Carl Friedrich Gauss
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (icon; ) (30 April 1777 23 February 1855) was a German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

 and scientist
A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

 who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory
Number theory
Number theory is a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers. Number theorists study prime numbers as well...

, statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

, analysis
Mathematical analysis
Mathematical analysis, which mathematicians refer to simply as analysis, has its beginnings in the rigorous formulation of infinitesimal calculus. It is a branch of pure mathematics that includes the theories of differentiation, integration and measure, limits, infinite series, and analytic functions...

, differential geometry
Differential geometry and topology
Differential geometry is a mathematical discipline that uses the techniques of differential and integral calculus, as well as linear and multilinear algebra, to study problems in geometry. The theory of plane and space curves and of surfaces in the three-dimensional Euclidean space formed the basis...

, geodesy
Geodesy , also named geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth, including its gravitational field, in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Geodesists also study geodynamical phenomena such as crustal...

, geophysics
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...

, electrostatics
Electrostatics is the branch of physics that deals with the phenomena and properties of stationary or slow-moving electric charges....

, astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and optics
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...


Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum (Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, "the Prince of Mathematicians" or "the foremost of mathematicians") and "greatest mathematician since antiquity", Gauss had a remarkable influence in many fields of mathematics and science and is ranked as one of history's most influential mathematicians.

We must admit with humility that, while number is purely a product of our minds, space has a reality outside our minds, so that we cannot completely prescribe its properties a priori.

Letter to Friedrich Bessel|Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1830)

To praise it would amount to praising myself. For the entire content of the work... coincides almost exactly with my own meditations which have occupied my mind for the past thirty or thirty-five years .

Letter to Farkas Bolyai|Farkas Bolyai, on his son János Bolyai|János Bolyai's 1832 publishings on non-Euclidean geometry.

Ask her to wait a moment— I am almost done.

When told, while working, that his wife was dying. As quoted in Men of Mathematics (1937) by E. T. Bell

I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.

The Mind and the Eye (1954) by A. Arber