right arrow
Make sure to check out our July Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ehales3 is a rising sophomore at Cornell University. As a high school student, she always thought that she wanted to study in a more urban environment, but has grown to love Ithaca and all that it offers. ASK HER ANYTHING!
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

Encouraging girls in math and science

123468

Replies to: Encouraging girls in math and science

  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6893 replies142 threads Senior Member
    Often people seem to be intent on expressing current trendy styles. Nothing wrong with that if it' makes them feel more secure. But to me it seems to be more following the crowd than "expressing their natural personalities".
    How is that not judgmental?
    · Reply · Share
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34104 replies4820 threads Super Moderator
    ^ My D is proud of being a math nerd and usually asks for T-Shirts of that type. In this case it's well earned.
    · Reply · Share
  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    Often people seem to be intent on expressing current trendy styles. Nothing wrong with that if it' makes them feel more secure. But to me it seems to be more following the crowd than "expressing their natural personalities".
    Comments like these make me giggle and lately, I've been giggling too often.

    I really cannot understand this way of thinking. Since when is a person who wears wash-n-go clothes to be praised? Why should they be praised? Since when is a person who changes their style or wears trendy clothes an insecure person?

    Wear whatever makes you comfortable!
    edited July 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • ConsolationConsolation 22898 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I agree, Niquii. An enjoyment of clothes does not make a person, male or female, an empty-headed clotheshorse.
    · Reply · Share
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    mathmom,
    "Where are the girls in computer science" - Are you aware that majority of IT / IS departments are probably females with lots and lots of Dept. heads being also females and one of the first and probably the most popular computer language is wirtten by a female? I am not sure about your bacgground, but I have been in IT for over 30 years and I have seen it accross all kind of industries at my 9 jobs as a Computer Programmer / Analyst or whatever they call it, some are pretty creative and even call us Software Engineers (there is no Engineering involved in developing software, so I never understood that). CS does NOT involve ANY science or math. You will find lots of people who started as engineers and switched because they realized that they beit more than they could swallow. Actually among those girls who are aiming at high GPAs, being good at math and physics is not uncommon at all and since girls tend to work much harder doing their homework, their grades are better. I believe very strongly that this is all misconception and outdated. The real issue as I mentioned before that the Amrican k -12, including very top and expensive k -12 just do not prepare kids sufficiently in math / science overall, both genders and that is why you see the asians and some other immigrant populations are way overrepresented in the medicine, general science (all kinds), engineering. They either have some foreign elementary school background or their parents send them to schools organized here in the USA by various immigrant communities or parents themselves fill gap in math-science at home, very unofficially and all the way thru college. Even parents who do not have anything to do with the science or engineering but received their k - 12 education outside of the USA, can do it, believe it or not, and they do, sometime simply just challenging kids with additional math at home. No, it does not require much, just a desire to provide a better instruction than a kid can possibly recieve at school. This has huge concequences, sending kids to extremely selective HS's and other places like Med. Schools where the sad statistics speaks for itself and in our family we know it first hand thru D. and GrandD experiences. Yes, both have no problem with math / science whatsoever. Why? Here is the answer - both straight A students. Math is an easy A for them and so are some hard science classes. If a kid does not miss doing homework, there is no way under the sky that any math taught int the American HS is hard for a kid, girl or boy. All it takes is to do your homework and do it best and every day. It does not require much more than that. Where my D and grandD actullay needed to work very hard were History classes. These are much harder if you think about them, they require lots of additional reading.
    · Reply · Share
  • scansmomscansmom 1534 replies19 threads Senior Member
    "Are you aware that majority of IT / IS departments are probably females with lots and lots of Dept. heads being also females"

    Many would probably disagree with this...

    http://www.ncwit.org/blog/did-you-know-demographics-technical-women


    Not to mention continuing gender inequities in pay; this is from 2009, but inequities still exist ("engineer" includes software, hardware, managers...)
    http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/engineering-pay-gap-glassdoor-reveals-many-women-engineers-earn-less-than-men/

