Curtis Pro School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology Freeport, Bahamas
Abstract What happens when you study geometry, but throw away everything that's geometric? You get Topology. Topology saw an explosion of growth in the late 19th and 20th centuries and has become one of the most influential mathematical subjects of today. Topologists, now far removed from being geometers, had an embarrassing secret: for over 100 years, they couldn't say what the simplest shape in 3-dimensions was. This problem, called the Poincare Conjecture, was solved in 2003 by a very peculiar geometer. This talk gives a history of this problem and explains why this is the biggest mathematical breakthrough of the 21st century. |

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