André Weil

André Weil, who helped shape the mathematics of the twentieth century, was a member of the Institute Faculty from 1958 until his death in 1988. He created the Weil conjectures, which provided the principles for modern algebraic geometry, and his work has been applied to elementary particle physics and cryptography.

The fundamental lemma has been described as a gross understatement. Says Andrew Wiles, a Visitor in the School of Mathematics and an Institute Trustee, “At first, it was thought to be a minor irritant, but it subsequently became clear that it was not a lemma but rather a central problem in the field.”