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  1. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    13 Aug '14 07:49
    This is related to discussions I recall from not too far back. Hopefully it puts a rough stick up a few noses.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/13/fields-medal-mathematics-prize-woman-maryam-mirzakhani
    Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Medal – often described as the Nobel prize for mathematics – at a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday morning.
    Mirzhakhani, 37, was among a number of women tipped for the prize in recent years and her success won immediate praise from fellow mathematicians.

    "I am thrilled that this day has finally come," Sir Tim Gowers, a Fields medallist and mathematician at Cambridge University, told the Guardian. "Although women have contributed to mathematics at the highest level for a long time, this fact has not been visible to the general public. I hope that the existence of a female Fields medallist, who will surely be the first of many, will put to bed many myths about women and mathematics, and encourage more young women to think of mathematical research as a possible career."

    Christiane Rousseau, vice president of the International Mathematics Union, said: "It's an extraordinary moment. Marie-Curie had Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry at the beginning of the 20th century, but in mathematics this is the first time we have a woman winning the most prestigious prize. This is a celebration for women."
    Born and raised in Iran, Mirzakhani completed a PhD at Harvard in 2004. Her path into mathematics was not a given, though. As a child, her passion was not for numbers but literature. Her school in Tehran was near a street full of bookshops and because browsing was not allowed, she ended up buying a lot of random books. "I dreamed of becoming a writer," she said in an interview for Oxford University in 2008. "I never thought I would pursue mathematics before my last year in high school."
    Most of the problems Mirzakhani works on involve geometric structures on surfaces and their deformations. She has a particular interest in hyperbolic planes, which can look like the edges of curly kale leaves, but may be easier to crochet than explain. According to a citation released by the International Mathematical Union, Marzakhani won the prize for her "outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces".
    I am delighted to notice the reference to problems that can be worked on using crochet.
  2. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    13 Aug '14 15:45
    Originally posted by finnegan
    This is related to discussions I recall from not too far back. Hopefully it puts a rough stick up a few noses.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/13/fields-medal-mathematics-prize-woman-maryam-mirzakhani
    Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Me ...[text shortened]... .
    I am delighted to notice the reference to problems that can be worked on using crochet.
    Very encouraging, but be wary of those rough sticks in the nasal area!
  3. 13 Aug '14 19:26 / 8 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    This is related to discussions I recall from not too far back. Hopefully it puts a rough stick up a few noses.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/13/fields-medal-mathematics-prize-woman-maryam-mirzakhani
    Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Me ...[text shortened]... .
    I am delighted to notice the reference to problems that can be worked on using crochet.
    I already have mentioned Maryam Mirzakhani at least twice in this forum
    (25 April 2013 and 29 June 2013) to help counter ignorant Western stereotypes
    about all women from Iran allegedly being very uneducated and stupid.
    At the 2011 and 2012 International Mathematical Olympiads, another
    young woman from Iran, Mina Dalirrooyfard, won individual gold medals.

    Speaking from what I have observed, I would say that a significant reason
    why many mathematically gifted young women don't keep doing mathematics
    long enough to earn PhDs and do mathematical research is that the rest of
    their lives tend to get in the way. I have had conversations with some women
    mathematicians who regret that their realistic opportunities for marriage and
    children have gone, though they don't regret their choice of academic career.
    As a young student, when I was saddened by issues in my personal life,
    a woman mathematician suggested that I comfort myself by attempting
    a difficult mathematical problem, though I was not really in the mood for it.

    By the way, these were the standings from the recently completed
    2014 International Mathematical Olympiad in Cape Town, South Africa.

