Professor Solves 300-Year-Old Math Mystery

Oxford professor Andrew Wiles has won the 2016 Abel Prize -- commonly described as the Nobel Prize of math. Wiles is being honored for proving what's known as Fermat's Last Theorem - an equation that was first formulated by French mathematician Pierre de Fermat all the way back in 1637.

Now an equation is just a math sentence that says two things are equal. This particular math equation stumped the world's brightest minds for more than 300 years.

In the 1990's, Wiles finally solved the problem and is now being honored with a hefty prize worth $700,000.

Wiles became fascinated with the complicated math question at just ten years old, when he discovered a copy of a book that detailed the theorem at the library. Wiles said he was intrigued by the problem and could understand it -- and knew he had to solve it.

Instructional Links

Website Article: Mudd Math Facts, Fermat's Last Theorem

Website Article: The Abel Prize, Laureate 2016, Sir Andrew L. Wiles

Online Interactive Game: RU4Math Puzzle

Website Article: Multimedia Math Glossary, Equation

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