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mgf1107lecture34 - MGF 1107 EXPLORATIONS IN MATHEMATICS...

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MGF 1107 – EXPLORATIONS IN MATHEMATICS LECTURE 34 Carl Friedrich Gauss Known as the “Prince of Mathematics“, Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) is universally regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Although hailing from a poor family in Germany, the talent of Gauss was obvious from a young age, and he regularly astonished his school masters with his knowledge. One famous story relates how he was able to add the first 100 positive numbers almost instantly by realizing that they form 50 pairs adding to 51. Gauss was seven years old at the time. His extraordinary ability as a child caused the Duke of Brunswick to finance Gauss through preparatory school, and then the University of Göttingen from 1795-1798. Whilst there Gauss made a series of interesting discoveries, generalizing the polygons which can be constructed using straight edge and compass, proving that every positive integer can be written as the sum of three triangular numbers, and giving a version of the
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