### The Power of Simple Representations

The great mathematician Karl Freidrich Gauss is frequently quoted as saying “What we need are
notions, not notations.” [In “About the proof of Wilson's theorem,” Disquisitiones
Arithmeticae (1801), Article 76.]

While most mathematicians would agree that Gauss was correct in pointing out that concepts, not symbol manipulation, are at the heart of mathematics, his words do have to be properly interpreted. While a notation does not matter, a representation can make a huge difference.