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Christian Goldbach
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    (March 18, 1690-November 20, 1764)
    Born in Konigsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia)
    Professor of Mathematics at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences
    Best-known for Goldbach’s Conjecture: Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers
    4 = 2+2
    6 = 3+3
    8 = 5+3
    10 = 3+7 or 5+5
    100 = 3+97 or 7+93 or 11+89 or 13+87 or 17+83 or 29+71 or 41+59 or 43+57
    He studied law and medicine, not mathematics.
    When mathematician Nicholas Bernoulli gave him a book explaining infinite series, he gave up in frustration (1712).
    Although Goldbach’s Conjecture remains unproven (as of 2020), it never really caught the collective imagination in the way Fermat’s last theorem did.
    Five years after giving up on Bernoulli’s book, he was reintroduced to infinite series and grokked the concept.
    He was fluent in German, French, Russian, Italian, and Latin.
    He was asked by the Romanovs to develop guidelines for the education of their children; his recommendations were followed for the next century.
    Analysis using computers has shown that Goldbach’s Conjecture holds for even numbers up to 4x10^18.
    Bloomberg and Faber and Faber (the US and UK publishers of the novel ‘Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture’) offered a prize of $1,000,000 to anyone who could prove Goldbach’s Conjecture. (Note before you take a crack at it: the offer expired in 2002.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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