By Amir D. Aczel
Over 300 years in the past, a French pupil scribbled an easy theorem within the margin of a book. It might turn into the world's such a lot baffling mathematical mystery.
Simple, based, and completely most unlikely to turn out, Fermat's final Theorem captured the imaginations of beginner mathematicians for over 3 centuries. For a few it grew to become a superb passion. For others it was once an obsession that resulted in deceit, intrigue, or insanity. In a quantity jam-packed with the clues, purple herrings, and suspense of a secret novel, Dr. Amir Aczel finds the formerly untold tale of the folks, the heritage, and the cultures that lie in the back of this medical triumph.
From formulation devised for the farmers of historical Babylonia to the dramatic evidence of Fermat's theorem in 1993, this impressive paintings takes us alongside on a thrilling highbrow treasure hunt. Revealing the hidden mathematical order of the flora and fauna in every thing from stars to sunflowers, Fermat's final Theorem brilliantly combines philosophy and difficult technology with investigative journalism. The outcome: a real-life detective tale of the mind, instantaneously interesting, thought-provoking, and very unlikely to place down.
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Additional resources for Fermat's Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem
Making your thesis or postdoctoral adviser happy is sensible, and worth doing, but not more so than acting in your own best interests. Know Thyself—A Sweet Job Turns Sour B. obtained a PhD from a top-ﬂight university in the Midwest. He had two different thesis advisers during the course of his four years as a graduate student. The ﬁrst was a Nobel prizewinner, a theoretician whose name is a household word to chemists. The second was an experimentalist, also a very widely respected scientist. Having completed his degree, and cognizant of the scarcity of real jobs, B.
S, F. ’s lab. The results were inevitable. Being a clever young man, F. realized that his future depended on gaining recognition for a signiﬁcant piece of work, work that would have to be done in short order. , no less clever, understood that his probationary position required him 0465022229-Feibelman_Layout 1 10/28/10 10:36 AM Page 14 14 a p hd is not enough! to complete several projects and get credit for them. The result was not a happy collaboration but months of bickering over who would turn knobs on the machine and who would get credit for the scientiﬁc progress.
Acquiring a postdoc, in short, is much like buying a piece of laboratory equipment. One assumes it will work for a while, helping to produce results. Then it will be replaced with a newer model. From the postdoctoral employer’s viewpoint, signs of a candidate’s viability are, accordingly: . an excellent thesis-research presentation—this implies that the candidate will be a good spokesperson for the supervisor’s research program; . not having taken overly long to ﬁnish the PhD—supporting the hope that after a sojourn lasting no more than a few years, the postdoc will have produced several publications; and .