Gauss, The Chuck Norris of Mathematics

Chuck Norris (Family Guy)I stumbled across the website of Chuck Norris Facts not long ago.  You know such treasured gems as

1. When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.
2. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.
3. Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.
and my personal favorite
4. Chuck Norris doesn’t eat honey, he chews bees.

Well, I was quite impressed when I came across a similar list of facts about one of the greatest (some would say THE greatest) mathematicians of all time, Carl Friedrich Gauss.

Carl Friedrich GaussFrom Matt Heath:

  • Gauss didn’t discover the normal distribution, nature conformed to his will.
  • Gauss can construct transcendental numbers only using a compass.
  • Parallel lines meet where Gauss tells them to.
  • Some problems are NP because Gauss doesn’t like computers.
  • Gauss never runs out of room in the margin.
  • Gauss can write irrationals as the ratio of 2 integers.
  • Gauss never needs the axiom of choice.
  • Gauss can square the circle and then transform it into the hyper-sphere.
  • The location and momentum of a particle are what Gauss say they are.
  • An elegant proof is one line long. Gauss’ elegant proofs are one word long.
  • Gauss doesn’t look for roots of equations, they come to him.
  • There are no theorems, just a list of propositions Gauss allows to be true.
  • When Gauss integrates he doesn’t need to add a constant.
  • Hilbert put forward 23 unsolved problems because he hadn’t properly read Gauss’ notebooks.
  • Gauss knows the topological difference between a doughnut and a coffee cup.
  • Gauss can divide by zero.
  • Gauss would never ever have a badbox error.
  • Primes that aren’t Gaussian primes get teased.
  • If Gauss had to walk 100 metres, and half the remaining distance, then half the remaining distance again, and so on, he’d get there.
  • Erdos believed God had a book of all perfect mathematical proofs. God believes Gauss has such a book.
  • Gauss has Hilbert hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane.
  • God does not play dice, unless Gauss promises to let him win once in a while.

My favorite has to be "Gauss doesn’t look for roots of equations, they come to him."

7 thoughts on “Gauss, The Chuck Norris of Mathematics

  1. I just did this in a prof dev warm-up activity, where my participants had to create their own. My example that I personally love (although I am biased since I made it) is…”The Golden Ratio was silver before Chuck Norris touched it.”


  2. Great post, I doubt someone else has ever made such an unexpected comparison…

    Gauss was the man, indeed. THE greatest mathematician ever, closely followed by Newton and Archimedes.


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