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Three Fermat Trails to Elliptic Curves

by Ezra Brown

Award: George Pólya Award

Year of Award: 2001

Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 31 (2000), pp. 162-172.

Summary: The author discusses the definition and application of elliptic curves including the application to Wile's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.

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About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 31 (2000)) Ezra Brown professes mathematics at Virginia Tech, where he has been since 1969. The elliptic curve bug first bit him while he was in graduate school at Louisiana State, and has never really gone away. Although his main research has been in quadratic forms and algebraic number theory, he once wrote a paper with a sociologist. He loves to talk about mathematics and its history with anyone, especially students. He occasionally sings in operas, plays jazz piano just for fun, and bakes biscuits for his classes. He and his mathematical grandfather, L. E. Dickson, have the same birthday.


Subject classification(s): Algebra and Number Theory | Number Theory | Famous Problems | Mathematics History | Famous Problems
Publication Date: 
Monday, March 31, 2008