Brilliant and reclusive mathematician Grigory "Grisha" Perelman turned down yet another big prize for his breakthroughs. Of course, I only know they're breakthroughs because I read that they are. Math is hard. Anyway, this year, the Clay Mathematics Institute awarded Perelman its $1 million Millennium Prize. His "no thanks" wasn't a big surprise — in 1996 he didn't show up to accept the hugely prestigious Fields Medal from the European Congress of Mathematics. At the time, he said, "I'm not interested in money or fame. I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo. I'm not a hero of mathematics. I'm not even that successful; that is why I don't want to have everybody looking at me." From the AP:
The Interfax news agency quoted Perelman as saying he believed the (Millennium) prize was unfair. Perelman told Interfax he considered his contribution to solving the Poincare conjecture no greater than that of Columbia University mathematician Richard Hamilton.
"To put it short, the main reason is my disagreement with the organized mathematical community," Perelman, 43, told Interfax. "I don't like their decisions, I consider them unjust."