Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege


Funny, these things belong to all peoples, all humanity. It’s math.

And by the way Algebra specifically was developed to a very large extent in the Arab and Persian worlds. So is this professor being outwardly anti-Arab?

(From Campus Reform)

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” Gutierrez argued.

Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”

Math also helps actively perpetuate white privilege too, since the way our economy places a premium on math skills gives math a form of “unearned privilege” for math professors, who are disproportionately white.

“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?” she asks, further wondering why math professors get more research grants than “social studies or English” professors.

I have a Political “Science” degree. Politics is one of my great loves and is very very worthy of deep study. But it’s not a “science”. Heck, economics, one of my other loves isn’t even a “science”. (Though it often likes to dress like one.)

Math is however a science. Probably the purest of sciences. And exploring math does more than offer insight into last year’s election, or into why the Russian Revolution happened. Math gives us things like expandable computer files, and spaceflight, and bridges. As such I’m OK with the mathematicians getting a big chunk of research grants.

Sorry but Film Studies doesn’t offer the same return on investment. That’s just the way it is, and sane people understand this.

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