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Carl Friedrich Gauss Carl Friedrich Gauss was one the great mathematicians of modern time His work in the areas of statistics probability astronomy and geodesy among other fields established basic principles in the scientific world without the benefits of modern technology Gauss was recognized as a prodigy at an early age He had taught himself reading and arithmetic by the age of three It has been written that at this age Gauss pointed out a figuring error his father had made At the age of 10 he was permitted to attend an arithmetic class where his genius was recognized and nurtured by a teacher named Buttner When Gauss had learned everything Buttner had to offer Gauss was recommended to the Duke of Brunswick who offered him a stipend that allowed him to further his education This enabled Gauss to continue his education in secondary school and the University of Gottingen Gauss left Gottingen in 1798 without a diploma but by this time he had made his first major contribution to the world of mathematics He had discovered how to construct a 17 sided polygon using only a ruler and compass This was the most major advance in the field in two millenium His next few years were very productive and his ideas came to him more quickly than he could record He received his doctorate from the University of Helmstedt in 1799 by giving a dissertation that gave the first proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra In 1801 Gauss had two major achievements The first was the publication of his Disquisitiones arithmeticae Examinations of Arithmatic which included his discovery of the 17 sided polygon along with his other works of the past four years His second major achievement involved the discovery of the asteroid Ceres The asteroid had been briefly viewed in
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