On NPR’s All Things Considered tonight, there was actually a report about a math problem! To quote science correspondent David Kestenbaum’s report on the Poincaré Conjecture:
The journal Science’s “breakthrough of the year” for 2006 is the solution of a century-old math problem. The story behind the solution is quite a soap opera. It includes a Harvard math wizard, a reclusive Russian genius, a one-million-dollar prize, an award-winning journalist, and The New Yorker magazine.
The New Yorker article provides a lot of mathematics and considerably more human interest; it is definitely worth reading. Also, check out the Clay Mathematics Institute’s description of the Poincaré Conjecture, a description that almost succeeds in making it understandable.