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HYPSM Admissions for Girls

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Replies to: HYPSM Admissions for Girls

  • cellardwellercellardweller 1559 replies8 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are over twice as many boys as girls with perfect math SAT scores.

    How could anyone who knows this fact still believe that girls do not have an advantage in gaining admission to MIT?

    Anybody making the above inference would fail Stats 101 and knows nothing about MIT. Any girl at MIT would kick his a**.

    Math SAT tests at best 8th grade level math. It tells nothing about how you will do in high level mathematics. If you want to be admitted to college solely based on your test scores, don't bother applying to MIT. Go to Caltech.
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  • 1q2w3e4r1q2w3e4r 49 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^u funny lol
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  • transfers2010transfers2010 475 replies19 threadsRegistered User Member
    Anybody making the above inference would fail Stats 101 and knows nothing about MIT. Any girl at MIT would kick his a**.

    Math SAT tests at best 8th grade level math. It tells nothing about how you will do in high level mathematics. If you want to be admitted to college solely based on your test scores, don't bother applying to MIT. Go to Caltech.

    First, the math SAT doesn't test eighth grade math. Second, if the test is so easy, why do the majority of students at Harvard, Caltech, Yale, and MIT score below 800 on it?

    And do you seriously think there is no correlation between SAT math scores and success in mathematics in college?

    The simple fact is that boys have a tougher time getting into MIT because there are far more qualified boys than girls who apply.
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  • MeSsIaH.MeSsIaH. 619 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^because while the math is easy, the reading is hard >.<

    Girls have much better opportunities than guys in math, so its easier to build an impressive looking resume. For mop, last year you only needed an 8 usamo if you were female, but a 18 usamo if you were male.
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  • al6200al6200 1513 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I wonder if this is a matter of means vs. standard deviation. It seems possible that at the very highest levels the competition is tougher than men, but at the above average ranges competition is stiffer for women.
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  • hpysm2014hpysm2014 12 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    coming from a girl who got admitted into MIT:

    If you want a fair metric that truly assesses elite quantitative ability, let's examine the USAMO instead of SAT I's and SAT II's that anybody getting into a place like MIT should be able to do well on:
    Look at the USAMO qualifiers year-by-year; they are predominantly male; why this is the case is up to debate. Same with top-tier physics competitions, etc.

    Now, if MIT were truly gender-blind on admissions, then I myself harbor no illusions that its m/f ratio would be far different. I don't think girls could be held to the same quantitative standards for admittance.
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  • MeSsIaH.MeSsIaH. 619 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^ not that I would want to go to a college that is 80% male, so I'm cool with it.
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  • transfers2010transfers2010 475 replies19 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^ not that I would want to go to a college that is 80% male, so I'm cool with it.

    So do you think it's fair that many boys will have to be rejected to make room for less qualified girls?

    What troubles me about affirmative action proponents is that they think gender and racial balance is more important than fairness in admissions.
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  • theskylituptheskylitup 453 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^ This argument is rubbish.

    When you think about fairness- think about historical fairness.

    Think about the many years where girls were not allowed in schools, or were not allowed to be educated to the same level. Think back to when in recent history - the myth that girls were not capable of math/science persisted, thus leading to a self fulfilling prophesy leading to girls not GETTING the same focus on, and being led away from those fields.

    Get with the times, seriously.

    The fact is, that female education, and indeed - education for minority groups who have historically been left behind (deliberately so), are only JUST catching up.

    If they're getting a helping hand up - then all power to them. Imo, its perfectly justified, and a matter of social justice that AA should be implemented.

    Whine all you like about college admissions, at least the adcoms/education policy makers have a sense of what is right, and thank goodness - they - and not whiney teenagers on an internet forum, administer education.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Anybody making the above inference would fail Stats 101 and knows nothing about MIT. Any girl at MIT would kick his a**.

    Math SAT tests at best 8th grade level math. It tells nothing about how you will do in high level mathematics. If you want to be admitted to college solely based on your test scores, don't bother applying to MIT. Go to Caltech.


