at the University of Gottingen shortly before his death.

All the members of the commission knew that Poincare was going to enter the competition; the only uncertainty was which question he would choose to answer. It turned out to be the first. In fact, Poincare only considered the restricted three-body problem, but Mittag-Leffler, Weierstrass, and Hermite agreed unanimously that his long paper (158 printed pages) should win the prize. Although entries were supposed to have been anonymous, Poincare had sent his with a signed covering letter so the commission knew exactly whose work they were dealing with. All three recognized the quality of the memoir, but understanding the details was not helped by Poincare's style. Hermite commented:

But it must be acknowledged, in this work as in almost all his researches, Poincare shows the way and gives the signs, but leaves much to be done to fill the gaps and complete his work.

Mittag-Leffler took it upon himself to correspond with Poincare to try to clarify some of the difficulties and as a result Poincare produced some additional notes, amounting to a further ninety-three printed pages!

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