Tag Archives: maths

Why Girls don’t take up Maths or Science

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?

Advertisements

Words of the Week (well last week)

bifurcate

Pretty neat way of saying to divide in to (two) parts.

It is used in a variety of disciplines:

In Law- To bifurcate is the decision to spilt one case in to two separate trials so that one part can be finalised before moving on to the next part of the case. So if we think about a situation at a school: a child has accused their classmate of pouring some lemonade on them. Without bifurcation- both the accused and the prosecutor will be brought before a teacher and discuss what happened, (why) and what to do next. This could lead to a lot of arguing between the two children, where one may say that the prosecutor is lying or that it was an accident. Thus to then sort out some sort of compensation or punishment could be complicated. The defendant may say that they doesn’t deserve a punishment as they didn’t do it or say there is no evidence to back up the prosecutors argument. With bifurcation- the teacher would have two separate meetings, where they discussed what happened and then to sort out compensation and punishment. This means that what happened would be finalised so less negotiation would take place when sorting out the outcome.

In maths- it’s complicated and I don’t particularly understand much of it. If you don’t understand something, NEVER EXPLAIN IT! That is against the human code, and probably the bro code.

Rivers and Lakes- when a river splits in to two. These are normally temporary as the water in the separate channels will erode through the material that separates them eventually. Bifurcation lakes are lakes which have outflows in to two drainage basins.

Derivation:

From Medieval Latin, “bifurcatus” (having been divided). This is the perfect passive participle (yeah, Latin is useful sometimes) of the verb “bifurcare” (to divide), which is from the adjective “bifurcus” (two-pronged) from the prefix “bi-” (two) and “furca” (fork).