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Women in Mathematics

kind? There are so many different kinds of math to just categorize tham and not list them. Though they generally fall into two kinds of math. pure or applied.

not heavy in education or stats as those focus on teaching and business and not much actual math (I consider statistics a separate field in math)

It drives me insane when they list careers for mathematicians it is always

secondary education teacher

actuary

statistical work

other statistical work

some other statistical work

maybe statistical work for science

"There are options out there," said Tom Rishel, associate director of programs and services at the Mathematical Association of America in Washington. "It's not just a question of being a teacher or actuary. There are all these other possibilities."

there is so much to learn...

there is so much to learn...

quite! stats degrees are handled by the math department, and so are some types of education degrees. While actuarial degrees are all "math" they are primarily statistics with maybe the Calculus series and I could see Combinatorics at certain colleges.

The largest employer of mathematicians in the world is the NSA (National Security Agency)

if you do academia, then you do research and teach college.

NSA- cryptology, cryptography, cryptoanalysis

Computers- write algorithms for computers, test computer algorithms (I saw tons of double majors for Math and Computer Science) and theoretical computer science (such as artificial intelligence-which requires huge amounts of math)

Mathematical modeling-use numerical procedures and computers to analyze data and model physical systems (can be for biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, optimization-business, etc.

Theoretical mathematicians come up with new theorems, applications, relationships, etc.

Applied mathematicians use the new theories and techniques to apply to every day situations.

Though once you get beyond a Bachelor's almost all mathematicians need to be incredible well-versed in computer technology.

you can do consulting (essentially applied mathematics over several disciplines hired by companies to perform advanced mathematics).

Scientific research (some of the mathematicians I knew were working with Biochemists to map out cell signaling and eventually figure out how cancerous cells communicate). The Biochemists needed the mathematicians to write computer programs and number crunch and to handle the advanced theoretical math involved in the project.

there were 2 or 3 women in my number theory class, I can only guess that they're math majors (though they may be CS, and frankly, I wasn't a math or CS major and I took it anyways, so who knows), but number theory is "pure math" enough.

Once I got to graduate level math though...it's pretty bleak.

The standard explanation is described here, complete with maths: a small male advantage in ability and greater male variation in ability means more males at the high ability end of the curve. The author assumes no difference in interest.

The opposite explanation is here, that 96% of the difference in the numbers of male and female mathematicians and physicists can be explained by self-selection based on interest, leaving little to be explained by differences in ability.

I don't have enough data for an informed opinion, so i offer these two articles without comment.

The standard explanation is described here, complete with maths: a small male advantage in ability and greater male variation in ability means more males at the high ability end of the curve. The author assumes no difference in interest.

The opposite explanation is here, that 96% of the difference in the numbers of male and female mathematicians and physicists can be explained by self-selection based on interest, leaving little to be explained by differences in ability.

I don't have enough data for an informed opinion, so i offer these two articles without comment.

there is a definite possibility of a combination of less desire and less skill.

The greater male variability could be a large part of it; given that in a field such as math the only people who matter are those at the very far end of the bell curve, the broader bell curve seen for males could result in disproportionate representation at the highest levels in the field even when males and females are roughly equal in ability on average.

_________________

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I love mathematics, and I have been personally biased against due to gender. When I was in 2nd grade, I learned all the multiplication and long division effortlessly. My parents were interested in putting me in an accelerated math program, but the school thought it wouldn't be best "developmentally" due to that boys dominated the program. Having poor social skills, and the high possibility of being bullied, my parents decided not to put me in the program!

I learned Algebra in 8th grade, but I was put into it twice more in 9th and 10th grade even though I always pulled off an A everytime. They thought I wasn't capable of "moving on" to higher maths. In 11th, I finally went into Geometry and got an A. I went to a new school for 12th grade, and they are much more supportive of my endeavors. They even gave me a calculus book to study on my own.

Boys are not "naturally" better at math than girls. I think a lot of it has to do with stereotypes. Likewise, girls aren't naturally better at the arts than boys. The sciences were male dominated but more girls are finding out they can excel in the same areas. This should be proof that society should stop making excuses for girls and empower them instead.

I've known girls who earned straight "As" in math, but who were discouraged or intimidated from taking maths higher than high-school algebra.

This may be a holdover from the pre-1960s era, when women were believed to attend college only to earn an "MRS" degree - husband-hunting, as it were, and that woman with a college graduate husband have no need to earn an actual degree in the first place. Barbaric times.

I've offered to tutor nieces in algebra for free, but the girls soon lose interest in favor of texting their bffs about who said what to whom and why ...

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• Et Serviunt Qui Non Videntur •• Et Serviunt Qui Non Videntur •

It's primarily a US cultural phenomenon. Women who come from other countries do just fine, and their numbers are increasing, even in those countries. It's a matter of expectation. We don't expect much from our students, male or female.

**Quote:**

The study suggests that while many girls have exceptional talent in math — the talent to become top math researchers, scientists and engineers — they are rarely identified in the United States. A major reason, according to the study, is that American culture does not highly value talent in math, and so discourages girls — and boys, for that matter — from excelling in the field. The study will be published Friday in Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

“We’re living in a culture that is telling girls you can’t do math — that’s telling everybody that only Asians and nerds do math,” said the study’s lead author, Janet E. Mertz, an oncology professor at the University of Wisconsin, whose son is a winner of what is viewed as the world’s most-demanding math competitions. “Kids in high school, where social interactions are really important, think, ‘If I’m not an Asian or a nerd, I’d better not be on the math team.’ Kids are self selecting. For social reasons they’re not even trying.”

Many studies have examined and debated gender differences and math, but most rely on the results of the SAT and other standardized tests, Dr. Mertz and many mathematicians say. But those tests were never intended to measure the dazzling creativity, insight and reasoning skills required to solve math problems at the highest levels, Dr. Mertz and others say.

Dr. Mertz asserts that the new study is the first to examine data from the most difficult math competitions for young people, including the USA and International Mathematical Olympiads for high school students, and the Putnam Mathematical Competition for college undergraduates. For winners of these competitions, the Michael Phelpses and Kobe Bryants of math, getting an 800 on the math SAT is routine. The study found that many students from the United States in these competitions are immigrants or children of immigrants from countries where education in mathematics is prized and mathematical talent is thought to be widely distributed and able to be cultivated through hard work and persistence.

**Quote:**

“Here everybody plays baseball,” Dr. Feng said. “Everybody throws a few balls, regardless of whether you’re good at it, or not. If you don’t play well, it’s O.K. Everybody gives you a few claps. But people don’t treat math that way.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/educa ... nted=print

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