Carl Friedrich Gauss Essay example

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Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)

Introduction: Carl Friedrich Gauss is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He is a creator in the logical-mathematical domain as he contributed many ideas to the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and physics. Being a math education major, I have come into contact with Gauss’ work quite a few times. He contributed greatly to the different areas of mathematics like linear algebra, calculus, and number theory. Creativity can be seen when a person makes or discovers substantially new ideas that dramatically impact the domain in which the person is working. Gauss’ work should be considered creative because he contributed so many new theorems and ideas to mathematics,
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What makes this more amazing is that nobody had taught him arithmetic. He picked it up on his own. Although Gauss showed great intelligence, his father refused to send him to school. His family was very poor as his father worked as a gardener, canal tender, and bricklayer (Bell 218). His dad wanted his son to follow in the family’s footsteps and work as a laborer. However, his mother intervened and sent him to school when he was seven. His teacher, Büttner, was a cold-hearted teacher who loved proving to his students how ignorant they were (Bell 221). At the age of ten, Gauss “discovered” a formula that would change his future forever. Büttner asked his students to add up the numbers between one and a hundred. He figured this would keep his students busy all day. However, Gauss noticed a pattern. Without anyone showing him the formula [n(n+1)]/2, Gauss derived it and solved the problem quickly (Burton 510). Büttner was so impressed by this that he bought Gauss a math book and had his assistant, Johann Bartels, work with the young boy (Bell 222). The friendship that developed between Bartels and Gauss led Bartels to introduce Gauss to Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, the Duke of Brunswick (Bell 224). The Duke ended up paying for Gauss to continue his education at Caroline College, which was actually a preparatory school, and then
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