- Thursday, April 2, 2020
- 3:40 PM–4:30 PM
- North Hall 276
A Nova Production
Third century mathematician Diophantus wrote a series of books titled Arithmetica, a collection of algebraic problems. In 1637 Pierre de Fermat wrote that, for Diophantus’ equation xn + yn = zn, there were no possible solutions for positive integers if n was greater than 2. He added he could prove this conjecture but left no documentation to that effect.
Over the intervening centuries, many mathematicians tried without success to prove what became known as Fermat’s Last Theorem.
Enter British mathematician Andrew Wiles. As a boy he had become fascinated by Fermat’s conjecture. Then in the mid-1980s, while on faculty at Princeton University, Sir Wiles began his attempt to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem. His efforts took several years of sacrifice and laser-focused work and attention. There was also disappointment and despair.
Join the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as we present Nova’s production The Proof.
Refreshments precede the talk at 3:30 p.m. in NH 282.