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, astronomy, and physics.
Unlike some of the creators Gardner studied, Gauss seemed to be a truly decent man. He never tried to criticize his rivals or make himself stand above the rest. He solved problems because he loved math. Some theorems that we credit to being solved by someone else were really discovered earlier by Gauss. He did not publish everything because he did not have time to finish it all. That is why I hold Gauss higher than some of the other creators we read about. He was a decent man who worked for the love of math. I also greatly admire his work. Any mathematician who can prove so many different ideas in so many different areas of mathematics is truly a genius.
Relation to Gardner’s Triad:
As a child, Gauss was a prodigy. This event happened just before Gauss turned three years old.
“One Saturday Gerhard Gauss (his father) was making out the weekly payroll for the laborers under his charge, unaware that his young son was following the proceedings with critical atten...
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...had been braver and published his ideas on a non-Euclidean geometry, then he would have fit Gardner’s model almost perfectly. Instead he chose to publish works that would not raise a lot of political controversy. Although Gauss is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, he would have been in a class by himself if he would have published everything he had discovered.
Bell, E.T. Men of Mathematics. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.
Bretscher, Otto. Linear Algebra with Applications. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1997.
Burton, David M. The History of Mathematics, an Introduction. Newton, Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1985.
O’Conner, J.J. and E.F. Robertson. “Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss.” (Dec. 1996). 26 November, 2001
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