    I would agree that the US probably does not prepare its K-12 students as good as it should in math/science. No comment on the rest...(I don't want to go to CC jail!)
    · Reply · Share
  • mathmommathmom 33180 replies161 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    MiamiDAP, I am aware that you seem to have worked for the 9 companies with the most females around. I know that the companies that kids today want to work for (facebook, Google, Microsoft) all have a very small percentage of women.
    Thirty percent of Google’s 46,170 employees worldwide are women. The percentage is lower for the company’s tech sector, where just 17 percent are women. And 21 percent of leadership positions in the company are held by women.
    from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/05/29/most-google-employees-are-white-men-where-are-allthewomen/
    Women make up 25 percent of the company’s[Microsoft's] U.S. work force. That’s down from the 27 percent that the company was reporting at the end of 1998.Less than 15 percent of Microsoft executives at the level of corporate vice president or higher are women.Two of the 21 executives on Microsoft’s senior leadership team are women. .
    from http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/2006/08/16/women-at-microsoft-by-the-numbers/
    Facebook, whose Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has been vocal about the need for women to be represented in leadership roles, said women make up 15 percent of technical employees and 23 percent of senior managers.
    from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-25/facebook-latest-to-show-diversity-data-with-low-female-workforce.html

    You know I worked in firms with a lot of women architects. That doesn't mean that if you look at the profession as a whole there isn't room for improvement. Especially at the managerial level.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    No disagreement from me that by and large K/12 science and math education in the US could be better for everyone. And I'd disagree that CS is not math or science. At least IMO it takes the same kind of logical thinking and skills that are necessary for math and science. I do not claim to be an expert - I took one CS course and did not enjoy it. I loved Geometry, I loved proofs, I liked Calculus. Of all the sciences I took I liked Chem the best. I liked all the engineering courses I took in architecture school. I did nurture a computer science major - introducing him to the basics of programming at age seven, but he mostly taught himself.
    edited July 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    I think there is a difference between CS major that leans toward Engineering and there is Information System or IT for System Analyst kind of job. CS requires heavy engineering background and math/physics and the other one is lighter. I know at my university the MIS is considered lighter coursework then engineering/CS. At most UCs, there no IS major, if it does it often link to business school(UCI is an example). Most CSUs have IS major.

    For example, this is what SLO has for IS
    http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/academic/management/information-systems/
    About Information Systems


    Information Systems (IS) is the study of people, organizations, and technology. Following Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, our students receive hands-on training with the latest technologies and work on real-world collaborative projects along side their peers, faculty, and our corporate partners. With the current business environment that relies heavily on information technology, our students are highly sought after by companies from a variety of business segments.

    Information System Careers

    The “new IS professional” is a people-person but can also “talk technology,” solving meaningful organizational problems. IS professionals translate information needs into technology needs and translate technological capabilities into new business capabilities. At graduation, students pursue diverse management and IS opportunities within corporations and consulting firms. Our recent graduates have accepted full-time positions at companies from a variety of business segments, with a median starting salary of about $60,000 a year.
    I think with the above major you end up working at big megacorp such as banks, oil companies and etc,..

    Computer Science
    A Computer Science major often focuses on programming and the underlying algorithms that make code work. As such, a fair amount of *gasp* math is involved (ex. Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, etc.). This degree major is especially math heavy at the undergraduate level. Some see all that math as a plus, but many do not.

    Also, due to the programming focus, other subjects that may be of interest (ex. security, networking, etc.) are often only touched upon lightly in a pure Computer Science degree program.


    This link seems to have different comparison.
    http://www.geteducated.com/careers/521-computer-information-systems-vs-computer-science
    edited July 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • furrydogfurrydog 224 replies2 threads Junior Member
    >>>The percentage is lower for the company’s tech sector, where just 17 percent are women.
    @mathmom - why is this surprising (I understand that recently the main stream media ran a huge story about this). Women receive only 18.2% of the bachelor degree in Comp Sci. Why is this number so low - that should be the question. Also, I am surprised that the race has not been brought up yet on this thread. In the same news story, the news pundits also bemoaned the dearth of minorities in Google's tech area. Somehow, Asians magically got lumped with the "oppressor" whites in these stories (same thing happened a few years ago regarding plummeting minority enrollment at UC). Sorry to be so onerous but this kind of fact twisting to fit one's ideological narratives is getting very stale (yes - from both sides of our wonderfully polarized political camps).
    · Reply · Share
  • wis75wis75 14383 replies65 threads Senior Member
    First- nanotech had a really good post (duplicated, btw) a couple of pages back. Covered choosing what she liked at the time, not what was "needed". Well done.

    Computer science does NOT require a "heavy engineering background"! Son majored in math, did Honors so had some grad level math courses and heavy theory, not an applied math major. He added the comps sci major and works in that field. First title was software developer at a company that looked for math as well as comp sci majors, currently he's a software engineer- it depends on the company, not the college background. I know that in theory the title of "engineer" should imply the college degree in that field but it isn't the case in the real world. My son brings his thinking skills to his job, nothing in the practical realm of engineering.

