Roman numerals, anyone? Poll suggests bias against Arabic numerals |

Roman numerals, anyone? Poll suggests bias against Arabic numerals

Deb Erdley

Who knows exactly what a new poll says about mathematics in America, but the reactions to a recent poll on the topic are a little alarming.

When CivicScience, a Pittsburgh-based market research firm, polled more than 3,200 Americans on the issue of mathematics instruction last week, 56% of the respondents said Arabic numerals should not be taught in American schools; 29% said it should be part of the curriculum, while 16% offered no opinion.

Did they realize we’ve been using Arabic numerals for just about everything under the sun since the founding fathers gave us 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights?

CivicScience CEO John Dick tweeted that the results of the poll that was weighted for gender and age according to the U.S. Census, suggest a latent bias among respondents.

Maybe the word Arabic triggered it.

On the other hand, maybe the majority struggled with that other famous gift from the Arabic peninsula: algebra.

Roman numerals, anyone?

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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