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**ganesh****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-28
- Posts: 20,747

Mathematicians are notorious for being sticklers when it comes to requiring absolute proof before accepting any statement. Their reputation is clearly expressed in a story told by Ian Stewart in 'Concepts of Modern Mathematics':-

An astronomer, a physicist, and a mathematician (it is said) were holidaying in Scotland. Glancing from a train window, they observed a black sheep in the middle of a field.

'How interesting' observed the astronomer, 'all Scottish sheep are black!' To which the

physicist responded, 'No, no! Some Scottish sheep are black!' The mathematician gazed heavenward in supplication, and then intoned, 'In Scotland there exists at least one field, containing at least one sheep, at least one side of which is black.'

Taken from 'Fermat's Last Theorem' by Simon Singh

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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**siva.eas****Member**- Registered: 2005-09-17
- Posts: 166

Lol, I read the book too, it was very interesting, but it was a long time ago

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**siva.eas****Member**- Registered: 2005-09-17
- Posts: 166

I also think that the name of the book is Fermat's Enigma not Fermat's Last Theorm.

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

I have a copy of the book and mine is called 'Fermat's Last Theorem', but it's not unfeasible that the the book was published under multiple names.

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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**John E. Franklin****Member**- Registered: 2005-08-29
- Posts: 3,588

I love that ganesh. I think it's cool the mathmatician thought about the side of the sheep that was being viewed. That surprised me.

**igloo** **myrtilles** **fourmis**

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**ganesh****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-28
- Posts: 20,747

John, try to get 'Fermat's Last Theorem' and also 'The man who loved only numbers' by Paul Hoffman. The latter is about Paul Erdos (pronounced Airdish), known as Uncle Paul, one of the greatest Mathematicians ever born, his life and his idiosyncracy. Both fall in the **must-read** category for Mathematics lovers

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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**darthradius****Member**- Registered: 2005-11-28
- Posts: 97

Also, 'The Equation that could not be solved', about the insolubility of the quintic, symmetry and Galois theory....(Galois was fascinating)

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

-Bertrand Russell

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

And don't forget the general proof of Matiashevich for unsolvarility of Diophantine equations from power >9!!!

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**damathamatician****Member**- Registered: 2006-02-28
- Posts: 10

I think that was awsome of how different scientists behave

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