IAS Distinguished Lecture

Fermat's Last Theorem: Looking Back after 30 Years


Prof. Andrew WILES announced the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in June 1993. An international conference on the proof was held in December 1993 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. On the 30th anniversary of that conference, the speaker will trace the history of the theorem from the first efforts by our mathematical ancestors through current work in the same general subject. 


About the Speaker

Prof. Kenneth RIBET is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as President of the American Mathematical Society between February 1, 2017 and January 31, 2019.

Prof. Ribet studied at Brown University and Harvard University. He received his PhD in 1973 from Harvard, where his advisor was Prof. John TATE. After three years of teaching in Princeton and two years of research in Paris, Prof. Ribet joined the Berkeley faculty in 1978.

Prof. Ribet works in number theory and algebraic geometry. He is best known for his proof that Fermat's Last Theorem would follow logically from the modularity conjecture, then a well-known unproved conjecture about elliptic curves. When Prof. Andrew Wiles obtained cases of this conjecture in 1995, he obtained Fermat's Last Theorem as a corollary because of Prof. Ribet's prior work.

Prof. Ribet is a member of the editorial boards of numerous book series and research journals. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997 and the US National Academy of Sciences in 2000. He was awarded the Fermat Prize in 1989 and received an honorary PhD from Brown University in 1998. He received the Brouwer Medal from the Royal Dutch Mathematical Society (KWG) in 2017.

Prof. Ribet was inducted as a Vigneron d'honneur by the Jurade de Saint Emilion in 1988. He received his department's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1985 and again in 2013.


For Attendees' Attention

Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

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