#### A Synthesis on Fermat's Last Theorem

Pierre de Fermat, an amateur mathematician, set upon the mathematical world a challenge so difficult it took 357 years to prove. This challenge, known as Fermat's Last Theorem, has many…

Pierre de Fermat, an amateur mathematician, set upon the mathematical world a challenge so difficult it took 357 years to prove. This challenge, known as Fermat's Last Theorem, has many different ways of being expressed, but it simply states that for $n > 2$, the equation $x^n + y^n = z^n$ has no nontrivial solution. The first set of attempts of proofs came from mathematicians using the essentially elementary tools provided by number theory: the notable mathematicians were Leonhard Euler, Sophie Germain and Ernst Kummer. Kummer was the final mathematician to try to use essentially elementary number theory as the basis for his proof and even exclaimed that Fermat's Last Theorem could not be solved using number theory alone; Kummer claimed that greater mathematics would have to be developed in order to prove this ever-growing mystery. The 20th century arrives and two Japanese mathematicians, Goro Shimura and Yutaka Taniyama, shock the world by claiming two highly distinct branches of mathematics, elliptic curves and modular forms, were in fact one and the same. Gerhard Frey then took this claim to the extreme by stating that this claim, the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, was the necessary link to finally prove Fermat's Last Theorem was true. Frey's statement was then validated by Kenneth Ribet by proving that the Frey Curve could not indeed be a modular form. The final piece of the puzzle placed, the English mathematician Andrew Wiles embarked on a 7 year journey to prove Fermat's Last Theorem as now the the proof of the theorem rested in his area of expertise, that being elliptic curves. In 1994, Wiles published his complete proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, putting an end to one of mathematics' greatest mysteries.

**Contributors**

- Boyadjian, Hoveeg Krikor (Author)
- Bremner, Andrew (Thesis director)
- Jones, John (Committee member)
- School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (Contributor)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)

**Created**

- 2016-12