Fermat

In this article the writer explains the working of the Chakravāla algorithm...

What would have been Fermat’s astonishment if some missionary, just back from India, had told him that his problem had been successfully tackled there by native mathematicians almost six centuries earlier!

Interspersed with historical and biographical details, this article by B.A. Sethuraman, has rich nuggets of information. These don’t just exercise a student’s understanding of exponents, they also provide solvable proofs for school students. Best of all, the article weaves random results into a coherent whole, giving direction to ideas, conjectures and proofs.

Why are theorems discussed in class restricted to those in the syllabus? Do we fear that students would be intimidated by equations and long proofs? In this article the author, Anuradha S. Garge,  traces the development of a famous theorem and its proof. Read the article not just for the theorem but also to pick up tips on how to use numerical examples to understand algebraic equations, how to use historical details to move from conjecture to proof, and how to provide students with sufficient scaffolding to enable them to prove the theorem for themselves.

The book Fermat’s Enigma – The Epic Quest to Solve The World's Greatest Mathematical Problem, by Simon Singh is reviewed here by Tanuj Shah.
 

Rajkishore, from APF, suggests some links on the topic that could be looked at as well:

BBC Horizon: Fermat's Last theorem. (Click on the image below to view the documentary made by Simon Singh. This documentary was later converted into his book reviewed in At Right Angles.

This section reviews Fermat’s Enigma – The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem and that of a YouTube clip.

 

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