Home > Math Lint Archive Detail

<< Prev 5/6/2007 Next >>

Changing Value of 0

While reading The New York Times, both the headline and the sub-headline caught my attention:

"The Value of ZERO is Rising"
"Signifying Nothing, Yet Full of Swagger"

But then I became disappointed on finding out what artcle was about. Basically, college basketball teams are experiencing a current rush of players trying to get jerseys No. 0 or No. 00.

Aaron Brooks, Oregon Ducks guard, explains his rationale for wearning the No. 0: "No matter who you are, wearing the number means something. It means that you've got to be more than a zero."

In the past, the No. 0 once was reserved for players who were "goofballs and contrarians." Now, Jenkins claims that "the zero's negative connotation has actually driven its recent spike in popularity...it is for the recruit who received zero scholarhsip offers, zero sneaker deals, zero love. By wearing the number, a player is able to embrace his past as a zero and motivate himself to put up bigger and bigger numbers."

Maybe we should use this same logic when grading students in our mathematics classrooms?

Source: Lee Jenkins' "The Value of ZERO is Rising," New York Times, March 15, 2007, p. C15.