Math in the Middle Institute Partnership


Date of this Version



In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching with a Specialization in the Teaching of Middle Level Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics. David Fowler, Advisor July 2007


The number zero is a very powerful tool in mathematics that has many different applications and rules. An interesting fact about the number zero is that according to our calendar (the Gregorian calendar), there is no “year zero” in our history. There is also no “zeroth” century as time is recorded from centuries B.C. to the 1st century A.D. However, certain calendars do have a year zero. In the astronomical year numbering system year zero is defined as year 1 BC. Buddhist and Hindu lunar calendars also have a year zero. In this paper I am going to discuss many different uses of the number zero in mathematics and in the world. I am also going to discuss the origins of the number zero.