Details about the Gauss Portrait | Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) was one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He combined scientific theory and practice like no other before him, or since, and even as a young man Gauss made extraordinary contributions to mathematics. His Disquisitiones arithmeticae, published in 1801, stands to this day as a true masterpiece of scientific investigation. In the same year, Gauss gained fame in wider circles for his prediction, using very few observations, of when and where the asteroid Ceres would next appear. The method of least squares, developed by Gauss as an aid in his mapping of the state of Hannover, is still an indispensable tool for analyzing data. His sextant is pictured on the last series of German 10-Mark notes, honoring his considerable contributions to surveying. There, one also finds a bell curve, which is the graphical representation of the Gaussian normal distribution in probability. Together with Wilhelm Weber, Gauss invented the first electric telegraph. In recognition of his contributions to the theory of electromagnetism, the international unit of magnetic induction is the gauss. |