Here’s an interesting article on Grigory “Grisha” Perelman, the elusive Russian mathematical genius who may have proved the Poincare conjecture. It’s on the New York Times site, so read it quick before it goes away!
The funny bit is that Perelman really does sound like Moriarty, except for the evil part.
“Born in St. Petersburg in 1966, he distinguished himself as a high school student by winning a gold medal with a perfect score in the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1982. After getting a Ph.D. from St. Petersburg State, he joined the Steklov Institute of Mathematics at St. Petersburg… Although [his papers on Poincare] were so technical and abbreviated that few mathematicians could read them, they quickly attracted interest among experts…Recently, Dr. Perelman is said to have resigned from Steklov….”"
“His career has been an extraordinary one. He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem, which has had a European vogue. On the strength of it he won the mathematical chair at one of our smaller universities, and had, to all appearances, a most brilliant career before him… Dark rumors gathered round him in the university town, and eventually he was compelled to resign his chair.“
“Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?”
However, unlike Moriarty, whose interests included sitting at the center of a vast web of information — wait, that’s my hobby! — and being the Napoleon of Crime, Grisha Perelman is apparently a sweet guy who likes going out mushroom hunting in the woods. (Moriarty would look for poison mushrooms, of course.)
In all seriousness, Grisha, I wish you well, wherever you are. But your colleagues are worried about you. Send ‘em some non-math email, eh?