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Student Reports: A Rewarding Undertaking - Secondary School Student Report

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz

Biography Report

 

MATHEMATICIAN'S NAME: Carl Friedrich Gauss

 

DATE OF BIRTH: April 30. 1777       PLACE OF BIRTH: Brunswick, West Germany

 

DATE OF DEATH: February 23, 1855                        PLACE OF DEATH: Göttingen

 

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THREE EVENTS IN THE MATHEMATICIAN'S LIFE - DATE ALSO IF KNOWN

 

1.  From 1795-98 he went on to secondary school and studied even further at the University of Göttingen, granted by the Duke of Brunswick.

 

2.  In 1799 he obtained his doctorate in absentia from the University of Helmstedt. His thesis showed the first proof of fundamental algebra which states every algebraic equation has a root of a+bi (i being the square root of –1).

 

3.  In 1807 he became professor of astronomy and director of the new observatory at the University of Göttingen where he remained for the rest of his life.

 

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THREE ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN MATHEMATICS

 

1. He discovered the method of least squares.

 

2. He discovered a Non-Euclidean Geometry.

 

3. He contributed to the theory of numbers.

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THREE FACTS OF INTEREST ABOUT YOUR MATHEMATICIAN

 

1. Gauss was deeply religious, aristocratic in bearing and conservative.

 

2. Gauss was acknowledged to be one of the 3 leading mathematicians of all times: the others being Archimedes and Newton.

 

3. Gauss was an exceptionally precocious child. And at 3 he detected an error in his father’s bookkeeping. At 10 he amazed his fellow students by summing the integers from 1 to 100. ************************************************************************

SOURCES

 

1. Encyclopedia Americana

 

2. Encyclopedia Britannica

 

3. The Papers of Carl Gauss

 

 

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