Archive for History of Exact Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 553–580 | Cite as

Reading Gauss in the Computer Age: On the U.S. Reception of Gauss’s Number Theoretical Work (1938–1989)

  • Maarten BullynckEmail author


C.F Gauss’s computational work in number theory attracted renewed interest in the twentieth century due to, on the one hand, the edition of Gauss’s Werke, and, on the other hand, the birth of the digital electronic computer. The involvement of the U.S. American mathematicians Derrick Henry Lehmer and Daniel Shanks with Gauss’s work is analysed, especially their continuation of work on topics as arccotangents, factors of n 2 + a 2, composition of binary quadratic forms. In general, this strand in Gauss’s reception is part of a more general phenomenon, i.e. the influence of the computer on mathematics and one of its effects, the reappraisal of mathematical exploration.


Quadratic Form Number Theory Class Group Class Number Derrick 
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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IZWT, Bergische Universität WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.GentBelgium

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