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is the study of numbers, quantity, space, structure, and change.

Mathematics is
used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural
science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the
branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other
fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads
to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and
game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its
own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating
pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure
mathematics are often discovered.

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Carl Friedrich Gauss.jpg


Carl Friedrich Gauss
Image credit: C.A. Jensen (1792-1870)
Carl Friedrich Gauss (30 April 1777 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician
and scientist of profound genius who contributed significantly to many fields,
including number theory, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, electricity,
magnetism, astronomy and optics. Known as "the prince of mathematicians" and
"greatest mathematician since antiquity", Gauss had a remarkable influence in many
fields of mathematics and science and is ranked as one of history's most
influential mathematicians.

Gauss was a child prodigy, of whom there are many anecdotes pertaining to his
astounding precocity while a mere toddler, and made his first ground-breaking
mathematical discoveries while still a teenager. He completed Disquisitiones
Arithmeticae, his magnum opus, at the age of twenty-one (1798), though it wasn't
published until 1801. This work was fundamental in consolidating number theory as a
discipline and has shaped the field to the present day.

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ASCII-art depiction of the Mandelbrot set
Credit: Elphaba
This is a modern reproduction of the first published image of the Mandelbrot set,
which appeared in 1978 in a technical paper on Kleinian groups by Robert W. Brooks
and Peter Matelski. The Mandelbrot set consists of the points c in the complex
plane that generate a bounded sequence of values when the recursive relation zn+1 =
zn2 + c is repeatedly applied starting with z0 = 0. The boundary of the set is a
highly complicated fractal, revealing ever finer detail at increasing
magnifications. The boundary also incorporates smaller near-copies of the overall
shape, a phenomenon known as quasi-self-similarity. The ASCII-art depiction seen in
this image only hints at the complexity of the boundary of the set. Advances in
computing power and computer graphics in the 1980s resulted in the publication of
high-resolution color images of the set (in which the colors of points outside the
set reflect how quickly the corresponding sequences of complex numbers diverge),
and made the Mandelbrot set widely known by the general public. Named by
mathematicians Adrien Douady and John H. Hubbard in honor of Benoit Mandelbrot, one
of the first mathematicians to study the set in detail, the Mandelbrot set is
closely related to the Julia set, which was studied by Gaston Julia beginning in
the 1910s.

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Did you know...
Did you know...
...that you cannot knot strings in 4-dimensions? You can, however, knot 2-
dimensional surfaces like spheres.
...that there are 6 unsolved mathematics problems whose solutions will earn you one
million US dollars each?
...that there are different sizes of infinite sets in set theory? More precisely,
not all infinite cardinal numbers are equal?
...that every natural number can be written as the sum of four squares?
...that the largest known prime number is over 22 million digits long?
...that the set of rational numbers is equal in size to the subset of integers;
that is, they can be put in one-to-one correspondence?
...that there are precisely six convex regular polytopes in four dimensions? These
are analogs of the five Platonic solids known to the ancient Greeks.

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Index of mathematics articles
ARTICLE INDEX: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z (09)
MATHEMATICIANS: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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