The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) recently asserted that math “inherently carries human biases” in a recent statement from its “Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics.”
The MAA is a professional association of high school and university teachers. It hosts the American Mathematics Competitions for middle and high school students, as well as publishes academic journals. It prides itself as “the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts.”
In opposition to President Trump’s recent executive actions to ban the use of Critical Race Theory training in the federal government, the MAA said that critical race theory “is an established social science inquiry which is grounded in decades of scholarship,” further asserting that “it is misguided, at best, to reduce this theory to the race-blaming of white people and to define it and the discussion of systemic racism as a ‘divisive concept.’”
The statement then turned its attention to the inherent bias that allegedly exists in mathematics.
“Although mathematics, science, and higher education develop fact-based theories and practices that should inform policy, they are also political because they exist within a highly politicized system,” says the statement.
“Acknowledging that the United States has serious systemic discrimination has somehow leaped from a political issue to a partisan issue.”
In conclusion, the MMA says that “it is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases.”
“Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential. Reaching this potential in mathematics relies upon the academy and higher education engaging in critical, challenging, sometimes uncomfortable conversations about the detrimental effects of race and racism on our community,” the MMA added.
Several American university professors signed the document. Among these are Jenna Carpenter, the Dean of Engineering at Campbell University and Victor Piercey, an actuarial sciences professor at Ferris State University.
National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform that legitimate scholarship “dedicates itself to the search for truth.”
However, “Critical Race Theory denies that the search for truth is possible, and seeks power instead. Scholarship judges arguments. Critical Race Theory judges who makes the arguments. You can be a scholar or an adherent of Critical Race Theory; you cannot be both.”
Randall explains that “mathematics has always been the purest field of scholarship... 2 + 2 = 4 everywhere in the universe, and always will.”
Nevertheless, “critical race theorists may demand that we believe that 2 + 2 = 5, because bias affects mathematics and bias must be overcome, but free minds will never assent.”
Campus Reform reached out to the MAA for comment and will update this article accordingly.