    1) China (As usual, China dominates the IMOs.)
    2) USA (4 of the 6 team members were ethnic Chinese.)
    3) Taiwan (Taiwan finished 8th in the last Olympiad)
    4) Russia
    5) Japan (an unusually good performance)
    6) Ukraine
    7) ROK (South Korea) (a quite disappointing performance)
    8) Singapore (its team was completely ethnic Chinese)
    9) Canada (4 of the 6 team members were ethnic Chinese)
    10) Vietnam
    11) Australia (with 3 Chinese and 2 Indian team members)
    11) Romania (tied with Australia)
    13) Netherlands (an extraordinarily good performance)
    14) DPRK (North Korea) (a disappointing performance)
    15) Hungary (Hungary has a tradition in mathematical competitions)
    16) Germany
    17) Turkey
    18) Hong Kong (its team was completely ethnic Chinese)
    18) Israel (tied with Hong Kong)
    20) UK (3 of the 6 members were ethnic Chinese)
    21) Iran
    21) Thailand (tied with Iran)

    As usual, the top teams consist of East Asians (particularly Chinese, 16 of the
    18 members of the top three teams were ethnic Chinese) and eastern Europeans.
    With a few exceptions, Western white men don't excel at the International
    Mathematical Olympiads.
  4. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    13 Aug '14 21:31
    Originally posted by finnegan
    This is related to discussions I recall from not too far back. Hopefully it puts a rough stick up a few noses.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/13/fields-medal-mathematics-prize-woman-maryam-mirzakhani
    Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford University in California, was named the first female winner of the Fields Me ...[text shortened]... .
    I am delighted to notice the reference to problems that can be worked on using crochet.
    I doubt if she would have won it if she had remained in Iran.
  5. 13 Aug '14 21:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I doubt if she would have won it if she had remained in Iran.
    Modern mathematical research tends to be done in collaboration, and promising
    mathematicians tend to go where they are more likely to find strong collaborators.
    I have no doubt that Iran's people and government are proud of her success.
  6. 14 Aug '14 11:57
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I already have mentioned Maryam Mirzakhani at least twice in this forum
    (25 April 2013 and 29 June 2013) to help counter ignorant Western stereotypes
    about all women from Iran allegedly being very uneducated and stupid.
    At the 2011 and 2012 International Mathematical Olympiads, another
    young woman from Iran, Mina Dalirrooyfard, won individual gold meda ...[text shortened]... th a few exceptions, Western white men don't excel at the International
    Mathematical Olympiads.
    Americans are Americans, it doesn't matter what they look like.
  7. 14 Aug '14 19:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by HarrisonBergeron
    Americans are Americans, it doesn't matter what they look like.
    In reality, racism continues to thrive in the United States, and many US citizens
    report being treated differently on account of their perceived racial appearances.

    I have noticed at least several right-wing white American men here who have
    apparently liked to imply that white men must be intrinsically superior in
    intelligence to all other people in the United States. My point (which I know
    that they resent) is that it's certainly far from true in mathematics competitions
    for American students. Indeed, many white men tend to be afraid of
    competing in high level events in mathematics, science, and/or engineering.
  8. 14 Aug '14 19:40
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In reality, racism continues to thrive in the United States, and many US citizens
    report being treated differently on account of their perceived racial appearances.

    I have noticed at least several right-wing white American men here who have
    apparently liked to imply that white men must be intrinsically superior in
    intelligence to all other people in ...[text shortened]... nd to be afraid of
    competing in high level events in mathematics, science, and/or engineering.
    The dumbing down of the American people via degradation of the education system combined with cultural influences that devalue intelligent inquiry is not accidental. Guess which political party stands to gain from it, or maybe it's both?

    China's current state of education and their cultural values remind me of the US when we were racing the USSR to the moon. I remember the Physical Sciences Study Committee that was headed by MIT to improve the teaching of high school physics (as a student I used their textbook), and there was a similar effort for biology.

    http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/pssc/

    Check out the teacher's guide examples at that site. I wonder if relativistic effects were a significant factor in the calculations of trajectories, etc. in the moon landings. (They were actually a hoax, staged in Arizona, right?)
  9. 14 Aug '14 19:49 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    The dumbing down of the American people via degradation of the education system combined with cultural influences that devalue intelligent inquiry is not accidental. Guess which political party stands to gain from it, or maybe it's both?

