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I don't believe Fermat had a proof. I think he fooled himself into thinking he had a proof.
Andrew Wiles
Andrew Wiles Quotes
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I had this rare privilege of being able to pursue in my adult life, what had been my childhood dream.
Andrew Wiles
Life
,
Childhood
,
Dream
The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself.
Andrew Wiles
Good
,
Mathematics
,
Problem
I really believed that I was on the right track, but that did not mean that I would necessarily reach my goal.
Andrew Wiles
Goal
,
Reach
,
Right
I tried to fit it in with some previous broad conceptual understanding of some part of mathematics that would clarify the particular problem I was thinking about.
Andrew Wiles
Mathematics
,
Thinking
I don't believe Fermat had a proof. I think he fooled himself into thinking he had a proof.
Andrew Wiles
Thinking
,
Believe
,
Think
I grew up in Cambridge in England, and my love of mathematics dates from those early childhood days.
Andrew Wiles
Love
,
Mathematics
,
Childhood
I loved doing problems in school. I'd take them home and make up new ones of my own. But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library. I was just browsing through the section of math books and I found this one book, which was all about one particular problem  Fermat's Last Theorem.
Andrew Wiles
Best
,
Home
,
School
Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems  they love a challenge.
Andrew Wiles
Love
,
Challenge
,
Problems
I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make young mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future.
Andrew Wiles
Hope
,
Future
,
Mathematics
However impenetrable it seems, if you don't try it, then you can never do it.
Andrew Wiles
Try
,
You
,
Never
Always try the problem that matters most to you.
Andrew Wiles
Problem
,
Matters
,
Try
There's also a sense of freedom. I was so obsessed by this problem that I was thinking about if all the time  when I woke up in the morning, when I went to sleep at night, and that went on for eight years.
Andrew Wiles
Time
,
Morning
,
Freedom
Some mathematics problems look simple, and you try them for a year or so, and then you try them for a hundred years, and it turns out that they're extremely hard to solve. There's no reason why these problems shouldn't be easy, and yet they turn out to be extremely intricate.
Andrew Wiles
Mathematics
,
Simple
,
Easy
Just because we can't find a solution it doesn't mean that there isn't one.
Andrew Wiles
Solution
,
Find
,
Mean
The greatest problem for mathematicians now is probably the Riemann Hypothesis.
Andrew Wiles
Greatest
,
Problem
,
Now
Mathematicians aren't satisfied because they know there are no solutions up to four million or four billion, they really want to know that there are no solutions up to infinity.
Andrew Wiles
Know
,
Want
,
Satisfied
Well, some mathematics problems look simple, and you try them for a year or so, and then you try them for a hundred years, and it turns out that they're extremely hard to solve.
Andrew Wiles
Mathematics
,
Simple
,
Year
It's fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way  even if you don't solve it at the end of the day.
Andrew Wiles
Work
,
Mathematics
,
Day
I realized that anything to do with Fermat's Last Theorem generates too much interest.
Andrew Wiles
Too Much
,
Interest
,
Last
Perhaps the methods I needed to complete the proof would not be invented for a hundred years. So even if I was on the right track, I could be living in the wrong century.
Andrew Wiles
Living
,
Right
,
Years
We've lost something that's been with us for so long, and something that drew a lot of us into mathematics. But perhaps that's always the way with math problems, and we just have to find new ones to capture our attention.
Andrew Wiles
Mathematics
,
Problems
,
Lost
But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library.
Andrew Wiles
Best
,
Problem
,
Library
Fermat said he had a proof.
Andrew Wiles
Said
,
Proof
,
He
There are proofs that date back to the Greeks that are still valid today.
Andrew Wiles
Today
,
Back
,
Date
I know it's a rare privilege, but if one can really tackle something in adult life that means that much to you, then it's more rewarding than anything I can imagine.
Andrew Wiles
Life
,
Know
,
Privilege
That particular odyssey is now over. My mind is now at rest.
Andrew Wiles
Mind
,
Rest
,
Over
Biography
Nationality:
English
Type:
Mathematician
Born:
April 11
, 1953
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