FOM: Re the proof of FLT
amathias at rasputin.uniandes.edu.co
Mon Feb 9 11:45:12 EST 1998
Perhaps I might here voice the disquiet felt in certain circles
over the omission of the name of Richard Taylor in connection with
I (who am no expert in number theory) understand the sequence of events
to be this:
1. Gerhardt Frey sketches a possible reduction of FLT to the TSC.
2. Ribet turns Frey's scenario into a proof.
3. Wiles produces a "proof" of the requisite special case of TSC
which is found to be incomplete.
4. Wiles and Taylor, using an approach previously discarded by Wiles,
find a new argument which supplants the faulty section of Wiles'
previous work and finally establishes the truth of FLT.
The remark I have heard attributed to a number theorist of great
distinction involved in this area is that without Taylor, Wiles
would still be pacing his attic floor in Princeton.
A. R. D. Mathias
Sanford Professor of Mathematical Logic,
Universidad de los Andes,
Santa Fe de Bogota,
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