Versions of the Gauss Schoolroom Anecdote Transcribed below are 109 tellings of the story about Calculus with analytic geometry simmons pdf Friedrich Gauss’s boyhood discovery of the “trick” for summing an arithmetic progression. Many were found through conventional methods of library research. I began with biographies of Gauss, then followed references mentioned by the biographers, and I was also guided by the major Gauss bibliography assembled by Uta C.

On the World Wide Web, search engines offered a very efficient means of locating versions of the story. Another invaluable resource was the Google Book Search. This service has been controversial because some authors and publishers maintain it infringes their copyrights. My thanks to the librarians of the following institutions: Boston College, the Boston Public Library, Boston University, Brown University, Duke University, Mt. Johannes Berg of the University of Cologne and Stephan Mertens of the University of Magdeburg helped me in this curious pursuit by supplying documents I could not obtain in the U. The versions of the tale presented here are only a sample of those in the worldwide literature.

I would be happy to receive other tellings of the story, in any language, and will attempt to include them in this archive. Of particular interest are any versions that predate those of Eric Temple Bell and Ludwig Bieberbach in 1937 and 1938. One comes from a new book by Ian Stewart, another from an 1877 biographical sketch by F. Winnecke, and the third from a 1906 pamphlet authored by Franz Mathé.

This last item is particularly notable because it includes the 1-to-100 example. It is the earliest such instance I have found, more than 30 years ahead of Ludwig Beiberbach’s account. They are a 1937 essay by G. Munro titled Heroes of the Telegraph, and Stephen W. Hawking’s 2005 book God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs that Changed History. Update 2007-06-13: Thanks to the further diligent sleuthing of Barry Cipra and others, the collection now has another 20 entries, for a total of 134. The additions include three literary genres that had not yet been represented: a one-act play, a treatment of the theme in verse, and a joke!