c. 500 ad
The numbering system used today in the Western world was first developed around 500 AD by Indian mathematician and astronomer, Aryabhata I. His system was improved upon around 600 AD by Arab mathematician, Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi, who introduced the “positional zero” – zeroes used to indicate multiples of 10. For most applications, this system soon replaced the cumbersome Latin system of Roman numerals. Once scholars could easily distinguish among one, 100, and 10,000, maths and science advanced in leaps and bounds.