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AWM Notes

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Notes from the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of the newsletter of the Association for Women in Mathematics

Mathematical Girls in Young Adult Fiction

Six young adult novesl in which the protagonist is a girl who has strong ability and interest in mathematics. All can be found by title at

  1. Heather Vogel Frederick, The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed and The Education of Patience Goodspeed. Set in 1830’s, 13-year old protagonist
  2. Adele Griffin, Hannah Divided. Set in 1930’s, 13-year old protagonist)
  3. Sharelle Byars Moranville, A Higher Geometry. Set in late 1950’s 15-year old protagonist)
  4. Justina Chen Headley, Nothing But the Truth (and a Few Whte Lies). Present day. “Patty [Ho] is very good at math, but doesn’t want to admit it.]
  5. Leah Hager Cohen, Heart, You Bully, You Punk. Present day. “[I]t is the story about a trio of people, Ann, her father Wally, and her math teacher Esker. As the story progresses, the focus shifts from Ann to Esker. Mathematics plays a cameo role, with fractals occasionally popping up to illustrate Esker’s view of the world… There is a reasonable discussion about Esker’s decision to go into teaching instead of pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics. This is an excellent novel of emotions and relationships, approriate for mature readers.”

Education Column: Interpreting Educational Research

An article by Abbe H. Herzing that grew from her participation in a Women in Mathematics workshop at the Bannff International Research Station discussing the difficulty of learning to read and interpret research well. Her advice is to focus on these key questions:

  1. How was the sample formed, and what population does it represent?
  2. What actually was measured, and do those measures validly and reliably represent the constructs being discussed?
  3. Do the conclusions follow from the chain of evidence?

Web sites of interest

The website is a project of the National Academy of Sciences intended to showcase the accomplishments of contemporary women in science and to highlight for young peole the varied and intriguing careers of some of today’s most prominent scientists. is believed to be the single most compreshensive, freely accessible source of online science-career support currently available for scientists, teachers, students, career counselors and the public.

Other notes

Nina Byers and Gary Williams, Out of the Shadows: Contributions of Twentieth-Century Women to Physics. Forty stories … written by distinguished scientists. Available on Amazon.

Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Program. For third and fourth year undergraduates. 60 students/semester. Application and more info.

Gender equity report from American Association of University Professors

Virginia Tech Report on IT Career Choices

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