Happy birthday, Carl Friedrich Gauß

Gaussian curvature Google is honoring Carl Friedrich Gauss today (April 30, 2018) with a Google Doodle, in honor of his birthday.  Although Mathematical Reviews didn’t start until 1940, or 84 years after Gauss had died, he has an author profile in MathSciNet and 36 publications.  The MacTutor site has a nice biography of Gauss.  There are many others available, either on the web, as articles, or in book form.

Since this blog is about Mathematical Reviews and MathSciNet, let me point out that Gauss also has 238 Related Publications in MathSciNet.  What are “related publications” in an Author Profile?  Thank you for asking:  These are other items (articles, books, proceedings) connected in a significant way to the author, but for which the person was not the author. The most common examples are items for which the person was an editor, a translator, or was the subject of a biography.

People worry about citation counts.  The esteemed Gauss has 345 citations to his work.  I am told that deans prefer to use citation counts from broad-based sources, such as Web of Science.   If that is the case, Gauss is in trouble since I can only find two items for him in Web of Science.  Both are from the Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, aka, Crelle’s Journal.  Neither paper has any citations in the database.  As a result, Gauss’s citation count in Web of Science is 0.  A search for “Carl Friedrich Gauss” brings up 25,200 results in Google Scholar.  However, since Gauss never created a profile for himself on Google Scholar, you have to compute his citation count by hand.  (He has a lot.)

In the Mathematical Reviews Database, Gauss’s most cited work is

Gauss, Carl Friedrich
Disquisitiones arithmeticae.
Translated into English by Arthur A. Clarke, S. J. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.-London 1966 xx+472 pp.

The short review is by W.J. LeVeque, a number theorist who used to be Executive Editor of Mathematical Reviews, then later became the Executive Director of the AMS.  The gist of the review is astonishment that this is the first published English translation of this famous work.

For fun, searching the Mathematics Subject Classification for Gauss brings up matches in number theory and real functions:  Gauss sums and Integral formulas (Stokes, Gauss, Green, etc.), but nothing from differential geometry, probability, mathematical physics, usw.

Happy 241st birthday, Carl Friedrich Gauss.

About Edward Dunne

I am the Executive Editor of Mathematical Reviews. Previously, I was an editor for the AMS Book Program for 17 years. Before working for the AMS, I had an academic career working at Rice University, Oxford University, and Oklahoma State University. In 1990-91, I worked for Springer-Verlag in Heidelberg. My Ph.D. is from Harvard. I received a world-class liberal arts education as an undergraduate at Santa Clara University.
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