I came across this story
on goodmagazine.com about Danica McKellar
(Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years
) this morning. “Math doesn’t have good PR. I’m going to do my best to do great PR for math,” she says. As a spokesman for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, she testified to a Congressional subcommittee in 2000 about the country’s need to better prepare math teachers and draw more young girls toward math, especially at the age when they tend to start avoiding the subject. “Not only is middle school a time in life when girls are dealing with so much emotionally, it’s also when math gets harder.”
She's a math nerd now! This is really fantastic news. We read all the time about girls who have "nerd" tendencies including playing Halo and World of Warcraft, etc., but to be a traditional, hardcore nerd
means to not only embrace math, but convince other people to do the same. Jessica Alba telling the world she likes playing MarioKart really doesn't do the world any good.
When I was studying electrical engineering at Virginia Tech (a university that has almost exactly 50% females), most of my upper-level classes had in the neighborhood of two girls for every 30 guys, but those two girls were always, without fail, sharper than the guys. The stereotype that guys are better or more interested in math really ought to be imploded, because the world's being deprived of some significant contributions. Math is only hard to people who believe
that it's hard. If people (and I'm talking guys and
girls here) put half as much time into learning calculus in high school as they do on social networking websites, they'll be grasping Faraday's Law
in no time.
And if you aren't doing math because you think it isn't edgy
enough for you, how about just getting a tattoo