Andrew Wiles

Sir Andrew John Wiles (born 1953) is a British mathematician who proved Fermat’s last theorem. It was Fermat’s last theorem that inspired Wiles to go into mathematics at an early age. He studied at Oxford University, later Cambridge, and now teaches at Princeton.

After Kenneth Ribet suggested there might be a connection between the famous Fermat problem and the Taniyama-Shimura-Weil conjecture, Wiles decided to focus entirely on that connection. A proof he presented in 1993 was incomplete, but Wiles and his former student Richard Taylor were able to fill in the gaps of the proof. This was after Wiles turned 41, so he was ineligible for the Fields medal, but received plenty of other prizes in recognition, such as the Royal Medal and the Clay Research Award. He was knighted in 2000, and the Clay Mathematics Institute asked him to write the official problem description of the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture for the Millennium Problems.

Wiles was mentioned in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, retconning Picard’s statement in The Next Generation that Fermat’s last theorem was still unsolved as of the 24th century.


  • 1 P. Farrand The Nitpicker’s Guide for Next Generation Trekkers 2. New York: Dell (1995): 178
Title Andrew Wiles
Canonical name AndrewWiles
Date of creation 2013-03-22 16:32:12
Last modified on 2013-03-22 16:32:12
Owner PrimeFan (13766)
Last modified by PrimeFan (13766)
Numerical id 9
Author PrimeFan (13766)
Entry type Biography
Classification msc 01A61
Classification msc 01A65
Classification msc 01A60
Synonym Sir Andrew John Wiles
Synonym Andrew John Wiles