Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Andrew Wiles (stumble)

Watching the Doodle of August 17, 2011, I 'stumbled' with Fermat's Last Theorem and also with something Fermat said:

"it is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second, into two like powers. 'I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.' "

And then, I 'stumbled' with Andrew Wiles and also with something he said that I feel I will try to remember forever, because I like it:

"Perhaps I can best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of a journey through a dark unexplored mansion. You enter the first room of the mansion and it's completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it's all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they're momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of—and couldn't exist without—the many months of stumbling around in the dark that proceed them."

That is the way I like to look at optimism, positivism, inspiration and motivation: never pull mistakes out of the equation!!

PS: Wiles' quote moves me to play Luiggi's Mansion... :-P