An issue of Scientific American noted that squaring the circle is "known to be impossible, and so any purported solutions can be rejected out of hand." So has Fermat's last theorem been proved, or has it not?

THE formula makes Fermat's Last Theorem look like the Two Times Table, but Paull Khan, director of racing at Weatherbys, helpfully provides a layman's version.

When in 1993 Andrew Wiles worked out his proof of Fermat's last theorem ([x.sup.n] + [y.sup.n] = [z.sup.n] has no non-zero integer solutions for x, y, and z when n > 2), many nonmathematicians could not follow the proof, but that did not stop them from hailing it as a great achievement.

With the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in 1994, Derbyshire says, "the Riemann Hypothesis is now the great white whale of mathematical research." Even before that, it was regarded by mathematicians as the more significant problem--though not as old as FLT, it is more central to mathematics and probably a good deal harden

Though Fermat's Last Theorem has been proven by Andrew Wiles in 1995, this book uses simple proof the make Wiles' proof understandable to the average person with an interest in FLT.