    This is really misleading, and using your own quip, anyone making this inference would fail stats 101 and knows nothing about Caltech. Association does not equal causality.

    Caltech doesn't admit solely on test scores. However, they expect that their students won't get beyond a couple of dumb mistakes on a remedial math test such as the SAT Math. It's viewed as a red flag not to get 750+, although they will take you if you get slightly lower (typically if there is evidence from harder tests like the AMC that you have high math abilities.) However, to echo my association != causality point, most of the people who ace AMC or who are taking advanced math classes will get 750+ anyway.
    If there was a USAMO qualifier that got a 700 on the Math SAT, I'm sure Caltech would admit her.

    What typically gets you into Caltech is phenomenal recs and grades and math and science competitions. Significant research experiences can help, but only if the other components are there and if the research demonstrates more than just being a lump in someone's lab for a summer.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When you think about fairness- think about historical fairness.

    Think about the many years where girls were not allowed in schools, or were not allowed to be educated to the same level. Think back to when in recent history - the myth that girls were not capable of math/science persisted, thus leading to a self fulfilling prophesy leading to girls not GETTING the same focus on, and being led away from those fields.

    Get with the times, seriously.

    The fact is, that female education, and indeed - education for minority groups who have historically been left behind (deliberately so), are only JUST catching up.

    If they're getting a helping hand up - then all power to them. Imo, its perfectly justified, and a matter of social justice that AA should be implemented.

    What's your idea of "recent history"? 35-40 years ago? I'm in my 30's, and for as long as I've been alive, girls have been actively encouraged to go into math and science. I just watched a commercial during the Masters Golf tournament that detailed an initiative for math/science education. In it they showed little kids with predictions that they would become scientists in the future. I think there were like 3 females and 1 or 2 minority males. It's been this way for as long as I've been alive. When I was admitted to MIT, they had a special day for females where they had all these fun activites. No such thing for males. They also had a summer camp strictly for minorities.

    Your idea of cultural inertia is especially ill-suited for girls, whose families don't have any socioeconomic remnants of oppression like a URM family has. If your idea is that females deserve something to rectify past discrimination as a sort of payback, then what makes you think that all the females that were discriminated in the past had female children? If they had male children, then effectively they get jobbed twice, no?

    I've had females in my family who actually experienced the discrimination you speak of, and their feeling is that they should just admit the best people.
    Get with the times, seriously.

    You've just spouted the "right answer," something that everyone has heard on this board a hundred times. It would be nice if people approached these issues with a little bit of insight or, at least, intellectual rigor. I am not necessarily against affirmative action, but the obtuseness of some of the pro-affirmative action arguments irks me. And I'll go out on a limb here. It is this sort of unthinking acceptance of the "correct" point-of-view on issues that originally led to people thinking that females or minorities couldn't do math or science.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And it's not just about fairness to non-URMs and males. There are sound arguments which suggest affirmative action may not actually be beneficial to minorities and females. Mismatch theory suggests that people who are admitted despite lower stats may not learn as much as they might have in a school where they were ready for the pace and level of rigor. This can especially be the case in technical majors and particularly MIT. If you are unprepared for the pace, you may just end up not learning anything there, like getting buried in an avalanche. I've seen it happen. Also, the so-called "bigotry of soft expectations" that may be inherent in affirmative action may hurt minorities.
    Some people argue that a person's ethnicity brings something to the campus, effectively making a minority ethnicity a form of currency like math or science ability. Now, if a URM person feels that their culture in and of itself makes them valuable to a university and future workplace, are they going to be concentrating as much on developing their own skills? Is it obvious that these forces are negligible? I don't think it is.

    Many ethnic minorities (i.e., Italians, Greeks, Asians, etc.) in this country have had low scores/IQ averages at one time or another, and now are average or even above average. While the oppression of ethnic minorities may have not been as much as URM minorities, I think it's safe to say that the current oppression of URM's is less than the historical oppression of ethnic minorities such as Italians and Greeks. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that URM's would not rise in the same way that other ethnic minorities have risen in the past if not for social engineering. In fact, I think that the average URM academic performance may rise faster to average levels in the absence of social engineering. I don't know for sure, of course, but it's not obvious that it's untrue.
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  • cellardwellercellardweller 1559 replies8 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Collegealum:

    I am surprised that you are dredging back issues which have discussed ad-infinitum on the MIT boards and largely debunked.

