15 March 2016
Andrew Wiles, best known for proving Fermat’s Last Theorem, has been awarded the 2016 Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Speaking about the award Alex Halliday, Vice-President of the Royal Society said, "In proving Fermat's Last Theorem, Andrew Wiles not only made a major mathematical breakthrough but he also captured the imagination of the public. A problem that had remained unsolved for hundreds of years combined with one person's lifelong pursuit of the answer. This is an inspirational story of a highly creative pursuit of knowledge driven by fascination with the unknown and the satisfaction of solving deep issues of profound significance. The Royal Society is delighted that this great achievement has been recognized through the award of the Abel Prize. It is a richly, richly deserved honour."
The proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem arose out of earlier work on the study of elliptic curves and has led to significant advances in the field of number theory. Wiles has previously won the Royal Society’s Royal Medal and is currently a Royal Society Research Professor.
The Abel Prize recognises contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences.