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A Stroll through the Gaussian Primes

by Ellen Gethner, Stan Wagon, Brian Wick

Year of Award: 2002

Award: Chauvenet Prize

Publication Information: American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 105 (1998), pp. 327-337

Summary: A study of the Gaussian moat problem with a summary of definitions and facts about the G-primes, several new Gaussian moats, and results that were inspired by William Duke and questions of Gaussian prime geometry.

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About the Author(s): (from American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 105, 1998) Ellen Gethner received her M.A. from the University of Washington and Ph.D. in modular forms from Ohio State University. She has been a visiting assistant professor at Grinnell College and at Swarthmore College, and has enjoyed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, CA. She is now an assistant professor of mathematics at Claremont-McKenna College.

Stan Wagon is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Macalester College. He is quite enthralled by the way Mathematica enhances one’s abilities to see ad gain insights about familiar mathematical objects and has written many books and papers on that theme. Inspirations for the present paper came in part from the many hours he has spent staring at the tiling on his bathroom walls, which is in the pattern of the Gaussian primes. He loves mountaineering activities of all sorts.

Brian Wick received his B.Sc. and M.S. degrees from San Diego State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in the field of infinite Abelian groups, under the direction of Dr. Robert Warfield. Upon graduation, he was hired by the University of Alaska Anchorage to develop a baccalaureate degree program in mathematics. He chaired the department for 10 years. Now the department consists of 24 tenure-track faculty member in the fields of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. His current interest is in the mathematical aspects of digital processing and computer graphics. He enjoys hiking and camping in the wilderness areas of Alaska, California, and Colorado.

Subject classification(s): Index
Publication Date: 
Friday, October 10, 0008