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Mathematics is the study of numbers, quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered.
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Carl Friedrich Gauss Image credit: C.A. Jensen (17921870) 
Carl Friedrich Gauss (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and scientist of profound genius who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, electricity, magnetism, astronomy and optics. Known as "the prince of mathematicians" 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 groundbreaking mathematical discoveries while still a teenager. He completed Disquisitiones Arithmeticae, his magnum opus, at the age of twentyone (1798), though it wasn't published until 1801. This work was fundamental in consolidating number theory as a discipline and has shaped the field to the present day.
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A Bézier curve is a parametric curve important in computer graphics and related fields. Widely publicized in 1962 by the French engineer Pierre Bézier, who used them to design automobile bodies, the curves were first developed in 1959 by Paul de Casteljau using de Casteljau's algorithm. In this animation, a quartic Bézier curve is constructed using control points P_{0} through P_{4}. The green line segments join points moving at a constant rate from one control point to the next; the parameter t shows the progress over time. Meanwhile, the blue line segments join points moving in a similar manner along the green segments, and the magenta line segment points along the blue segments. Finally, the black point moves at a constant rate along the magenta line segment, tracing out the final curve in red. The curve is a fourthdegree function of its parameter. Quadratic and cubic Bézier curves are most common since higherdegree curves are more computationally costly to evaluate. When more complex shapes are needed, lowerorder Bézier curves are patched together. For example, modern computer fonts use Bézier splines composed of quadratic or cubic Bézier curves to create scalable typefaces. The curves are also used in computer animation and video games to plot smooth paths of motion. Approximate Bézier curves can be generated in the "real world" using string art.
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