Mathematics Series Continues

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Paul Drelles

In keeping with West Shore Community College‘s current focus on mathematics, the public is invited to a live demonstration of the role of proofs in mathematics to take place Nov. 19, at 4 p.m., in the Administrative and Conference Building MBT room.
Professor of Mathematics Paul Drelles will demonstrate the significance and types of proofs used in the field.  He will also show and lead a discussion of a video presentation on Fermat’s Last Theorem. 

This theorem has challenged and baffled mathematicians for over 350 years and led to intense personal drama, becoming the “Holy Grail” of the mathematics world.   The proof, articulated by Andrew Wiles, “may be the most complicated proof in the history of mathematics,” according to Drelles.

This event is part of a year-long focus on mathematics at the college.  Previous events have sought to encourage delight in the use of mathematics and ways to deal with math anxiety successfully.  Now the college turns its attention to the beauty of mathematics, and the challenges enjoyed by mathematicians.
Fermat’s Theorem is fairly easy to understand, but notoriously difficult to prove.  Anyone who enjoys working out puzzles, conundrums, and logic games will enjoy this presentation, and Drelles fully expects audience participation.  He is titling his talk, “The proof is not in the pudding.  The proof is in the _______ (?)” and will ask the audience to fill in the blank at the end of his presentation.

Questions about the event can be directed to Seán Henne, who chairs the Academic Projects team sponsoring it. Contact him at or 231-843-5859.

Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement