Dick Lipton has an interesting post about the history of mathematical notation, and how it affects the thinking of those who use it. During the discussion he references a mathematician I had never heard of, one “Johann Gauss”. Well, it turns out that was indeed the great man’s name!

UPDATE: it occurs to me that this post might be incomprehensible to the non-geek community. The point is that Gauss – one of the greatest of all mathematicians – is near universally known as Carl Friedrich Gauss. I am quite surprised that I have managed to get this far through my life without knowing his full name.

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