The Awards

Silver Plaque of the IMU

Fields Medals are only awarded to mathematicians whose 40th birthday occurs after the 1st of January of the year of the award. Andrew Wiles completed, after seven years of intensive work, in 1994/1995 a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. This theorem was announced but not proved by Pierre de Fermat in 1637 and despite many proof attempts during more than 350 years thought to be “out of reach” by many specialists in the field. Born on April 11, 1953, Wiles was not eligible for a Fields Medal. The Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union, though, considered his contributions so extraordinary that it decided to produce, for the first and so far only time, a commemorative silver plaque as a special tribute to Andrew Wiles for his sensational achievement. Wiles proved the Taniyama–Shimura Conjecture for semistable elliptic curves and thereby Fermat’s Last Theorem. This silver plaque was handed over to Andrew Wiles during the Opening Ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians 1998 in Berlin.