Our Daily Story #5: The Prince of Math

Carl Friedrich Gauss is named the “Prince of Math” for his great contributions in almost every branch of Math.

As a child of a bricklayer father, Gauss used to follow his father to construction site to help counting the bricks. He learned how to stack the bricks in a pile of ten, add them up to obtain the total. If a pile has only 3, for example, he would top up 7 to make it 10 in a pile. Then 15 piles of 10 bricks would give a total of 150 bricks.

One day in school, his teacher wanted to occupy the 9-year-old children from talking in class, made them add the sum:
1 + 2 + 3+ ….+ 98 + 99 + 100 = ?

Gauss was the first child to submit the sum within few seconds = 5,050.

He used his brick piling technique: add

1 + 100 = 101
2 + 99 = 101
3 + 98 = 101


49 + 52 = 101
50 + 51 = 101

In the 100 numbers broken down in pair of two as above, there are 50 pairs of sum 101, which gives total of 5050.
This is a high school math formula for the Sum (S) of a series: {(1, 2, 3,... n)}
\boxed {S = \frac {n.(n+1)} {2} }

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss

References:
1.
https://tomcircle.wordpress.com/?s=gauss&submit=Search

2.
https://tomcircle.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/nephew-and-maternal-uncle/

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3 thoughts on “Our Daily Story #5: The Prince of Math

  1. Pingback: Our Daily Story #9: The Indian Clerk Mathematician | Math Online Tom Circle

  2. Pingback: Our Daily Story #12: The Vagabond Mathematician Paul Erdős | Math Online Tom Circle

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