King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) recognizes excellence in 5 categories: Service to Islam, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language & Literature, Medicine, and Science, since 1979

Professor Andrew J. Wiles

Winner of the  
1998
KFIP Prize for  
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Topic: Mathematics

Biography

Nationality: United Kingdom

1998-Andrew-WilesAndrew J. Wiles (UK) was born in Cambridge, England, in 1953. He received his BA in Mathermatics from Merton College at Oxford in 1974 and Ph.D. from Clare College at Cambridge in 1980. During his doctoral studies, he was a Junior Research fellow at Clare College, Cambridge University, and a Benjamin Peirce Assistant Professor at Harvard University. After completing his degree, he spent some time as a scholar at the Institute of Theoretical Mathematics (Sonderforschungsbereich Theoretische Mathematik) in Bonn, then joined the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1981, where he became professor in 1982. Also during 1982, he served as a visiting professor in Paris. His award of a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled him to visit the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifique in Paris and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris during 1985-86. In 1988, he was named the Royal Scoiety Research Professor at Oxford University. From 1994, he assumed the Chair of Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, USA.

Professor Wiles is an outstanding mathematician with distinguished contributions to the number theory, algebraeic geometry and modular forms. He earned international renown following his proof in 1995 of Fermat’s Last Theorem. This theorem is one of the most famous problems in mathematics. It remained unresolved for more than 350 years, despite numerous previous attempts to solve it. Although falling into an obscure branch of mathematics, the solving of this problem is a stunning tour de force that revolutionized the study of elliptic curves in the number theory and resulted in outstanding practical applications, such as the development of public key cryptology, allowing communication on public computer networks, such as the Internet, without compromising privacy.

Professor Wiles proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem earned him the King Faisal International Prize for Science (mathematics), and many other prestigious honors, including the Schock Prize in Mathematics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences Mathematics Award, the Prix Fermat from the Université Paul Sabatier, the Osterowsski Prize, the
Wolf Prize, the Commonwealth Award, the Cole Prize in Number Theory, Clay Award, Pythagoras Award and Shaw Prize. In 1999, the asteroid 9999 Wiles was named in his honor and in 2000 he was appointed by the British Queen to the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). He is an elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Wiles returned as a Royal Society Research Professor at Oxford University in 2011.

Professor Andrew has been awarded the Prize in Science for having brilliantly succeeded in solving ”Fermat’s Last Theorem” which is one of the most famous problems in mathematics. It was unresolved for over 350 years during which it attracted continual interest. There had been many previous attempts to solve it that were all unsuccessful.

This contribution is not just a major addition to mankind’s mathematical knowledge but has also a positive influence on the public perception of mathematics. Great public interest was shown when, last year, several television programmes were broadcast detailing the history of Fermat’s Last Theorem and its final solution by Professor Wiles.

More about Awarding this Winner

Andrew John Wiles Britannica
Annual Meeting Talk by Andrew Wiles Clay Math 2001
Professor Andrew J. Wiles Wikipedia
Professor Andrew J. Wiles Willslab
Andrew Wiles
Read the Press Release Read the Acceptance Speech View the Honorary’s Certificate