Award: Carl B. Allendoerfer
Year of Award: 1997
Publication Information: Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 69(1996), pp. 163-171
Summary: The group of rational points on the unit circle is studied as an example of rational points on an elliptic curve -- a key component in Wile's proof of Fermat's Theorem.
About the Author: (from Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 69 (1996)) Lin Tan is a native of Hangzhou, China. After high school, he did farm work for two years before entering Zhejiang University in 1978, where he was granted an M.S. degree in 1981. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1986, under the supervision of Robert Steinberg. He taught at Indiana University before joining the faculty of West Chester University in 1989. His primary interest is algebraic groups and invariant theory. His hobbies include continued fractions, history of mathematics and automorphic forms.