637 words - 3 pages

Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist whodominated the mathematical community during and after his lifetime. Hisoutstanding work includes the discovery of the method of least squares,the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry, and important contributions tothe theory of numbers.Born in Brunswick, Germany, on April 30, 1777, Johann FriedrichCarl Gauss showed early and unmistakable signs of being an extraordinaryyouth. As a child prodigy, he was self taught in the fields of readingand arithmetic. Recognizing his talent, his youthful studies wereaccelerated by the Duke of Brunswick in 1792 when he was provided with astipend to allow him to pursue his education.In 1795, he continued his mathematical studies at the Universityof Göttingen. In 1799, he obtained his doctorate in absentia from theUniversity of Helmstedt, for providing the first reasonably completeproof of what is now called the fundamental theorem of algebra. Hestated that: Any polynomial with real coefficients can be factored intothe product of real linear and/or real quadratic factors.At the age of 24, he published Disquisitiones arithmeticae, inwhich he formulated systematic and widely influential concepts andmethods of number theory -- dealing with the relationships andproperties of integers. This book set the pattern for many futureresearch and won Gauss major recognition among mathematicians. Usingnumber theory, Gauss proposed an algebraic solution to the geometricproblem of creating a polygon of n sides. Gauss proved the possibilityby constructing a regular 17 sided polygon into a circle using only astraight edge and compass.Barely 30 years old, already having made landmark discoveries ingeometry, algebra, and number theory Gauss was appointed director of theObservatory at Göttingen. In 1801, Gauss turned his attention toastronomy and applied his computational skills to develop a techniquefor calculating orbital components for celestial bodies, including theasteroid Ceres. His methods, which he describes in his book TheoriaMotus Corporum Coelestium, are still in use today. Although Gauss madevaluable contributions to both theoretical and practical astronomy,...

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