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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Fermat's Last Tango

While visiting Bill Gasarch in Maryland, he chose to show a tape of Fermat's Last Tango, an off-Broadway musical based loosely on Wiles and his experience with Fermat's last theorem. Instead of Wiles they used the name Daniel Keane as the person who proved the theorem. Wiles should be thankful for the name change. We stopped watching after twenty minutes. It was full of monotonous music and clichéd stereotypes of mathematicians. We turned it off after an egotistical song by the Keane character about his "love" of numbers.
According to the video jacket, we missed the love triangle between Keane, his wife and mathematics which he discusses with Fermat, Gauss, Euclid and Newton who have visited from "aftermath." I have learned a valuable lesson: Math and Science can make good drama (Breaking the Code, Proof, Copenhagen and Arcadia as examples) but it doesn't make a good musical.


  1. Any chance you still have said DVD that you wouldn't mind lending to the EMU math club for a couple days?