Note: The deadline below passed but there are still a few open spaces. If you or your student is interested, please contact us as soon as possible!

Instructional Conference on Fermat's Last Theorem

August 6-18, 2000

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Organizing Committee:

Nigel Boston, UIUC
Chris Skinner, IAS and Michigan

From August 6-18, 2000, the Instructional Conference on Fermat's Last Theorem will be held as one of the featured events in a Special Year in Number Theory at the University of Illinois. It is intended to provide advanced graduate students with a detailed overview of the recent proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
Workshop participants will arrive Sunday, August 6 and leave at about lunchtime Friday, August 18. The meeting will consist of morning lectures by each of the organizers, followed by breaking into 4 groups of 6 students each to work on projects. These projects will fill some of the holes left in the lectures. Towards the end of the two weeks, students will present talks on their group work. There will be some social events (a reception at the start, an outing in the middle, and banquet at the end).


The conference is hosted by the Mathematics Department at the University of Illinois and is supported by the Number Theory Foundation and the National Science Foundation.


We have double occupancy rooms reserved at the Hendrick House for $15 or $17 per night per person (plus 11% tax). These are reserved for the nights of August 6-17 inclusively. They come with meal plans of $87 per week and excellent amenities.


Urbana-Champaign is at the meeting point of three Interstate freeways, I-57, I-72, and I-74. This will tell you about parking. Urbana-Champaign is also conveniently served by Champaign (Willard) airport. American Airlines, TWA, and Northwest Airlines fly into Champaign.

Financial Support

A large amount of funding is available to facilitate attendance by graduate students who do not have access to support through their own institution or their advisors. We expect to be able to pay people's expenses up to $800. Estimating local costs at $400 and travel costs at $400, this should cover everything.


Space limits this meeting to 20 out-of-town students plus 4 local students. (Other local students can attend the lectures but not the group sessions.)
If you wish to attend this meeting, you must send by email to Nigel Boston your name, affiliation, and a statement of why you wish to attend the workshop (at most one page). Also, please indicate your gender and any preferences you might have as to room-sharing. Also, you must have your advisor send us a letter of recommendation to arrive by May 20. This letter should indicate what level of background you have had in algebraic number theory, commutative algebra, and algebraic geometry. We will tell you by May 27 as to whether your application has been successful.

About the Organizers

Nigel grew up in England, did his undergraduate work at Cambridge University, and got his Ph.D. with Barry Mazur from Harvard in 1987. His thesis work was in deformations of Galois representations. After a year in Paris and two in Berkeley, he went to the University of Illinois where he has been ever since, except for six months at the Newton Institute, during which time Andrew Wiles first announced a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. He has written an expository article on the proof for the College Mathematics Journal and has taught a graduate course on it. His research is in algebraic number theory, group theory, and lately applications of arithmetical geometry to engineering.

Chris grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He went off to college to the University of Michigan, from which he received a B.S. in Mathematics in 1993. In 1997 he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University where he was a student of Andrew Wiles. He was fortunate to be around Princeton during the exciting days surrounding the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Since 1997 he has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, and in the fall of 2000 he will join the faculty of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. These days his research focuses on the modularity of Galois representations and other arithmetic aspects of automorphic forms.

For further information, contact:

Nigel Boston, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (217 333-2677)
Chris Skinner, Institute for Advanced Studies (609 734-8145)