Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem

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9780802713315: Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem

Written by an award-winning filmmaker, Fermat's Enigma tells the story of the epic quest to solve the greatest mathematical problem of all time: Fermat's Last Theorem--a problem that looked simple, yet would baffle the finest mathematical minds for more than three and a half centuries. 30 illustrations.

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Review:

When Andrew Wiles of Princeton University announced a solution of Fermat's last theorem in 1993 it electrified the world of mathematics. After a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year--he had already labored in solitude for seven years--to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Simon Singh's book is a lively, comprehensible explanation of Wiles's work and of the star-, trauma-, and wacko-studded history of Fermat's last theorem. Fermat's Enigma contains some problems that offer a taste for the math, but it also includes limericks to give a feeling for the goofy side of mathematicians.

From the Publisher:

"An excellent account of one of the most dramatic and moving events of the century."
--Sir Roger Penrose, New York Times Book Review

"It is hard to imagine a more gripping account of...this centuries-long drama of ingenious failures, crushed hopes, fatal duels, and suicides."
--Jim Holt, The Wall Street Journal

"Though Singh may not ask us to bring too much algebra to the table, he does expect us to appreciate a good detective story."
--Boston Sunday Globe

"The history of mathematics comes alive even for those who dread balancing their checkbooks."
--Publishers Weekly

"Singh captures the joys and frustrations of this quest for an extremely elusive proof...and builds to a truly engrossing climax. It's a mathematical page-turner."
--Library Journal

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Simon Singh; John Lynch [Foreword]
Published by Walker & Company (1997)
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