Andrew Wiles


July 5, 2022

Sir Andrew John Wiles (born April 11, 1953) is a British-American mathematician at Princeton University specializing in number theory. He is best known for discovering the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, a mathematical puzzle that has been unsolved for more than 300 years.

Early life

Andrew Wiles was born in Cambridge, England in 1953 and attended The Leys School, Cambridge. It is said that he was interested in mathematics since childhood and knew Fermat's last theorem since he was 10 years old. He said that proving the theorem was his dream since childhood. He earned a bachelor's degree at Oxford University in 1974 and a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, 1980. His doctoral research deals with the arithmetic of elliptic curves with complex multiplication by the theoretical method of Iwasawa with mentor John Coates. Subsequently, he worked with Barry Mazur on the main conjecture of Iwasawa's theory on Q and further generalized his results to the field of total real numbers.

Proving Fermat's last theorem

Andrew Wiles' most famous work was to prove Fermat's last theorem by proving the Taniyama-Shimura theorem. He knew Fermat's last theorem since the age of 10, and tried to prove it using school books, and finally studied the works of mathematicians who tried to prove the theorem. When he started his doctoral studies, he stopped working on this theorem, and turned to the field of elliptic curves under the guidance of John Coates. In the 1950s and 1960s, Japanese mathematicians Goro Shimura and Yutaka Taniyama proposed that elliptic curves and modular shapes are related to each other (Shimura-Taniyama theorem). Furthermore, the American mathematician, Ken Ribet, proved that the Shimura-Taniyama theorem and Fermat's last theorem are logical biimplications, which means that the proof of the Shimura-Taniyama theorem means that Fermat's last theorem has also been proven. Upon hearing this, Wiles worked in secret to prove the Shimura-Taniyama theorem. Only his wife and friend, Nicholas Katz, knew about this endeavor. Finally Wiles proved the Shimura-Taniyama theorem and, consequently, proved Fermat's last theorem in a presentation at Cambridge University, 23 June 1993.


Wiles has received many awards in mathematics and others: Schock Award (1995) Cole Award (1996) [1] National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics from the American Mathematical Society (1996) [2] Ostrowski Award (1996) [3][4] Royal Medal (1996) Wolf Award (1996) Wolfskehl Award]] (1997) [5] - see Paul Wolfskehl A silver plaque from the International Mathematical Union (1998) recognizing his achievements, replacing the Fields Medal which can only be awarded to recipients under the age of 40 (Wiles was 41 when he proved Fermat's last theorem) [6] Gift from King Faisal (1998) [7] Clay Research Award (1999) Titled Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the United Kingdom (2000). Shaw Award (2005) [8]


(English: "I think I'll stop here.") delivered after presenting the proof of Fermat's last theorem at Cambridge University, 23 June 1993.


Princeton University official website Andrew Wiles Bibliography Archived 11-10-2006 at the Wayback Machine. Andrew Wiles (1995). "Modular elliptic curves and Fermat's Last Theorem" (PDF). Annals of Mathematics. 141(3):443–551. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2007-09-08. Richard Taylor and Andrew Wiles (1995). "Ring-theoretic properties of certain Hecke algebras" (PDF). Annals of Mathematics. 141(3):553–572. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2007-09-08. Gerd Faltings (1995). "The Proof of Fermat's last theorem by R. Taylor and A. Wiles" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 42 (7): 743–7