Saturday, May 17, 2008

Peer Review

What would the male-female ratio look like in a photo of today's top physicists?

Here's another story that might be about girl power. I dunno.

For some strange reason when I was in my teens, my brain liked math. I taught myself eighth grade algebra at the start of seventh grade and soon reached a point where I needed a ride to the high school across town for geometry.

The school counselor called me into his office. He said that interacting with my peers was just as important as book learning. He recommended that I take a year off from math. "You like to draw. why don't you take another art class?"

So I spent a year as a li'l helper to a math teacher, grading papers and decorating bulletin boards.

Memories evolve with time. As an easily intimidated thirteen-year-old, I heard the counselor saying, in essence, "Miss Titmouse you quirky geek, don't be such a freak!"

Now I believe he was saying, "Miss Titmouse, the school district doesn't want to pay for transportation."


  1. Yeah, it is still hard to find encouragement for excelling in math if you are a girl. I wouldn't know first-hand, since I have a Y chromosome, but my two daughters, who both liked and excelled at math, needed extra encouragement to stay with it in high school. But it paid off; my youngest was the first person in the local high school to get AP credit for both Art and Calculus; it's kinda hard for her to fit into the pigeon holes that the educational systems like to provide for their students...

    I wandered over here from ERV's blog; nice to see another birdy site in the blogosphere. If you need another image or two for your bird slide show, here's a pic of a Prothonotary Warbler that I managed to grab last weekend.

    Nice blog!

  2. Hi Dave!

    That's a sweet warbler pic. And your hummer is amazing. I don't yet have a camera good enough to catch a hummingbird in flight. But I may have to get one.

    I love those little guys. I think they're made of magic.

  3. Times have changed a bit. MIT offers special encouragement to female students, and the ratios there are quite good: over 40% women I think.

    Lovely birds.


  4. There is a higher female presence in physics. In String Theory there is Eva Silverstein and the very well-known Lisa Randall, for example.