Zero also fits the pattern when you count which is the same as alternating even (

**E**) and odd (

**O**) numbers.

As you can see, even numbers such as 4 have no "odd man out" whereas odd numbers such as 3 always have one left over. Similarly, when zero is split into two groups, there is not a single star that does not fit into one of the two groups. Each group contains no stars or exactly the same amount. Consequently, zero is even.

Algebraically, we can write even numbers as

**2n**where

**n**is an integer while odd numbers are written as

**2n + 1**where "n" is an integer.

**If n = 0, then 2n = 2 x 0 = 0 (even)**and

**2n + 1 = 2 x 0 + 1 = 1 (odd).**All integers are either even or odd. (This is a theorem). Zero is not odd because it cannot fit the form 2n + 1 where "n" is an integer. Therefore, since it is not odd, it must be even.

I know this seems much ado about nothing, but a great deal of discussion has surrounded this very fact on the college level. Some instructors feel zero is neither odd or even. (Yes, we like to debate things that seem obvious to others.)

Consider this multiple choice question. (It might just appear on some important standardized test.)Which answer would you choose and why?

**Zero is…**

a.) even

b.) odd

c.) all of the above

d.) none of the above

a.) even

b.) odd

c.) all of the above

d.) none of the above

Mathematically, I see zero as the count of

*no objects,*or

*in more formal terms, it is the number of objects in the empty set. Also, since zero is defined as an even number in most math textbooks, and is divisible by 2 with no remainder, then*

**"a"**is my answer.

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