Education: Solving The Puzzle

About 350 years ago, a French amateur mathematician named Pierre de Fermat scratched a devilishly tricky problem in the margin of a Greek mathematical text. Then he added, "I have discovered a truly remarkable proof ((of the theorem)), which this margin is too small to contain." Did he really have the answer? The attempts of generations of scientists to find out have made Fermat's Last Theorem the El Dorado of math problems. Now, at long last, an assistant professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University seems to have broken the code. Last month at Bonn's Max Planck Institute, Yoichi Miyaoka, 38, sketched out...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!