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Yitzchak Frank

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date: 22 February 2020

Knowledge of mathematics is important for the individual and for society. For the affected individual, low numeracy causes daily difficulties, and, similar to low literacy, is a handicap for life chances. It constitutes an impediment to employability, reduces lifetime earnings, and is a risk factor for depression. For society, improvement in mathematics and science performance has been associated with an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) (Butterworth et al, 2011). Mathematics is a complex subject, involving language, space, and quantity. Even simple numerical abilities, such as arithmetic or counting, involve transcoding between spoken number words and Arabic numerals, relating these to semantic representations of set size (“numerosity”), to reasoning about relative set sizes (if 1 is added to 2, the result should be 3), and understanding the relations between set size and counting order.

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