Friday, January 14, 2011

Fermat's enigma: Chapter one

The mathematical life of a mathematician is short. Work rarely improves after the age of twenty-five or thirty. If little has been accomplished by then, little will ever be accomplished. - Alfred Adler

June 23, 1993, Cambridge
This section tells us about the many mathematicians who "have had brilliant but short careers".

Andrew Wiles, at the age of forty, was just getting started. He had spent the last seven years working in secrecy (against popular convention of university math departments). He was presenting his discovery at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge. He did that against his better judgement. He wanted more time to recheck his work but threw caution in the wind as he has the opportunity to present his work to an eminent audience in his hometown.

The last problem
"In 1963", this section begins as it tells us about Andrew's fascination with mathematics. It was that year, at the age of ten, when Wiles first encountered Fermat's last theorem in a library book called The Last Problem by Eric Temple Bell.

to be continued (in the same post)

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