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Happy Birthday, Mr. Gauss!!
Happy Birthday, Mr. Gauss!!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Gauss!!

The Prince of Mathematicians.

Bookrags.com says in a short bio of Gauss:
Karl Friedrich Gauss was born in Brunswick on April 30, 1777. At an early age his intellectual abilities attracted the attention of the Duke of Brunswick, who secured his education first at the Collegium Carolinum (1792-1795) in his native city and then at the University of Göttingen (1795-1798). In 1801 Gauss published Disquisitiones arithmeticae, a work of such originality that it is often regarded as marking the beginning of the modern theory of numbers. The discovery by Giuseppe Piazzi of the asteroid Ceres in 1801 stimulated Gauss’s interest in astronomy, and upon the death of his patron, the Duke of Brunswick, Gauss was appointed director of the observatory in Göttingen, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1831 he collaborated with Wilhelm Weber in the establishment of a geomagnetic survey in Göttingen.
… Gauss married twice, but both wives died young. Of his six children, his youngest daughter remained to take care of him until his death on February 23, 1855. Theory of Numbers Gauss always strove for perfection of form in his writings. Consequently his finest work, Disquisitiones arithmeticae, in which he integrated the work of his predecessors with his own, by its elegance and completeness rendered previous works on the subject superfluous. Quadratic residues, which led to the law of quadratic reciprocity that Gauss had discovered before he was 18, and indeed power residues in general, are treated extensively. Karl Friedrich Gauss from Encyclopedia of World Biography. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
There is a lot more detail (but still in a short bio, written by J J O’Connor and E F Robertson) at MacTutor. Some exerpts:
At the age of seven, Carl Friedrich Gauss started elementary school, and his potential was noticed almost immediately. His teacher, Büttner, 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. … In June 1801, Zach, an astronomer whom Gauss had come to know two or three years previously, published the orbital positions of Ceres, a new “small planet” which was discovered by G Piazzi, an Italian astronomer on 1 January, 1801. Unfortunately, Piazzi had only been able to observe 9 degrees of its orbit before it disappeared behind the Sun. Zach published several predictions of its position, including one by Gauss which differed greatly from the others. When Ceres was rediscovered by Zach on 7 December 1801 it was almost exactly where Gauss had predicted. Although he did not disclose his methods at the time, Gauss had used his least squares approximation method. … Because of the survey, Gauss invented the heliotrope which worked by reflecting the Sun’s rays using a design of mirrors and a small telescope. … Gauss and Weber achieved much in their six years together. They discovered Kirchhoff’s laws, as well as building a primitive telegraph device which could send messages over a distance of 5000 ft. … Gauss spent the years from 1845 to 1851 updating the Göttingen University widow’s fund. This work gave him practical experience in financial matters, and he went on to make his fortune through shrewd investments in bonds issued by private companies. JOC/EFR © December 1996
Absolute Genius…

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