
Re: Wiki note on Wiles and Katz working on Fermat's last theorem
Posted:
Sep 20, 2012 12:21 PM


Frederick Williams <freddywilliams@btinternet.com> wrote in news:505B3306.47786CBE@btinternet.com:
> Bart Goddard wrote: > >> >> Follow your own advice. Who here really had heard of Wiles >> _before_ he got the Nova special? > > I don't know what the Nova special is, but he presented his (inadequate, > as it turned out) proof of FLT in 1993: I recall reading about it in a > Cambridge paper. Meanwhile he had been made an FRS in 1989, and the > year before that he had been awarded the Whitehead prize. >
Try again: How many working mathematicians could name, say, 5 of the last 10 Whitehead Prize winners? I'm a number theorist, so I knew who Wiles was before 1993 and I got a copy of the paper that year. Recall that the orginal assertion is that a "celebrated mathematician" of such stature would be constantly lavished with gifts, honor and "whatever they wanted." That, in fact, Wiles was so honored and adored that if he had merely hinted that he wanted a private classroom and total secrecy for 7 years, then the administrators would have fought to the death to be the one to give it to him.
(See, I can do illogical hyperbole too, Epstein.)
 Cheerfully resisting change since 1959.

