Modular forms and Fermat’s last theorem. Papers from a conference, Boston, MA, USA, August 9–18, 1995. (English) Zbl 0878.11004
New York, NY: Springer. xviii, 582 p. DM 89.00; öS 649.70; sFr. 81.00; £34.00; $ 49.95 (1997).
The articles of this volume will be reviewed individually. Introduction: The chapters of this book are expanded versions of the lectures given at the BU conference. They are intended to introduce the many ideas and techniques used by Wiles in his proof that every (semi-stable) elliptic curve over is modular, and to explain how Wiles’ result combined with Ribet’s theorem implies the validity of Fermat’s Last Theorem.
The first chapter contains an overview of the complete proof, and it is followed by introductory chapters surveying the basic theory of elliptic curves (Chapter II), modular functions and curves (Chapter III), Galois cohomology (Chapter IV), and finite group schemes (Chapter V). Next we turn to the representation theory which lies at the core of Wiles’ proof. Chapter VI gives an introduction to automorphic representations and the Langlands-Tunnel theorem, which provides the crucial first step that a certain mod 3 representation is modular. Chapter VII describes Serre’s conjectures and the known cases which give the link between modularity of elliptic curves and Fermat’s Last Theorem. After this come chapters on deformations of Galois representations (Chapter VIII) and universal deformation rings (Chapter IX), followed by chapters on Hecke algebras (Chapter X) and complete intersections (Chapter XI). Chapters XII and XIV contain the heart of Wiles’ proof, with a brief interlude (Chapter XIII) devoted to representability of the flat deformation functor. The final step in Wiles’ proof, the so-called “3-5 shift,” is discussed in Chapters XV and XVI, and Diamond’s relaxation of the semi-stability condition is described in Chapter XVII. The volume concludes by looking both backward and forward in time, with two chapters (Chapter XVIII and XIX) describing some of the “pre-modular” history of Fermat’s Last Theorem, and two chapters (Chapters XX and XXI) placing Wiles’ theorem into a more general Diophantine context and giving some ideas of possible future applications.
As the preceding brief summary will have made clear, the proof of Wiles’ theorem is extremely intricate and draws on tools from many areas of mathematics. The editors hope that this volume will help everyone, student and professional mathematician alike, who wants to study the details of what is surely one of the most memorable mathematical achievements of this century.