Today’s Google doodle marks the 241st birthday of Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß, the German mathematician often credited as the “Prince of Mathematicians” or the “Greatest mathematician since antiquity.”
Born on this date in Braunschweig, Germany, Gauß (translated as Gauss) was a child prodigy, making complex mathematical calculations as early as 8 years old. At 21, he wrote “Disquisitiones Arithmeticae,” a number theory textbook defined by Yale Press University as the “… source of ideas from which number theory was developed.”
The celebrated mathematician is noted for a number of contributions across multiple fields of study, including number theory, algebra, statistics, geometry, geophysics, magnetic fields and astronomy. Among his many discoveries was the construction of the heptadecagon and proof of the quadratic reciprocity law. According to Leonard Bruno and Lawrence Baker’s “Math and Mathematicians: The History of Math Discoveries Around the World,” Gauß determined the orbit of the asteroid Ceres in 1801.
The doodle, designed by guest artist Bene Rohlmann, includes an illustration of Gauß alongside images representing the many mathematical disciplines he studied.
Here is the full doodle, along with two early drafts shared on the Google doodle blog.
Official Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß Google Doodle
Early Drafts of the Gauß Doodle
Today’s doodle leads to a search for “Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß” and is being shared on Google’s home page in the US, along with a number of other countries including Germany, the UK, Russia, Japan, Peru, Argentina and Chile.