Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fermat

Last night, I stayed up super late, past 1AM reading a book that recounted how Wiles, a Princeton University professor solved Fermat's last theorem.
Believe it or not, it was a quick and entertaining read. Of course I skipped most of the math parts and didn't try to do any of the equations myself.
Any way, it is a wonderful story. Fermat's last theorem was unsolvable for over 300 years. The theorem itself is really easy to understand but the proof is over 100 pages long and requires years of training, luck and genius. Wiles studied math for many years and sequested himself for 7 years before producing the bulk of the proof.

I found it hilarious that the mathematical community is gossip-y and political just like the rest of the world.
I felt bad for Galois, a math genius who tragically died in a duel at the tender age of 20! I'm glad that duels are now illegal.
Finally, I felt depressed that I'm pretty much washed up. If I was supposed to accomplish any good, it would've been done a while ago. Oh well.
And it was really cool to learn that infinity - whatever = infinity. Infinity / whatever = infinity. Infinity * whatever = infinity, blah blah blah.

1 comment:

farnk said...

You certainly aren't 'washed up' if you can write a blog as good as this. I wonder why you're so different in person...