melquiades writes "Mathematician Hendrik Lenstra was struck by the blank spot in M. C. Escher's Print Gallery . Why is the spot blank there, he wondered, and what should go in it? Although Escher, who had only a high-school mathematics background, drew the picture by brilliant and methodical intuition, the mathematical machinery underlying the image turned out to be elliptic curves (which come up in factorization, cryptography, and the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem). Lenstra and his colleagues were able to generate several breathtaking possible completions for the missing space. Read the story at the ever-registration-required NYT."
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