FOM: Arguments in FOM
krieger at almaak.usc.edu
Fri Jan 2 23:34:07 EST 1998
We have arguments in FOM because we are not sure how to prove things or
what it is we might try to prove. At least, that is what happens when
fields are written up by the best historians, in retrospect. Otherwise,
people are proving and doing mathematics.
Second, from what I understand, Andrew Wiles decided to focus his work on
Taniyama-Shimura because of two reasons--it was conncected by Serre,
Ribet, Frey with Fermat's Last Theorem; his own previous work (Iwasawa...)
gave him a purchase on T-S.
The surest way to attract people to a field is to have important theorems
proved or at least be well posed enough. Research monies will surely
help. And charismatic leadership can be vital. (By the way, charism has
nothing to with sexy, or fancy, or flamboyant, or ...) See Thurston's
BAMS remarks a while back.
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