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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of `The Prince of Mathematics Carl Friedrich Gauss' by M. Tent
This is a fantastic biography of Carl F Gauss (1777 to 1855). It is a well written book and the author, M Tent, will achieve her goal of inspiring readers to explore the world of mathematics with this book. This is a book for the layman but will be a real inspiration for a sixth former or undergraduate student of mathematics.
The author highlights some well known...
Published on 22 July 2008 by K. Singh

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
This is a peculiar book. It relates Gauss's life in a more or less chronological manner in an often imagined conversational style between Gauss, his family members, sponsors and colleagues. During these extensive bouts it reads like a chidrens book for 5 to 10 year olds. It is in this style that it relates many of the anecdotes surrounding the prodigious nature of the...
Published on 3 Mar. 2012 by D. Hawkes


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of `The Prince of Mathematics Carl Friedrich Gauss' by M. Tent, 22 July 2008
By 
K. Singh (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This is a fantastic biography of Carl F Gauss (1777 to 1855). It is a well written book and the author, M Tent, will achieve her goal of inspiring readers to explore the world of mathematics with this book. This is a book for the layman but will be a real inspiration for a sixth former or undergraduate student of mathematics.
The author highlights some well known stories about the young Gauss such as:
By the age of 10 he knew the formula for the difference of two squares and had a smart technique of adding up the first 100 consecutive natural numbers.
The author also claims that Gauss tried to prove the parallel postulate using the first 4 postulates in Euclid's Elements. Towards the end of the book Margaret Trent shows how this lead to Gauss develop non-Euclidean geometry 25 years before the Russian mathematician Lobachevsky published his work on this topic.
By the age of 11 Gauss could prove the irrationality of the square root of 2.
By the age of 18 Gauss had constructed a regular polygon of 17 sides using unmarked straight edge and compass only.
Some of the material in the book is from Gauss's diary which has results in shorthand notation such as
'+'+'=N
This result says that any natural number N can be written as the sum of at most 3 triangular numbers. The author claims that this was Gauss's Eureka moment and was a beautiful discovery.
For his PhD, Gauss proved the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and also showed the mistakes made by Euler, Lagrange and Alembert in their proofs.
He also made a major contribution to number theory and proved the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic.
The author goes on to describe the political turmoil in Germany particularly in the Duchy of Braunschweig (Brunswick). The Duchy of Braunschweig had supported Gauss financially for 15 years but he was killed by Napoleon's forces in 1806.
After the Duke's death, Gauss was offered a post at the prestigious University of Gottingen which he took up. He remained there for the rest of his life. At Gottingen he had to teach as well as do research but in the beginning he did not enjoy teaching. He suggested to his wife "I would prefer simply to give my students a text and if they encounter any problems they can see me." Amongst his students at Gottingen were Richard Dedekind and Mobius. At the University of Gottingen he had become the director of the observatory and published papers on infinite series, astronomy, optics, number theory and algebra.
Additionally between 1833 and 1855 Gauss worked very closely with Weber at Gottingen in the field of magnetism. They also produced the first telegraph system.
Whilst at Gottingen Gauss produced a map of entire kingdom of Hanover by using his triangulation and least squares methods.
Gauss had become an important figure in mathematics throughout Europe and beyond. Even the Universities of Berlin and Petersburg tried to lure Gauss to work for them but he refused each time.
The book is a biography of Gauss with his family and friends at the centre of his life. The only matter of concern is we don't really know which of the stories are factual.
However this is a smashing book and definitely worth buying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read!, 9 Dec. 2009
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S. L. Greaves "Stevie G" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a fantastic book about the life of probably the greatest mathematician that had ever lived! It is written in a very nice style: easy going and it keeps your attention. It does not go into too much complex mathematical detail, as this would probably baffle most readers (me included!). It details all of his life and great works in Maths and also Astronomy.
This would suit any age of reader, and I thoroughly recommend it. I was inspired to buy it after the above review and hearing Prof. Marcus du Sautoy speak highly of Gauss in the wonderful BBC TV series, 'The Story of Maths'.

Thank you. Please get this book - you will not regret it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 3 Mar. 2012
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D. Hawkes - See all my reviews
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This is a peculiar book. It relates Gauss's life in a more or less chronological manner in an often imagined conversational style between Gauss, his family members, sponsors and colleagues. During these extensive bouts it reads like a chidrens book for 5 to 10 year olds. It is in this style that it relates many of the anecdotes surrounding the prodigious nature of the childhood genious. It includes a smattering of mathematics but focuses more on the personal life of Gauss.

Make no mistake, this book is for the younger reader but is nevertheless an enjoyable read. It would make an ideal gift for a young person with a budding interest in mathematics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good basic life of Gauss, 20 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss (Paperback)
In the absence of an intellectual biography this book - as a life history of one of the greatest mathematicians of the modern age is well written.Though it reads like a book for teenagers (I think it might even have been originally aimed at teenagers) it covers the basics of his life though little of his mathematics - the other more learned biographies do not cover his mathematics either and they cost a lot more.
Don't expect insights into his mathematics but you will find out about his life, family and friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not too shabby, 2 Jan. 2014
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I had struggled to find a good book giving some background on Gauss and was pleasantly surprised when I found this. Only to be a little unsure when I started reading it.

The style of the book is written almost as a story with lots of dialogue between Gauss and all those he deals with throughout his life. The dialogue seems like it's out of a children's book in many places and I found that very annoying and unnecessary. Once I got over that though, I thought the book was not too bad. You get a good feel for what Gauss got up to during his life.

Very accessible book and some interesting titbits about number theory thrown in there.
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The Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss
The Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss by M. B. W. Tent (Paperback - 23 Oct. 2008)
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