Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss ( /ˈɡaʊs/; German: Gauß listen (help·info), Latin: Carolus Fridericus Gauss) (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.

Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum (Latin, "the Prince of Mathematicians" or "the foremost 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. He referred to mathematics as "the queen of sciences."

Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on April 30, 1777 in Braunschweig, in the duchy of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, now part of Lower Saxony, Germany, as the son of poor working-class parents. Indeed, his mother was illiterate and never recorded the date of his birth, remembering only that he had been born on a Wednesday, eight days before the Feast of the Ascension, which itself occurs 40 days after Easter. Gauss would later solve this puzzle for his birthdate in the context of finding the date of Easter, deriving methods to compute the date in both past and future years. He was christened and confirmed in a church near the school he attended as a child.

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