Today I had my GCSE German oral where I discussed why I wanted to do engineering in the future. This got me thinking, why did I want to do it? I love all the subjects that I study at the moment (with the exception of English), especially Physics and Maths and Engineering seems to combine most of them perfectly in to a useful and exciting profession that is needed in almost every aspect of the world. But then I remembered how surprised I was to find that only 11% of engineers are girls and I couldn’t help but think why? I would understand wouldn’t like Physics but wouldn’t expect it to be gender related. So I researched…it seems there has been a lot of speculation on this matter with many articles coming to the conclusion that it was a confidence issue. I still didn’t understand, why would girls not be confident in “hard” subjects. I found it, honestly, quite sexist alluding to the theories that women are somehow “softer” and just don’t have the mental capacity for tough subjects. My experience growing up and attending an all girls school was that you should choose whatever subject you like. There were some “nerd” stereotypes but they were never reinforced because most just didn’t care. I was schooled in an environment that had faith in us, I never even knew that girls were less likely to become scientists because my school refused to let me believe it. When I look at all the reports they often conclude it’s because women somehow feel that they would never do well in male dominated jobs- so in this way it’s actually better to be ignorant, not knowing what your chosen profession will be like socially, especially if it doesn’t boost your confidence. I’m still puzzled as to the cause of this, even if it is confidence- it would be great to get some views. But come on, who wouldn’t want to build a robot that can play tennis?
“Dilletante“- a dabbler in a field or skill, someone with an amateur or superficial interest in something.
Derivation– from Italian: present active participle (yes I have being doing Latin for much too long) of “dilletare”, the participle meaning “lover of the arts” and the verb meaning “to delight”. “Dilletare” in turn comes from the Latin “delectare”, which means the same.
Synonyms include “smutterer” and “sciolist” from the Latin (diminuitive) “sciolus” ,which bears the same meaning as sciolist, from “scious” (knowing) from “scire” which is the verb “to know”
This word is my favourite, because it practically sums me up.
Now here is the star of the week for all you science people out there…..(drum roll, if you please)
“Differential Equation“-an equation which relates a variable that changes over time to its rate of change. Now I am simply a dilletante (get it?) in the field of all science and maths but I will try to give an example..please do correct me if I am wrong….(I just hope my pure maths, PhD in maths brother never reads this..)(ellipses are gooood aren’t they…)(bracket-mania again sorry folks.)
My example is VELOCITY AND ACCELEERAATTTTTIIIIIOOOONNN (that is quite picturesque, is it not?), so velocity is the variable that is changing over time, and its rate of change is acceleration. The equation is dv/dt= a. Cool beans. Calculus is cool, I like calculus. I don’t like graphs but I like calculus, thanks Democritus for starting it off.
Hasta el proximo post (yeah I know that it was bad spanish)
Do They Get It? The Instantaneous Rate of Change Exactly (samjshah.com)
Calculus Made Easy (wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com)