The Biggest Project in Modern Mathematics
In a 1967 letter to the number theorist André Weil, a 30-year-old mathematician named Robert Langlands outlined striking conjectures that predicted a correspondence between two objects from completely different fields of math. The Langlands program was born.
Today, it’s one of the most ambitious mathematical feats ever attempted. Its symmetries imply deep, powerful and beautiful connections between the most important branches of mathematics. Many mathematicians agree that it has the potential to solve some of math’s most intractable problems, in time, becoming a kind of “grand unified theory of mathematics,” as the mathematician Edward Frenkel has described it.
In a new video explainer, Rutgers University mathematician Alex Kontorovich takes us on a journey through the continents of mathematics to learn about the awe-inspiring symmetries at the heart of the Langlands program, including how Andrew Wiles solved Fermat’s Last Theorem.
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