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Gauss Karl Friedrich 1777-1855 German mathematician who is sometimes called the prince of mathematics He was a prodigious child at the age of three informing his father of an arithmetical error in a complicated payroll calculation and stating the correct answer In school when his teacher gave the problem of summing the integers from 1 to 100 an arithmetic series to his students to keep them busy Gauss immediately wrote down the correct answer 5050 on his slate At age 19 Gauss demonstrated a method for constructing a heptadecagon using only a straightedge and compass which had eluded the Greeks The explicit construction of the heptadecagon was accomplished around 1800 by Erchinger Gauss also showed that only regular polygons of a certain number of sides could be in that manner a heptagon for example could not be constructed At age 24 Gauss published one of the most brilliant achievements in mathematics Disquisitiones Arithmeticae 1801 In it Gauss systematized the study of number theory properties of the integers Gauss proved that every number is the sum of at most three triangular numbers and developed the algebra of congruences Gauss proved the fundamental theorem of algebra which states that every polynomial has a root of the form abi In fact he gave four different proofs the first of which appeared in his dissertation In 1801 he proved the fundamental theorem of arithmetic which states that every natural number can be represented as the product of primes in only one way Gauss was also able to discover a new method of measuring also known as the Gaussian Distribution bell curve in statistics an average distribution of values that when plotted on a graph resembles the shape of a bell The curve formed by a normal distribution is called a normal curve bell curve normal distribution curve or normal probability curve In 1822 Gauss won the Copenhagen University Prize with Theoria attractionis together with the
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