Is That Anything Like Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing?
by Perry Michael Simon on August 17, 2011
I know I’m supposed to know what Wednesday’s Google doodle is supposed to represent.
Maybe if I stare at it longer….
Those of you who paid attention in school undoubtedly recognize Fermat’s Last Theorem, know that in 1637 Fermat scribbled a note on the margin of a page in a text that said he’d “discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain,” but never actually wrote it down anyplace that anyone could find it. And you know that it took 358 years for someone else to solve it.
YOU know that. Me? I… well, I was a Political Science major. I specialized in taking courses where all you had to do to pass was to write a term paper. I was good at term papers; Filling space with irrelevant noise is what I do best. Math? Not so much. So, on what would have been the 410th birthday of (a very feeble, if he’d lived that long) Pierre de Fermat, Google’s celebration today of his life and most famous contribution to mathematics sailed over my head. But it shouldn’t have. After all, there are people who suspect that Fermat hadn’t really discovered the proof after all, that his boast was just full of it.
I can relate to that.
HT: Matthew Grosinger