3:30 p.m., Friday
Do you want to be a mathematical millionaire?
The Poincare conjecture
Last May in Paris, the Clay Institute announced $1,000,000
prizes for each of seven ``Millenium problems" of mathematics. This is the
first in a series (by different speakers) to discuss these problems in a
way that is hopefully accessible to the rest of us.
The Poincare conjecture is a century old, and a solution seems as far
away as ever. The conjecture -- deceptively simple to state -- is that
the 3-sphere is the only simply-connected closed 3-dimensional
manifold. I will explain all these terms, some of the conjecture's
fascinating history, partial results, and its importance in the program of
classification of 3-manifolds and understanding the possible shapes of our