# Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/30

To illustrate the power of methods, and the necessity of their use, take the case of the method of notation, so characteristic of mathematics, and take it even in its simplest and most familiar form: Nine numeral figures, having each a value of its own, and another dependent upon its position; a few letters, a and b, and x and y, connected by symbols, ${\displaystyle +}$ and ${\displaystyle -}$ and ${\displaystyle =}$ that is all. And yet, by the use of