Date of Award

4-17-2000

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Daniel K. Nakamo

Abstract

Perhaps the most famous problem in all of mathematics is the theorem that states that the equation an + bn = cn has no non-trivial solutions for integers a, b, and c, and n ≥ 2. This theorem was proposed by a seventeenth century French mathematician named Pierre de Fermat. Though the theorem is easy to understand, the proof has been elusive. Over the past 350 years many mathematicians have attempted to prove Fermat's theorem. They have used a variety of methods and many have been successful in proving the theorem in specific cases. However, until 1994, nobody had produced an accurate proof for the theorem in the general case. Because the theorem resisted proof for so long, it became known as Fermat's last theorem.

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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