**Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss** was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, electrostatics, astronomy, and optics. Sometimes known as the *princeps mathematicorum* 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 He completed *Disquisitiones Arithmeticae*, his magnum opus, in 1798 at the age of 21, though it would not be published until 1801. This work was fundamental in consolidating number theory as a discipline and has shaped the field to the present day.