Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Counterexample to Fermat's Last Theorem Found!!!
So it seems that the Shimura Taniyama conjecture is not true after all. The experts think that it can still be salvaged, by extending the concept of automorphic representation, and introducing a notion of "anomalous curves" that would still give rise to a "quasi-automorphic representation".
This is an email I received indirectly from the late Gian-Carlo Rota dated April 2, 1994. The historical context: In June of 1993, Andrew Wiles announced that he had proven Fermat's Last Theorem but later that year a subtle bug was found which was not fixed until September of '94.
So in April of 1994 we didn't know whether Wiles' proof was valid and given the date was April 2 and how well the email was written, many mathematicians believed this message. But of course it was all an elaborate April Fools joke.