    Fact: Girls at MIT perform as well as or better than boys even after adjusting for any choices in majors.

    There is also absolutely no evidence that girls are admitted with lower stats than boys or that more superstars are boys than girls as you have been claiming.

    If anything as MIT's applicant pool is increasingly overlapping with HYPS and less and less with Caltech, CMU etc.. This is largely due to an increase of top female applicants. Many top academic female applicants who would never have considered MIT as a viable option a decade ago are now applying to the school. A number of my daughter's sorority friends at MIT were also admitted to HYPS while very few of her male friends were. The female applicants I interview for MIT are generally valedictorians or at the very top of their high schools while the male applicants are all over the map. The last 3 years my top applicants were unquestionable female and some with near perfect SAT scores and sky high GPAs were rejected. One female I interviewed this year that was admitted was a Siemens and Intel finalist. From the frontlines, I certainly don't see them having it any easier and many of the ECs I meet with regularly share the same experience.

    Frankly who cares if a USAMO qualifier or even medalist is turned down by admission. I will take an Intel finalist any day over an IMO medalist. MIT has more math talent than ever and beats the crap out of the competition at the Putnam every year. Most of the winners are BTW Chinese imports not homegrown talent. The US has long ago abandoned any pretense of training budding mathematicians in high school. MIT needs more students interested in pursuing careers in science.

    Let's face, MIT has changed dramatically since the days you and I went there and certainly for the better. The prototypical course 6 student of a few decades ago is now part of a small minority. MIT has vastly diversified its emphasis away from EECS to accommodate growth in other fields. Life science research now accounts for the vast majority of outside funding, a field top female talent is flocking to. Premed students are overwhelmingly female. More females also going for for PhDs upon graduation from MIT. They are also less likely to go for a Wall Street job and drop out of the engineering/science field altogether. More MIT women than men win the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships every year. You may not agree with how the applicants are selected but the results speak for themselves.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Cellardweller, I think you've misunderstood my posts. There are two threads I've been posting on, one in which claims that there is affirmative action for boys at HYPSM, that they have it easier. (Not this thread, another one.) They cite the fact that the average female has better stats than the average male as evidence. I posted the statistics for the top SAT quartile and referred to USAMO to refute that idea, as that demonstrates that the tail-end tends to have more males (about 20% in the case of the SAT.)

    In terms of this thread, I've just been posting in response to affirmative action for females in general. Most schools admit to engineering separately, so it is a significant boost there.
    As I've said before, I think the boost given to females at MIT is slight and probably irrelevant for the vast majority of female admits. As has been said ad nauseum, the stark difference in admissions rates are almost primarily due to self-selection. MIT adcoms on have said there is some boost, but as you state, the MIT females end up with a slightly higher GPA. This is despite coming in with slightly lower stats on average (according to an adcom, Ben I think). I do think it is misleading to say there is no affirmative action at all for females at MIT. Anyway, they do justify it by saying females tend to outperform their scores.

    As for the point about there being more superstar boys in math and science, as I said I posted that to refute the idea that boys needed affirmative action to get into HYPSM. Clearly in the higher stat range (the area that is relevant to HYPSM) there are more boys than females, despite the fact the average female has higher stats than the average male. I don't think I have speculated about performance at MIT, although Marilee Jones has said that the superstars and the total flameouts at MIT tend to be men while on average females end up with a slightly higher GPA.

    I also don't agree with your characterization of Caltech's admission philosophy.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Life science research now accounts for the vast majority of outside funding, a field top female talent is flocking to. Premed students are overwhelmingly female. More females also going for for PhDs upon graduation from MIT.

    I've made all these points on other threads.
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  • Skyisblue92Skyisblue92 66 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    While the college acceptance process is unpredictable and subjective, I agree that being a female may serve as a “hook” for certain majors like engineering that still attract mostly males. At top schools, this means that perhaps more males are rejected to pave way for female acceptances.

