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Mathematician of the month: C.F.Gauss(1777-1855)

 

 

If you are fond of mathematics, you must know who he is.

At the age of seven, Carl Friedrich Gauss started elementary school, and his potential was noticed almost immediately. His teacher, Buttner, and his assistant, Martin Bartels, were amazed when Gauss summed the integers from 1 to 100 instantly by spotting that the sum was 50 pairs of numbers each pair summing to 101.

Two of Gauss's last doctoral students were wrote a fine description of his supervisor:

 

... usually he sat in a comfortable attitude, looking down, slightly stooped, with hands folded above his lap. He spoke quite freely, very clearly, simply and plainly: but when he wanted to emphasise a new viewpoint ... then he lifted his head, turned to one of those sitting next to him, and gazed at him with his beautiful, penetrating blue eyes during the emphatic speech. ... If he proceeded from an explanation of principles to the development of mathematical formulas, then he got up, and in a stately very upright posture he wrote on a blackboard beside him in his peculiarly beautiful handwriting: he always succeeded through economy and deliberate arrangement in making do with a rather small space. For numerical examples, on whose careful completion he placed special value, he brought along the requisite data on little slips of paper.

On his grave, there is a regular 17-gon sculputured on it to commemerate the great Mathematician.

Picture from: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/PictDisplay/Gauss.html

 

 

 

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