I know it's a rare privilege, but if one can really tackle something in adult life that means that much to you, then it's more rewarding than anything I can imagine.
Fermat said he had a proof.
Proof Fermat Had
I was so obsessed by this problem that I was thinking about it all the time - when I woke up in the morning, when I went to sleep at night - and that went on for eight years.
The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself.
Problem Generates Mathematics
Always try the problem that matters most to you.
I really believed that I was on the right track, but that did not mean that I would necessarily reach my goal.
Mean Reach Right Track
Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems - they love a challenge.
Try Love Challenge
But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library.
Public Problem Local
However impenetrable it seems, if you don't try it, then you can never do it.
Seems Try Impenetrable
I don't believe Fermat had a proof. I think he fooled himself into thinking he had a proof.
Believe Had Himself
I grew up in Cambridge in England, and my love of mathematics dates from those early childhood days.
Mathematicians aren't satisfied because they know there are no solutions up to four million or four billion, they really want to know that there are no solutions up to infinity.