    Information technology is not the same as computer science. IT- information systems- at UW (Madison) is in the business school while computer science is in Letters and Sciences.
    · Reply · Share
  • mathmommathmom 33180 replies161 threads Senior Member
    @furrydog, it's not surprising. The point is, that despite MiamiDAP's assertion that there are lots of women in computers, there's a big gender gap at most companies. I don't think IT is what we were discussing here. I personally, think it's quite possible that men's and women's brains are wired sufficiently differently that there will always be some gap, but I think a lot of it is socialization.

    CS doesn't require any engineering background that I know of - at least my son at google never took any engineering courses and hated playing with robots in Science Olympiad. But he did take lots of math, several levels of Calculus and Discrete Math that I a aware of.
    · Reply · Share
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I realized I overstated last night. What I meant to write was that it's heavy in math(5-6 math classes) and science(at least one physics or chemistry class) unlike IT, IS, where it's more business like.
    · Reply · Share
  • bluebayoubluebayou 27993 replies204 threads Senior Member
    I personally, think it's quite possible that men's and women's brains are wired sufficiently differently that there will always be some gap...

    careful math mom....that kind of speculation got the President of Harvard tossed out of a job. :)
    · Reply · Share
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I think MiamiDAP works in IT so that is why I mentioned the difference. I could be wrong but that is the impression I've got from her posts.
    · Reply · Share
  • scansmomscansmom 1534 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I personally, think it's quite possible that men's and women's brains are wired sufficiently differently that there will always be some gap...

    careful math mom....that kind of speculation got the President of Harvard tossed out of a job.

    Last December, there were several reports on a study that showed gender differences in brain scans; much of the media has latched on to this study to support the idea that our brains are wired differently and that stereotypical gender differences have a scientific basis; the study was done on children and teens ages 8 to 22.

    Here are links to a few articles reporting on this study:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/male-female-brains-wired-differently-scans_n_4374010.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-hardwired-difference-between-male-and-female-brains-could-explain-why-men-are-better-at-map-reading-8978248.html

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/12/08/study-the-brains-of-men-and-women-are-different-very-different/

    see also:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/12/hard_wired_brain_differences_critique_of_male_female_neuroscience_imaging.2.html


    This, of course, is the important part of mathmom's statement:
    but I think a lot of it is socialization.

    Of particular interest was the following statement from one of the articles linked above:
    The researchers added that male and female brains showed few differences in connectivity up to the age of 13, but became more differentiated in 14- to 17-year-olds. Since the study population was capped at age 22 (another important item to note), it’s impossible to know whether additional changes in neural wiring occur after that age. Recent research in neuroplasticity would indicate that continued changes are a very real possibility.

    It would appear that socialization (ie the games, toys and activities of children in early years) may play an important part in the development of our brains, which in turn affects the educational and career choices we make in our late teen/early adult years .






    · Reply · Share
  • mathmommathmom 33180 replies161 threads Senior Member
    @bluebayou, having gone to Harvard, I am very aware of that! :D
    · Reply · Share
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6893 replies142 threads Senior Member
    scansmom wrote:
    It would appear that socialization (ie the games, toys and activities of children in early years) may play an important part in the development of our brains, which in turn affects the educational and career choices we make in our late teen/early adult years.
    From my experiences with S and D, the games, toys, and activities we provided for them were not necessarily the ones they choose to play with or do. Or they didn't play/use them in the manner expected. For example, D had a number of dolls, but never really played "house" or "babies" or what have you with them. We involved S in soccer, hockey, etc. but he stopped those once he was old enough to choose for himself and has never really been into competitive sports. D signed up for a lot of different sports and played ice hockey for 13 years. We enrolled her in ballet, but she wanted to play ice hockey.

    You can lead them to water, but you can't make them drink. So which is first - chicken or egg? I reject the premise that giving a girl a doll will prevent her from becoming an engineer.
    · Reply · Share
  • bluebayoubluebayou 27993 replies204 threads Senior Member
    It would appear that socialization (ie the games, toys and activities of children in early years) may play an important part in the development of our brains...

    Correlation is not causation (AP Stats). An equally plausible idea is that the brain changes start to occur with puberty, i.e., hormonal changes, that have zero to do with playing video games.
    · Reply · Share
  • wis75wis75 14383 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Toys et al available to young kids. We do not own guns, never bought any toy ones for son et al. Anything longer than it was wide could become a gun for him and his young friends- think Duplos... As son grew up he abandoned those. Addenda- light sabers were in and he owned one...
    · Reply · Share
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34104 replies4820 threads Super Moderator
    ^ I personally think Cro-Magnon male youth took a rock and said "bang"
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity