Good news: maths just became a lot more accessible, at least for Aboriginal Australians. The science department at Australian National University (ANU), one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country, is now offering the chance to study “Indigenous mathematics”. ANU academic Rowena Ball claimed this month that “students of under-represented and minority groups and colonised peoples are starting to be more critical about accepting unquestioningly the cultural hegemony of mainstream European-based mathematics.”

For those confused about the “cultural hegemony” of European maths, Ball helpfully goes further. “Mathematics has been gatekept by the West and defined to exclude entire cultures,” she says. The ANU write-up of her Mathematics Without Borders initiative also stresses that “numbers and arithmetic and accounting often are of secondary importance in Indigenous mathematics”, and that students have been receptive of the idea. Teenagers welcoming maths lessons without numbers: surely not?