News & CommentMathematics

Number Theorists Embark on a New Treasure Hunt

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Science  21 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5342, pp. 1396
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5342.1396a

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Summary

For over 3 centuries, Fermat's Last Theorem had tantalized both amateurs and professionals. After Princeton University's Andrew Wiles proved the theorem in 1994, it seemed that the saga was finally over. But now, a Dallas banker has financed a sequel, offering a bounty of up to $50,000 for a proof of a more general version of Fermat's Last Theorem. Mathematicians say the prize could easily reach this limit before anyone successfully claims it.