Carl Friedrich Gauss



Geboren 30 April 1777

Gestorben 23 Februar 1855


Dem erhadenen Denker der die Verborgsten Geheimnisse der Wissenshaft der Zahlen und der Raumes entschleirt der die gesetze. Der himmilische und irdirchen Naturscheinungen ergruendet und dem Wohle der Menschheit diensbar Gemacht hat. Zur Saecularfeier seiner geburtstages in seinen Vaterstadt Braunschweig gewinmet von der dankbar nachwelt.



Born April 30, 1777

Died February 23, 1855


To the prominent philosopher, who revealed the once hidden secrets of nature, resolving the laws of mathematics and astronomy. He explained heavenly and earthly physics for the betterment of all mankind. From his birthplace, Braunschweig, a grateful acknowledgment that subsequent generations have profited from his work.


(Note: The German text above is the actual statement on the back of the Gauss statue, and the English is my attempt at translation. I found this statement a bit tricky to translate into English, but I hope I captured its essence. However, if anyone has any advice on improving it to share with me, I would be most appreciative. Click here to send me a note.)


The GPS coordinates for the Gauss statue in Braunschweig are 52 16' 19.09"N and 10 31' 21.48"E, according to Google Earth, where it can easily be seen.


I notice that Gauss is listed in many text books as Karl. But please notice the spelling of his name on the statue, it clearly shows Carl. A picture of Gauss graced the German 10DM note for many years, as shown to the right. Note the picture of the Gaussian distribution in the center of the bill along with the spelling of his name vertically on the right side, "Carl Friedr. Gauβ".


One famous story about Gauss as a child was that a teacher asked Gauss' class to add all the whole numbers between 1 and 100, hoping that it would take the class some time to complete the assignment. Much to the teacher's amazement, Gauss calculated the answer very quickly. How did he do it?

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