    China's current state of education and their cultural values remind me of the US when we were racing the USSR to the moo ...[text shortened]... trajectories, etc. in the moon landings. (They were actually a hoax, staged in Arizona, right?)
    "The dumbing down of the American people via degradation of the education
    system combined with cultural influences that devalue the intelligent inquiry..."
    --JS357

    Thanks to JS357 for corroborating what I also have observed.

    If this question were less 'politically embarrassing' in the USA, one might
    do well to wonder why American mathematics and science competitions
    have been increasingly dominated by students of Asian (particularly Chinese)
    heritage, who constitute only a quite small minority of the population.

    By the way, at the just concluded 2014 Chess Olympiad, China (with a very
    young team) has won the gold medal in the open event and the silver medal
    (though a comparative disappointment) in the women's event. The future
    of Chinese players in international chess seems very promising indeed.
  10. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    14 Aug '14 22:59
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "The dumbing down of the American people via degradation of the education
    system combined with cultural influences that devalue the intelligent inquiry..."
    --JS357

    Thanks to JS357 for corroborating what I also have observed.

    If this question were less 'politically embarrassing' in the USA, one might
    do well to wonder why American mathematics and ...[text shortened]... men's event. The future
    of Chinese players in international chess seems very promising indeed.
    Ever since the end of segregation and the integration of Blacks with Whites the US educational system has taken a hit because minority students have been given priority by the government.
  11. 14 Aug '14 23:21 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Ever since the end of segregation and the integration of Blacks with Whites the US educational system
    has taken a hit because minority students have been given priority by the government.
    RJHinds (a self-described 'near genius' ) is a living example of American
    'cultural influences that devalue intelligent inquiry' (to quote JS357).
    Are any of the top American students in mathematics and science competitions
    from Christian fundamentalist families that extol literal readings of the Bible
    (like RJHinds has done) as the highest source of all knowledge?

    So would RJHinds, a right-wing white American man, prefer to 'explain' the
    extraordinary successes of American students of Asian (particularly Chinese)
    heritage in mathematics and science competitions by blaming the US government
    for allegedly giving them preferential treatment over white Americans?
    Why would the US government allegedly do this to help 'Asian-Americans',
    who hardly have any political power or influence in the United States?

    Indeed, even Normbenign, who's also a right-wing white American man,
    has conceded that US affirmative action programs rarely, if ever, benefit
    any 'Asian-American' males. And there's considerable evidence that many
    'Asian-American' students are afflicted by adverse discrimination *relative
    to their academic merit* in admissions to at least some elite universities.
    Ron Unz, a conservative white American Jew who graduated from Harvard,
    has written that he estimates that *if* academic merit were the *only* criterion
    for admission, then students of Asian heritage would be admitted to Harvard
    at a much higher rate, perhaps more than double their current rate of admission.

    Despite their traditional advantages on account of institutional racism and
    sexism, American white male students today seem to find themselves
    increasingly surpassed in academic performance by other kinds of students.
    So there are many extremely arrogant white American men (like those in
    this forum) who like to believe in their own 'natural superiority' over all
    other people yet are afraid to compete on anything close to a 'level playing
    field' academically against other students like those of East Asian heritage
    and, yes, women (who perform better than men in many academic fields).
  12. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    15 Aug '14 01:57
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    RJHinds (a self-described 'near genius' ) is a living example of American
    'cultural influences that devalue intelligent inquiry' (to quote JS357).
    Are any of the top American students in mathematics and science competitions
    from Christian fundamentalist families that extol literal readings of the Bible
    (like RJHinds has done) as the highest source of ...[text shortened]... e of East Asian heritage
    and, yes, women (who perform better than men in many academic fields).
    "So there are many extremely arrogant white American men (like those in
    this forum) who like to believe in their own 'natural superiority' over all
    other people yet are afraid to compete on anything close to a 'level playing
    field' academically against other students like those of East Asian heritage
    and, yes, women (who perform better than men in many academic fields)..." ~Duchess64

