I was introduced to Andrew Wiles
in a pub
during some conference
It was immediately apparent that Wiles was reserved,
shy and not in posession
of a great deal of small talk.
There was a pause in the conversation.
The pause turned to a gap, then a gaping chasm.
Oh my God! Must...say...something. Abruptly I blurted out
So tell me Andrew, what are you working on at the moment?
Immediately I realised that this was the
question I could
possibly of asked. Think about it. Here is man who has just
spent seven years, that's right seven (count 'em), in
conditions of total
secrecy working on Fermat's Last Theorem
He told no-one what he was
doing. This guy does not have any kind of a track record
out what he's working on to any casual acquaintance.
Wiles didn't answer me, he just smiled enigmatically.
See also Dumbest questions you've ever been asked.