusioned by at least some people that one has met, where it seems just as he said, that the psycopaths are rewarded for their dishonesty. Perhaps that is what he is protesting about.

  16. Nikki says:

    He looks just like one of my old teachers…

    As for his mental health, you try being that intelligent and having to put up with the average masses. It’s stressful.

  17. GTX says:

    Reply 8 by Neoclassic

    Heh, PI was the first thing I thought of too. I really have to watch that again, oh, oh, OH… and David Lynch’s ErasorHead.

    Aaaargh, now see what you’ve done.

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