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All Quotes by author - Andrew Wiles
" Always try the problem that matters most to you. "
Try
Problem
Most
" But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library. "
Problem
Public
Best
" Fermat said he had a proof. "
Said
Had
He
" However impenetrable it seems, if you don't try it, then you can never do it. "
You
Seems
Try
" I don't believe Fermat had a proof. I think he fooled himself into thinking he had a proof. "
Believe
Thinking
Think
" I grew up in Cambridge in England, and my love of mathematics dates from those early childhood days. "
Childhood
Early
Love
" I had this rare privilege of being able to pursue in my adult life, what had been my childhood dream. "
Life
Childhood
Dream
" I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make young mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future. "
Hope
Future
Mathematics
" I know it's a rare privilege, but if one can really tackle something in adult life that means that much to you, then it's more rewarding than anything I can imagine. "
You
Privilege
I Can
" I loved doing problems in school. I'd take them home and make up new ones of my own. But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library. I was just browsing through the section of math books and I found this one book, which was all about one particular problem - Fermat's Last Theorem. "
Book
Best
School
" I realized that anything to do with Fermat's Last Theorem generates too much interest. "
Interest
Much
Too Much
" I really believed that I was on the right track, but that did not mean that I would necessarily reach my goal. "
Reach
Right Track
Right
" I tried to fit it in with some previous broad conceptual understanding of some part of mathematics that would clarify the particular problem I was thinking about. "
Tried
Mathematics
Problem
" It's fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way - even if you don't solve it at the end of the day. "
Mathematics
Day
Work
" I was so obsessed by this problem that I was thinking about it all the time - when I woke up in the morning, when I went to sleep at night - and that went on for eight years. "
Night
Thinking
Sleep
" Just because we can't find a solution it doesn't mean that there isn't one. "
Just
Just Because
Mean
" Mathematicians aren't satisfied because they know there are no solutions up to four million or four billion, they really want to know that there are no solutions up to infinity. "
Satisfied
Solutions
Want
" Perhaps the methods I needed to complete the proof would not be invented for a hundred years. So even if I was on the right track, I could be living in the wrong century. "
Right
Wrong
Years
" Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems - they love a challenge. "
Pure
Try
Challenge
" That particular odyssey is now over. My mind is now at rest. "
Odyssey
Now
Mind
" The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself. "
Mathematics
Than
Good
" Then when I reached college I realized that many people had thought about the problem during the 18th and 19th centuries and so I studied those methods. "
Then
College
People
" The only way I could relax was when I was with my children. "
Relax
Could
Children
" There are proofs that date back to the Greeks that are still valid today. "
Today
Date
Still
" Well, some mathematics problems look simple, and you try them for a year or so, and then you try them for a hundred years, and it turns out that they're extremely hard to solve. "
Look
You
Simple
" We've lost something that's been with us for so long, and something that drew a lot of us into mathematics. But perhaps that's always the way with math problems, and we just have to find new ones to capture our attention. "
Find
Problems
Lost
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