No, mathematics is not culturally neutral as cultural differences can affect the way mathematical concepts are understood and applied.

## And now, looking more attentively

Mathematics is often considered to be a universal language, but it is not culturally neutral. Cultural differences can affect the way mathematical concepts are understood and applied. As the philosopher Brenda Wingfield writes, “mathematics is never neutral – it embodies the cultural and historical circumstances in which it arises, and is inherently connected to questions of power and privilege.”

One example of cultural differences affecting mathematics can be seen in the use of different number systems. Western mathematics commonly uses the base-10 system, while other cultures use different systems such as base-20 or base-60. This can impact the methods used for arithmetic and calculations.

Another way culture impacts mathematics is through language. Mathematical concepts can be expressed in different ways, and the way these concepts are expressed can vary depending on the language. This can lead to differences in the way math is learned and taught across cultures.

Furthermore, cultural biases can also impact the development of mathematical theory. For example, the Greek mathematician Euclid’s axioms and postulates were based on Greek philosophical beliefs about geometry and the nature of truth. This has led to a Eurocentric bias in geometry that is still present today.

In addition to cultural differences, gender and racial biases can also affect mathematics education and research. As the American Mathematical Society notes, “women and underrepresented minorities continue to face numerous barriers and challenges in mathematics.”

Overall, it is important to recognize the ways in which culture impacts mathematics and to work towards a more inclusive and culturally responsive approach to math education.

Table:

| Cultural Differences Affecting Mathematics |

|——————————————-|

| Use of Different Number Systems |

| Language Differences |

| Cultural Biases in Mathematical Theory |

| Gender and Racial Biases in Mathematics |

Quote: “Mathematics is never neutral – it embodies the cultural and historical circumstances in which it arises, and is inherently connected to questions of power and privilege.” – Brenda Wingfield, philosopher.

Interesting Facts:

- The ancient Babylonians used a base-60 number system, which is why we still measure time in units of 60 (60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute).
- The Mayans used a base-20 number system, believed to be because they counted on their fingers and toes.
- The concept of zero was invented independently by different cultures, including the Babylonians, Indians, and Mayans. It was not introduced to Europe until the 12th century.

## Answer to your inquiry in video form

The satirical video “Modern Educayshun” exaggerates the effects of political correctness and sensitivity on education. The video depicts scenes where students are marked down for lacking diverse qualities and rewarded for their privileges. The focus on identity rather than achievements or intelligence is also highlighted through a scene where a student presents themselves as disadvantaged in every aspect possible to gain privilege points. The video ultimately criticizes how radical political correctness has affected academic institutions.

## See further online responses

From its inception, mathematics was intended to be independent of cultural contexts in the real world. For example, you could use the same rules of algebra and the same numerals to count your family members, your neighbors, olive trees, goats, boats, etc. There is nothing racist about possessing the ability to equitably divide one’s goats between one’s children, is there?

And you are exactly correct to point out that there is no “Greek mathematics”, no “Roman mathematics”, no “Indian mathematics”- they may all use different symbols to represent quantities and operations, but if you present a herd of goats to a Greek, a Roman, and an Indian mathematician and ask them to count the goats, they will all furnish the same answer.

## People are also interested

Accordingly, **Is math culture neutral?** In reply to that: While mathematics itself is neutral the decision of WHAT mathematicians choose to study, what gets published, what receives awards/funding, what is considered deep/profound and not profound are certainly biased culturally.

Then, **Is mathematics culturally dependent?** Answer: However, knowledge from mathematics can be derived only if the cultural setting encourages it, and only if this knowledge and understanding promotes development of the culture. This makes mathematics more dependent on culture when compared with other areas and fields of knowledge.

In this regard, **How is mathematics related to culture?**

In reply to that: *Mathematics, or using quantitative symbols to express universal truth, has been a driving force for virtually all cultures*. As societies grew and developed, they discovered new truths about mathematics and applied them to different aspects of their lifestyle.

People also ask, **Is mathematics universal or culture bound?** Answer will be: *Mathematics is universal and real itself*, as such, using adjectives like ‘universal’ or ‘real’ for mathematics is pleonasm. Beyond its etymological construction, using the word ‘ethnomathematics’ can sometimes be problematic when used in society and education.

**Is math a cultural subject?** Participants presented that math-ematics is an abstract subject, a “uni-versal language,” that numbers are the same across time, culture, and space, and therefore, mathematics instruction does not have anything to do with culture. As one group noted,

Accordingly, **Why is math neutral?**

Answer: along with the "of course math is neutral because 2+2=4" trope are the related (and creepy) "math is pure" and "protect math." reeks of white supremacist patriarchy. The tweets grabbed the attention of others within academia, including Harvard Ph.D. candidate Kareem Carr, who said, “People say it’s subjectivism to ask if math is Western.

Beside this, **How does culture affect mathematics learning?**

Answer: Taylor has focused his work on how mathematics learning, specifically, is shaped by the shared understandings of one’s culture. In part, he explores the different paths that students take to comprehend mathematics and how well they express that knowledge in the classroom. “It’s very difficult to separate issues of culture and learning,” he says.

Furthermore, **Can math be used to point out the weaknesses of Culture?**

At the same time, math can be used to make one aware of the drawbacks in one’s own culture and try to overcome them. In other words, math could and should be used to point out the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own culture.

In this regard, **Is math a cultural subject?**

Answer to this: Participants presented that math-ematics is an abstract subject, a “uni-versal language,” that numbers are the same across time, culture, and space, and therefore, mathematics instruction does not have anything to do with culture. As one group noted,

Furthermore, **Why is math neutral?**

In reply to that: along with the "of course math is neutral because 2+2=4" trope are the related (and creepy) "math is pure" and "protect math." reeks of white supremacist patriarchy. The tweets grabbed the attention of others within academia, including Harvard Ph.D. candidate Kareem Carr, who said, “People say it’s subjectivism to ask if math is Western.

Also to know is, **How does culture affect mathematics learning?**

Taylor has focused his work on how mathematics learning, specifically, is shaped by the *shared understandings* of one’s culture. In part, he explores the different paths that students take to comprehend mathematics and how well they express that knowledge in the classroom. “It’s very difficult to separate issues of culture and learning,” he says.

In this regard, **Can math be used to point out the weaknesses of Culture?** The answer is: At the same time, math can be used to make one aware of the drawbacks in one’s own culture and try to overcome them. In other words, math could and should be used to point out the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own culture.