The math-challenged GOP presidential field reminded me of a famed mathematician, a pioneer of probability theory along with Pascal, who also had the good sense to keep things to himself once in a while.

**Pierre de Fermat, born Aug. 17, 1601**

Pierre de Fermat

We salute you. Proof it’s good

To blow some things off

“Pierre de Fermat”

That’s French for “Big math tease” or

“Guess my solution”

You helped develop

All sorts of math, theory of

Probability

But you’re remembered

For what you didn’t produce,

A proof others chased

Scribbled in margin,

In Latin no less, you had

A killer math proof

No room to explain,

You explained, then never did

Explain it — ever

Math geeks went bonkers

For centuries until one

At last cracked the code

But Brit Andrew Wiles

Used techniques you couldn’t have.

Was his proof the same?

Jeez, Pierre, guess we’ll

Never know, but your silence

Guaranteed your fame

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