CHAPTER 7 Some Important Continuous Distributions

Portrait of Carl Friedrich Gauss.
Carl Friedrich Gauss (Braunschweig 1777–Göttingen 1855)

Named the Prince of Mathematicians and considered to be one of the most influential mathematicians in history, Gauss advanced almost every branch of mathematics and physics known at his time. Neither of his parents were educated; his mother was illiterate while his father was a stone mason. Perhaps the prime example of a child prodigy, he showed exceptional mathematical skills even before going to school; according to one story, at the age of three, while his father was performing some arithmetic calculations on paper, he spotted an error and corrected him by performing all calculations mentally and faultlessly.

Being self‐educated in his early years, his genius was recognized by the Duke of Brunswick, whose funding allowed Gauss to pursue a formal education. After attending Caroline College from 1792 to 1795, he studied at Göttingen University. Gauss developed the concept of complex numbers and the University of Helmstedt granted him a PhD in 1799.

In his early investigations, he was fascinated by number theory and in 1801 he published his famous book Disquisitiones Arithmeticae (Arithmetical Investigations). The book developed the modern approach to modular arithmetic, and it is considered to be one of the most brilliant achievements in the history of mathematics. ...

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