    Two questions if I may: a) Isn't individual achievement more nearly appropriate in comparisons of academic merit without the gratuitous intrusion and presumed necessity of a gender card? [An exceptional student in my senior high school class by the name of Ann who graduated summa cum laude became a recognized surgeon at two major New England area hospitals; Janice who became an author earned second honors; Jim who placed third inherited his father's company.] and b) To whom do you refer: "So there are many extremely arrogant white American men (like those in this forum) who like to believe in their own 'natural superiority' over all other people yet are afraid to compete on anything close to a level playing field..."?
  13. 15 Aug '14 02:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "So there are many extremely arrogant white American men (like those in
    this forum) who like to believe in their own 'natural superiority' over all
    other people yet are afraid to compete on anything close to a 'level playing
    field' academically against other students like those of East Asian heritage
    and, yes, women (who perform better than men ...[text shortened]... ll other people yet are afraid to compete on anything close to a level playing field..."?
    While Grampy Bobby (who's apparently a white man) refers to a 'gender card',
    the fact remains (as various studies have found) that many women of
    academic merit have encountered institutional sexism (sometimes known
    as the 'glass ceiling' ) constraining or even excluding their advancement or
    admission into many traditionally male-dominated fields. Sexist discrimination
    is not something that feminists fabricate in order to make men feel bad;
    it's a reality that many women have experienced in their working lives.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jul/24/richard-dawkins-women-chilly-climate

    "People there rarely displayed overt misogyny but instead seemed to make
    a habit of a more insidious type of sexism, such as dismissing a solution
    proposed by me but enthusiastically agreeing with the exact same plan
    when suggested by a male colleague..."
    --Emily Band (24 July 2011)

    I have had similar experiences. At a meeting, when I made a suggestion,
    it was instantly criticized and dismissed. Later in the same meeting, when
    a more powerful man made the same suggestion, it was instantly praised
    and approved. He received all the credit for the brilliant 'original' concept.

    Given that Grampy Bobby has not been following the Debates forum closely
    over the years, I shall not attempt to review (for his 'benefit' alone) the
    records of racist and/or sexist comments by many white American men here.
  14. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    15 Aug '14 03:09
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    While Grampy Bobby (who's apparently a white man) refers to a 'gender card',
    the fact remains (as various studies have found) that many women of
    academic merit have encountered institutional sexism (sometimes known
    as the 'glass ceiling' ) constraining or even excluding their advancement or
    admission into many traditionally male-dominated fields. Se ...[text shortened]... 'benefit' alone) the
    records of racist and/or sexist comments by many white American men here.
    Thanks. Notice that you still enjoy the repetitive use of site nicknames throughout the text of your forum replies (almost as if addressing someone in absentia or patronizing a small child) in lieu of the conventional insertion of pronouns: Originally posted by Duchess64 "While Grampy Bobby (who's apparently a white man) refers to a 'gender card', the fact remains (as various studies have found)..." "Given that Grampy Bobby has not been following the Debates forum closely..." Interesting.
  15. 15 Aug '14 03:29
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In reality, racism continues to thrive in the United States, and many US citizens
    report being treated differently on account of their perceived racial appearances.

    I have noticed at least several right-wing white American men here who have
    apparently liked to imply that white men must be intrinsically superior in
    intelligence to all other people in ...[text shortened]... nd to be afraid of
    competing in high level events in mathematics, science, and/or engineering.
    I'm just saying, 2nd place is pretty sweet. I don't care what the US citizens who achieved it look like. In fact, if big foot came 2nd in the most smelly mythical creatures competition, I'd be pretty freaking stoked about that. I'd be like, in your face chupacabra and how do you like them apples mokele-mbembe.