# Math 0

A reader at the Math 0 level has only a grasp of ba­sic ar­ith­metic and solv­ing prob­lems that em­ploy ba­sic ar­ith­meti­cal con­cepts. Gen­er­ally, they will not have any ex­pe­rience with alge­bra.

There’s no shame in be­ing Math 0! We all started learn­ing at some point, and Ar­bital aims to provide ex­pla­na­tions of im­por­tant math­e­mat­i­cal con­cepts for read­ers of all back­grounds, in­clud­ing peo­ple at a Math 0 level. Even if you learned math to a Math 1 level in high school and for­got it all af­ter­wards, we’re here to help you re­mem­ber what you need to know, and un­der­stand it bet­ter than you did be­fore.

## Writ­ing for a Math 0 audience

When writ­ing for read­ers at a Math 0 level, avoid the use of any vari­ables or spe­cial sym­bols when­ever pos­si­ble, un­less you’re in­tro­duc­ing the new sym­bol to them in the first place. Also try to keep ar­ti­cle text at a read­abil­ity level of a sev­enth or eighth grade stu­dent.

Use plenty of images — giv­ing vi­su­al­iza­tions of what’s go­ing on is a very helpful tool in teach­ing.

If you’re hav­ing a hard time wran­gling down the sub­ject to that level of read­abil­ity, per­haps re­con­sider the level of your tu­to­rial — the sub­ject might not be ac­cessible to Math 0 read­ers any­way.

Parents:

• Mathematics

Math­e­mat­ics is the study of num­bers and other ideal ob­jects that can be de­scribed by ax­ioms.

• I think we need a more ap­pro­pri­ate defi­ni­tion of Math 0 that doesn’t rely on the nega­tion of some prop­erty such as “be­ing ac­tively bad at math”.

It seems like what you re­ally mean by Math 0, out­side of that one sec­tion of the Bayes’ Rule ques­tion­naire, is “This req­ui­site de­notes peo­ple who have lit­tle to no math­e­mat­i­cal skill out­side of ba­sic ar­ith­metic and some prob­lem solv­ing,” which is in­tu­itively what makes sense for that level.

I think it’s kind of un­nec­es­sary to state that Math 0 peo­ple are not averse to nu­mer­acy for what­ever rea­son, to speci­fi­cally block out the peo­ple who “hate” math. The Math 0/​1/​2/​3 scale is sup­posed to be a slid­ing scale of abil­ity to read math­e­mat­i­cal no­ta­tion and un­der­stand some baseline con­cepts; psy­cholog­i­cal aver­sion or ac­tive ig­no­rance is an­other di­men­sion al­to­gether.

For ex­am­ple, some­body might be trau­ma­tized by Galois the­ory due to hav­ing an es­pe­cially hard time learn­ing it in courses, but they’d oth­er­wise be fine learn­ing about any­thing else. Maybe they were great at math as a kid but then some­thing hap­pened in their adult­hood that started mak­ing them hate it. In such a case, they’d still be able to un­der­stand things, and it’s that ex­act un­der­stand­ing that trau­ma­tizes them. Such a per­son might even be at a Math 2 level if they hadn’t been trau­ma­tized, but this scale places them be­low Math 0 for an en­tirely un­re­lated rea­son.

It would be a bet­ter thing, in my opinion, for us to guide peo­ple like these to­wards re­sources that can help them get over that aver­sion, rather than ex­clud­ing them from Math 0 and tel­ling them to come back when they don’t have that prob­lem any­more.