ANDREW WILES will receive the Abel Prize, often described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics, for his celebrated work in solving Fermat’s Last Theorem while a professor at Princeton. Wiles, who retired in 2013 after 30 years on the faculty, is now at Oxford University. Mathematicians had tried to prove the theorem — “there are no whole number solutions to the equation xn + yn = zn when n is greater than 2” — for more than 350 years. He will receive the prize, worth about $700,000, in Oslo next month.
The University’s decision not to renew the contract of Near Eastern studies lecturer MICHAEL BARRY spurred two petitions of protest to administrators in early March. Nearly 300 students signed the first petition, and more than 150 signed the second. Barry, who has lectured at Princeton for 12 years, teaches two of the Near Eastern studies department’s most popular courses.
More than 530 people have signed a petition urging the University’s Board of Trustees to condemn the endorsement of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE, an ex officio member of the board. The petition, which was started in March by the Muslim Advocates for Social Justice and Individual Dignity student group, asserts that Christie’s support for Trump “indicates approval of his vitriolic rhetoric, which has had violent consequences for the most vulnerable members of society.”
DAVID McCOMAS has been named vice president for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. McComas was assistant vice president of space science and engineering at the Southwest Research Institute; he previously worked for 20 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He succeeds A.J. Stewart Smith *66, who will retire after a sabbatical.
For the record
An earlier version of this story contained errors in the representation of Fermat’s Last Theorem.