AMS Cole Prize in Number Theory Awarded to Chandrashekhar Khare
UCLA Mathematics Professor Chandrashekhar Khare and his collaborator Jean-Pierre Wintenberger were awarded the 2011 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Number Theory by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for their remarkable proof of Serre's modularity conjecture. The conjecture was first proposed in 1973 by Fields Medalist Jean-Pierre Serre and has had an important impact in number theory. In the mid-1980s, Gerhard Frey and Serre realized that the conjecture implies Fermat's Last Theorem, the landmark problem that was solved by Andrew Wiles in the 1990s. Wiles used ideas relating to Serre's conjecture to prove the theorem, but at that time the conjecture seemed out of reach. In 2004 Khare and Wintenberger astonished the mathematical community when they found an extremely beautiful strategy to attack Serre's conjecture. The Cole prize was founded in 1931 in honor of Professor Cole. It is the most eminent prize in number theory and is awarded every three years.