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Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science

Biography / Memoir

Series: Spectrum Series

By: G Waldo Dunnington (Author), Jeremy J Gray (Contributor), Fritz-Egbert Dohse (Contributor)

595 pages, 49 b/w illustrations

Mathematical Association of America

Hardback | Oct 2004 | #205706 | ISBN: 088385547X
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $45/€42 approx

About this book

This biography of Gauss, Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science, by far the most comprehensive in English, is the work of a professor of German, G. Waldo Dunnington, who devoted most of his scholarly career to studying the life of Germany's greatest mathematician. The author was inspired to pursue this project at the age of twelve when he learned from his teacher in Missouri that no full biography of Gauss existed at the time. His teacher was Gauss's great granddaughter, Minna Waldeck Gauss.

Long out of print and almost impossible to find on the used book market, this valuable piece of scholarship is being reissued in an augmented form with introductory remarks, an expanded and updated bibliography, and a commentary on Gauss's mathematical diary, by the eminent British mathematical historian, Jeremy Gray.


1. Introduction: family background
2. The enchanted boyhood
3. Student days
4. The young man
5. Astronomy and matrimony
6. Further activity
7. Back to Göttingen
8. Labour and sorrow
9. The young professor: a decade of discovery, 1812–1822
10. Geodesy and bereavement: the transitional decade, 1822–1832
11. Alliance with Weber: strenuous years
12. The electromagnetic telegraph
13. Magnetism: physics dominant
14. Surface theory, crystallography, and optics
15. Germination: non-Euclidean geometry
16. Trials and triumphs: experiencing conflict
17. Milestones on the highways and byways
18. Senex mirabilis
19. Monarch of mathematics in Europe
20. The doyen of German science, 1832–1855
21. Gathering up the threads: a broad horizon
22. Religio Scientiae: a profession of belief from the philosopher and lover of truth
23. Sunset and eventide: renunciation

24. Epilogue:
1. Apotheosis: orations of Ewald and Sartorious
2. Valhalla: posthumous recognition and honours


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