An Oxford professor is now $700,000 richer for solving a 300-year-old math mystery, the Telegraph reports. In 1994, Andrew Wiles, 62, cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem, which was put forth by 17th-century mathematician Pierre de Fermat. Wiles will be traveling to Oslo, Norway, in May to collect the 2016 Abel Prize (including the honors and the cash) for his proof, which the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters calls an “epochal moment” in the mathematics field.
“Wiles is one of very few mathematicians—if not the only one—whose proof of a theorem has made international headline news,” the academy said in an announcement of his numerical feat.
The puzzle had haunted Wiles for years. Times Higher Education notes he had been intrigued by it since he was a boy, leading to seven years of intense study at Princeton before he stumbled upon his eureka moment. Professor solves 300-year-old math mystery, wins $700,000 | Fox News
Although he claimed to have discovered a proof for the seemingly simple puzzle, he did not provide one. With Fermat’s death in 1665, the equation — now known as “Fermat’s Last Theorem” — soon became (in)famous as the most difficult mathematical … British mathematician Sir Andrew Wiles solved 350 years old Math Equation – San Antonio Daily Science – Daily Star Gazette