    However, at the same time, I don’t believe that accepted females have lower test scores/qualifications than their male counterparts.

    I got into some of the nation’s top engineering programs and to some of the lower ivies (didn’t apply to HYPSM – although in retrospect, maybe I should have) with a 4.0 (UW) GPA, 780 on the math SAT, 790 in Math2C (SAT2) and a 780 in chem. (SAT2.)
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  • cellardwellercellardweller 1559 replies8 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I also don't agree with your characterization of Caltech's admission philosophy.

    My main point is that Caltech is much more numbers driven than MIT in admissions. MIT simply does not believe that scores beyond a certain level are especially relevant. A 2400/4.0 student is far more likely to be accepted at Caltech than MIT. Conversely, a 2200/3.7 GPA student with outstanding research ECs (not necessarily Intel finalist caliber) is far more likely to be admitted to MIT than Caltech.

    I just don't but the characterization of Caltech's admission policy as somehow more merit based as the term itself belies any agreed upon definition. The fact that Caltech's approach is more numbers driven does not make it more merit based. MIT and Caltech define merit differently but I personally prefer the MIT model (which long predated Marilee Jones and who never had the authority to define admission policy in the way you seem to attribute to her). Call it what you want but the holistic approach that MIT (and HYP albeit while with different criteria) uses allows it to select students for "fit" as well as academic excellence. Oxford and Cambridge rely to a very large extent on the interview process just as much as MIT or Harvard. It may seem arbitrary but I believe "fit" in the context of MIT is easily measurable. I can spot a candidate with the right "fit" for MIT a mile away and most of my guesses as far as my candidates have generally been spot on, without ever knowing their stats. Interestingly, even on CC top candidates turned away from MIT but accepted at other elite colleges often recognize they lacked that extra drive or passion for science or engineering.

    Do I believe it is fair that MIT should turn away otherwise academically qualified candidates without any specific inclination for science in favor of students with demonstrated achievements and clear motivation, even if their SAT scores are somewhat lower? Absolutely! MIT is a private technology institute whose mission is to educate future scientists, engineers, physicians and others with careers involve science in some fashion. Nobody is owed admission, even if they won an IMO gold medal. Many top scientists were mediocre students. Even Feynmann had a pedestrian IQ and Einstein failed his admission test to the ETH and was only admitted a year later because his residency allowed him to skip the admission test entirely. While I believe that virtually any decently smart student can be trained to learn multi-variable calculus, I don't believe you can just as easily infuse a passion for science in an 18 year old who lacks it.
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  • cellardwellercellardweller 1559 replies8 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree that being a female may serve as a “hook” for certain majors like engineering that still attract mostly males. At top schools, this means that perhaps more males are rejected to pave way for female acceptances.

    That may be true at colleges which admit by major but not at MIT where intended area of study is irrelevant to admission.
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  • MeSsIaH.MeSsIaH. 619 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^and so they look at ECs and awards for math and physics stuff.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7938 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Caltech claims that affirmative action is not practiced in admissions there at all. I believe this claim. Nevertheless, the percentage of female applicants who are admitted to Caltech is generally higher than the percentage of male applicants who are admitted. This most likely results from extra self-selection by the female applicants.

    At MIT, the differential between the percentage of female applicants who are admitted and the percentage of male applicants who are admitted is greater than it is at Caltech. A reasonable first estimate of the self-selection effect at MIT would set it equal to Caltech's. It might not be equal. It is possible that highly qualified female applicants are drawn more to MIT because of other differences between the two universities. On the other hand, it is also possible that there are more female applicants who are borderline for admission at MIT than there are at Caltech, again because of other differences between the two universities. These effects work in opposite directions. Without further information, it probably makes sense to just equate the self-selection effect to Caltech's.

    The remaining difference between the rate of acceptances of women and men at MIT is almost certainly due to the intent of MIT admissions to achieve approximate gender balance in the entering class (not a concern at Caltech).

    At HYP and S, I think it is no easier for a woman to be admitted than for a man.
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