Mathematical Intrigue 2

Tuesday 19 September 2006 at 11:54 am | In Articles | Post Comment

Following on from Mathematical Intrigue below, a lawyer acting for Shing-Tung Yau, a mathematician mentioned in the New Yorker article, has written to the New Yorker disputing a number of points in the article and an ‘insulting’ illustration (which is not shown in the online version). You can see the Press Release with links to the letter. The letter is well worth reading. It makes many allegations of errors in the article; I found the following sentence in the letter the most interesting:

    The truth is that there was no “battle” over who should receive credit for solving the Poincaré Conjecture*

This is highly unusual in mathematics – yes, people have occasionally argued about who proved what but I can’t think of a case where lawyers got involved. There’s even a webcast tomorrow Wednesday 20th September at noon, New York time.

Ars Mathematica’s article on this is worth reading. This one could run and run and is bound to be picked up by newspapers.

*The pdf’s document properties says that content copying or extraction is allowed

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