17 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know about Carl F. Gauss

Born 241 years ago on April 30, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss is often described as the "Prince of Mathematicians" and hailed for his contributions to number theory, geometry, probability theory and astronomy.

Here are some "facts" about the greatest mathematician since antiquity:


As a child, Gauss was instructed to sum the numbers from 1 to 100. He did this by summing the infinite series and then subtracting off every integer greater than 100, one by one, in his head.


The common phrase used by mathematicians, "Let n be an integer", is literally a request to Gauss to allow it to be so.


When Gauss was thirsty, he used Banach–Tarski paradox to get more orange juice.


Gauss can recite all of pi - backwards.


Gauss didn’t discover the normal distribution, nature conformed to his will.


When Carl Friedrich Gauss adds one, his number doesn't increase, all other numbers become smaller.


Gauss once proved an axiom, but he didn't like it. So he disproved it.


Gauss doesn't understand stochastic processes because he can predict random numbers.


Fermat thought the margin of the book was too small to contain the proof of his Last Theorems. Gauss knows a proof for which it is too large.


Gauss drinks his beer from a Klein bottle.


Gauss considers infinity as the first non-trivial case in a proof by induction.


Mathematicians often leave proofs as an exercise for the reader; Gauss leaves his proofs as an exercise for God.


Gauss skips Step 2 of the Feynman problem solving algorithm:

1. Write down the problem. 

2. Think very hard. 

3. Write down the answer.


Gauss proved that the Mandelbrot Set is locally connected by drawing the boundary by hand.


Erdos believed God had a book of all perfect mathematical proofs. God believes Gauss has such a book.


Gauss once played himself in a zero-sum game and won $50.


Fermat once made Gauss angry. The result - Fermat’s Last Theorem.

What is your favorite Gauss fact? Do you know any other Gauss jokes? 

Take a moment to celebrate some of the amazing achievements from people who had virtually no education at all.

He isn’t the one to let something like being the fourth richest man on the planet stop him from getting a good deal.

There is no Nobel Prize for mathematics, but there are equivalents...