Andrew Wiles

Sir Andrew John Wiles KBE , FRS (* 11 April 1953 in Cambridge ) is a British mathematician . He became famous for his proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture for semi-stable elliptic curves , from which the Great Fermat’s theorem follows.


Wiles studied at the Universities Oxford (Bachelor, 1974) and Cambridge (Clare College), where he in 1975 with research on and with John Coates began (Ph.D., 1980, with: Reciprocity laws and the conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer) . From 1977 to 1980 he was a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, while an assistant professor at Harvard . After living in Bonn and at the Institute for Advanced Study (1981), he became in 1982 Professor Princeton . 1985/1986 he was a Guggenheim Fellow at the IHES in Paris and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure . 1988 to 1990 he was Royal Society Research Professor at Oxford. He is currently a professor at Princeton.


With Barry Mazur he proved in 1984 the main conjecture of Iwasawa theory over the rational numbers, which he subsequently extended to totally real body.

It is primarily for his proof of the modularity of a large class of elliptic curves ( Taniyama-Shimura conjecture ) become known, from which the last missing step in the proof of Fermat theorem showed, which also brought him outside the mathematical experts attention . The relationship of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture to Fermat’s proof was before the mid-1980s by Gerhard Frey suggested and by evidence of lemmas by Ken Ribet and Jean-Pierre Serre been secured. On his evidence Wiles worked in secret for seven years, during which he is partly due to the “mathematical public” retired. His first published (that is, the proof verification with experts Coursing) evidence he presented in lectures at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge in June 1993, turned out to be incomplete, he could then, together with his student Richard Taylor, the evidence still along a other, previously attempted by him lead the way. 1998 Taylor, Christophe Breuil, Fred Diamond and Brian Conrad could finally prove the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture not only for special, but for all elliptic curves.


As early as 1988 Wiles received the Junior Whitehead Prize of the LMS . [1] This was followed in recognition of his proof of the Fermatvermutung numerous awards. At the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin in 1998 he was given a special award (the silver medal) of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) awarded since Wiles at the time of its publication, the traditional retirement age of 40 years for the award of the prestigious Fields Medal had already been exceeded. In 1994 he held a plenary on the ICM in Zurich on his proof (Modular Forms, Elliptic Curves and Fermat’s Last Theorem). In 1995 he was awarded the Rolf Schock Prize and the Fermat Prize and the 1996 Cole Price (the highest award for Number Theory ), the Ostrowski Prize , the Wolf Prize , the NAS Award in Mathematics and the Royal Medal . In 1997 he was MacArthur Fellow . In 1997, he was the 1908 founded to solve the Fermatvermutung Wolfskehl price accept. In 1998 he received the King Faisal Prize , the 1999 Clay Research Award and the 2005 Shaw Prize .

In 1989 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1996 foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. In 2000 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) and to hold a knight.

The Czech Republic paid tribute to Wiles’ performance with a stamp issue in 2000.

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