A partially affirmative answer by Andrew Wiles of Princeton University in 1993 to a question about elliptic curves, that had lingered possibly since the 1930's and at least since the time of a 1955 mathematical meeting in Japan, generated a great deal of interest due to its connection with the unproved proposition known as "Fermat's Last Theorem" (1637). Basically, thanks to Ken Ribet (1986) and others, we knew that FLT was a consequence of knowing that every elliptic curve defined by a cubic with rational coefficients is "modular". Wiles showed that every semi-stable elliptic curve is modular, and that is enough for FLT. In 1999 Breuil, Conrad, Diamond, and Taylor showed that every elliptic curve is modular.
Professors Antun Milas and Anupam Srivastav have active research interests related to the area of elliptic curves.
Professor William Hammond recently refreshed the write-up of his 1993 survey talk on the background of the excitement in that year over the work of Andrew Wiles. In refreshing that write-up he had, in particular, the purpose of demonstrating a new system called GELLMU of XML-based, TeX-related infra-structure to facilitate the simultaneous generation of mathematical articles for both print and online presentation.
The commentaries in this area posted by John Baez in the Usenet newsgroup sci.math.research and archived at http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/TWF.html give an excellent illustration of how most of the mathematics created during the “axiomatic era” (1920-1960), based solely on its intrinsic interest to the discipline by itself, is turning out to be extremely useful as the study of physics evolves.
The URL recipe for individual weeks appears to be:
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/weekN.html
where N is the week number.