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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Smiles For Wiles


No great surprise, I suspect, that Andrew Wiles has won the 2016 Abel Prize for his untiring work on Fermat's Last Theorem... richly-deserved:
http://www.abelprize.no/

...coverage in Nature for the award:
http://tinyurl.com/jaysfco

It was almost 13 years ago that Wiles ended a Cambridge lecture to wild applause, with, "I think I'll stop here," having just concluded his monumental proof in public for the first time ever! (7+ years in-the-formulation, of a 350+year-old problem he'd been obsessed with since childhood... the proof required some later technical corrections).

Also inspired by Wiles' award, this brief, interesting post from Michael Harris:
https://mathematicswithoutapologies.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/mathematical-prizes-and-the-oppressive-hierarchy/

I'd love to take a moment to explain Wiles' wonderful proof to you all, but I just don't quite have room for it in this post. ;-)
However, in a video of the actual Abel ceremony, starting at about the 10:20 mark, Alex Bellos offers a 15-min. explanation of Wiles' work):

http://www.abelprisen.no/artikkel/vis.html?tid=67064


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