Stephen Smale: The Mathematician who Broke the Dimension Barrier
In 1957, Stephen Smale startled the mathematical world by showing that it is possible to turn a sphere inside out without cutting, tearing, or crimping. A few years later, from the beaches of Rio, he introduced the horseshoe map, demonstrating that simple functions could have chaotic dynamics. His next mathematical accomplishment was to solve the higher-dimensional Poincare conjecture, thus demonstrating that higher dimensions are simpler than the more familiar three. In 1966 in Moscow, he was awarded the Fields Medal, the most prestigious prize in mathematics.
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