Carl Friedrich Gauss, “Prince of Mathematics”

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Activity 8.6 – Discussion: Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss, “Prince of Mathematics”
For hundreds of years mathematics has played a significant role in the development of society, from organizing calendars to the latest method of encryption for the United States government computers. Civilization as we know it would be altered immensely if mathematics did not play such a considerable role in the development of architecture and technology. Over hundreds of years, several mathematicians have paved the way for new ways of thinking and new inventions. One important mathematician is Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss. He was also known at the time as Princeps Mathematicorum, which translates to mean Prince of Mathematicians. Gauss has contributed to several concepts in mathematics and science such as: number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics and several others. His many contributions, have allowed scholars to explore these fields to a greater extent. In Algebra, Gauss worked with congruencies, and proved the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was born in Brunswick, Germany on April 30, 1777, to impoverished, working class parents. His father, Gebhard Dietrich Gauss, worked as a gardener and bricklayer. His mother, Dorothea Gauss, was the daughter of a stonecutter. At the tender age of three Gauss’ mathematical ability allowed him to correct an error in his father’s weekly payroll calculations. As a teenager Gauss began working with advanced mathematic principles, and in 1795 at the age of 18, he became the first person to prove the Law of Quadratic Reciprocity, a theory of math that allows us to determine whether quadratic equations can be solved. That same year Gauss made one of his most important discover, while using a ruler and compass, he constructed a regular 17-sided polygon or heptadecagon. Upon further investigation behind this construction, Gauss...
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