From Fermat to Wiles: Fermat's Last Theorem Becomes a Theorem

  title={From Fermat to Wiles: Fermat's Last Theorem Becomes a Theorem},
  author={I. Kleiner},
  journal={Elemente der Mathematik},
  • I. Kleiner
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Mathematics
  • Elemente der Mathematik
Israel Kleiner is professor of mathematics at York University in Toronto. He received his PhD in ring theory from Mc Gill University. His current research interests are the history of mathematics, mathematics education, and their interface. He was for many years coordinator of an in-service Master's Programme for teachers of mathematics. Recently he served as vice president of the Canadian Society for the History and Phi- losophy of Mathematics, and is currently on the advisory board of the… 

Figures from this paper

Fermat: the founder of modern number theory
Fermat, though a lawyer by profession and only an “amateur” mathematician, is regarded as the founder of modern number theory. What were some of his major results in that field? What inspired his
Gaussian Integers: From Arithmetic to Arithmetics
Number theory, also known as “arithmetic”, or “higher arithmetic”, is the study of properties of the positive integers. It is one of the oldest branches of mathematics, and has fascinated both
Fermat’s Last Theorem
Sometime during 1637 Pierre de Fermat (1601–1665) wrote in the margin of a book the assertion that he had found a truly marvelous proof of the following result:
On Mathematical Proving
This paper outlines a logical representation of certain aspects of the process of mathematical proving that are important from the point of view of Artificial Intelligence by means of the language of the calculus of events, which captures adequately certain temporal aspects of proof-events.
A Powerful Method of Non-Proof
Summary Although truth tables can be used in a legitimate way to justify arguments, one should exercise caution when doing so. We demonstrate by suggesting a method of proof that is too good to be
Perspectives for Information Retrieval Improvement
This paper proposes a collective annotation model along with social validation that may contribute to Information Retrieval improvement, and associates annotations with a measure of the sparked consensus degree (social validation), to provide a synthesized view of associated discussions.
Principle of continuity


Fermat's Last Theorem
Early in 1983, the mathematical world was stunned by the news that a 29 year old German mathematician had obtained a partial solution to the famous problem of Fermat's Last Theorem. Exactly what Gerd
Introduction to Fermat's Last Theorem
The announcement last summer of a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem was an exciting event for the entire mathematics community. This article will discuss the mathematical history of Fermat's Last
Fermat''s Last Theorem and modern arithmetic
Eric Temple Bell, the mathematician and biographer of mathematic ans, believed that Fermat's last theorem would be one of the questions left un resolved when human civilization de stroyed itself in
Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
Despite the increased interest in Fermat’s Last Theorem since Andrew Wiles announced his proof in 1993, there have been few popular books on the subject. In the months immediately following his
Fermat's Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem
Around 1637, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat wrote that he had found a way to prove a seemingly simple statement: while many square numbers can be broken down into the sum of two other
13 lectures on Fermat's last theorem
Lecture I The Early History of Fermat's Last Theorem.- 1 The Problem.- 2 Early Attempts.- 3 Kummer's Monumental Theorem.- 4 Regular Primes.- 5 Kummer's Work on Irregular Prime Exponents.- 6 Other
A Proof of the Full Shimura-Taniyama-Weil Conjecture Is Announced
On June 23, 1993, Andrew Wiles unveiled his strategy for proving theShimura-Taniyama-Weil conjecture for semistable elliptic curves defined overthe field Q of rational numbers. Thanks to the work of
The Roots of Commutative Algebra in Algebraic Number Theory
To put the issues in a broader context, these three number-theoretic problems were instrumental in the emergence of algebraic number theory-one of the two main sources of the modern discipline of
Paul Wolfskehl and the Wolfskehl Prize
1294 NOTICES OF THE AMS VOLUME 44, NUMBER 10 T o the question often posed to Andrew Wiles in interviews— namely, what fascinated him so greatly in the Fermat conjecture—he seldom refrained from
Mathematics and its history
Preface.- The Theorem of Pythagoras.- Greek Geometry.- Greek Number Theory.- Infinity in Greek Mathematics.- Polynomial Equations.- Analytic Geometry.- Projective Geometry.- Calculus.- Infinite