'Prince of Mathematicians' Google Doodle marks Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss' 241st birthday
Gauss was a German mathematician born on April 30, 1777 in Brunswick.
He contributed to a number of fields in the subject, including: number theory, algebra, geophysics, mechanics and statistics.
The laudable work of Gauss, otherwise spelt Gauß in German, is one of the reasons he earned the nickname “The Prince of Mathematicians”.
Gauss’ mother was illiterate, but that did not stop him from cementing himself as a legendary figure in the fields of maths and science.
One of the mathematician’s greatest achievements came in 1786 after discovering a heptadecagon, or a 17-sided polygon, could be made with a compass and straightedge on March 30.
After making such a discovery, Gauss requested a regular heptadecagon be inscribed on his tombstone when he died.
The stonemason responsible for putting together his stone refused – he claimed such construction would have been too difficult and that the unique qualities of the heptadecagon would not have been represented.
It is believed that by the age of eight, Gauss could add every number together from one to 100.
One of the mathematician’s greatest achievements came with the production of his textbook Disquisitiones Arithmeticae.
The book is based on number theory and was written in Latin by Gauss in 1798 when he was 21-years-old.
Gauss was 24 when the book was published.
The text is widely credited for paving the way for modern number theory as we know it.
In 1805 Gauss married Johanna Osthoff and had a son and daughter with her.
She died four years after they married and the couple’s most recent child, Louis, died the year after.
Gauss then married Minna Waldeck in 1810 and had three more children with her.
His second wife died on September 12, 1831.
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss died aged 77 on February 23, 1855.
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