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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-29-2006, 12:14 AM   #41
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-30-2006, 05:02 PM   #42
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Well, to sort of bring this back on topic - I'll give my history.

I am female, have two engineering degrees (bachelor's in mechanical engineering, master's in biomedical engineering), also have training in computer systems management, project management, ad nauseum.

My experience, and some of the statistics I've seen through the Society of Women Engineers backs up my thesis - as a girl, it is a lot easier to have an interest in science and math to pursue higher education in those realms - in fact, I think there needs to be a sustained interest from grade school on. I am an example of that - although I did well at all subjects (except hand-writing), I ended up being the only girl many times in my math and science classes or part of the 'gifted' curriculum. I don't say this to brag - I say it because I think that is what is needed for a female to excel in the sciences and engineering.

I don't remember experiencing overt discrimination, however, I did realize that if I wanted to succeed in this 'man's' world, I would have to have all the credentials and then some - I would have to out-perform consistently - but in a positive way, if possible. Today, I am the only one on our team who has all the blocks filled (graduate degeree, extensive experience and professional certification).

The comment made about women in certain types of engineering is right on - biomedical, chemical and environmental engineering seem to draw women - the other 'hard' engineering disciplines less so (civil, mechanical, electrical) - the traditional disciplines tend to very male dominated and based on my anecdotal surveys with my female colleagues tend to have more hostile environments for women.

There is still a dearth of females in the science and engineering professions---whereas the law and medical professions are fairly evenly represented - I don't know why that is so - perhaps the payoff for the extra hard work for those professions is seen as much higher than that for scientists and engineers. I would also argue that the skills needed to excel in science and math are different from those I find needed for other professions-and at the risk of being persecuted, I wonder if there is some type of different nuerological wiring that pre-disposes the ease with which one might perform some tasks or think in a certain way. I do know that one of the hardest things I've had to learn is spatial thinking - i.e., when we would do our architectural drawings and have to do the perspectives - or the foldout views - this is akin to single pilot instrument flying - keeping a 3-d idea of how your plane is positioned in space as depicted on your instruments and the chart.

In the 20 years I've been an engineer, I haven't seen a significant increase in the amount of women engineers...and frankly don't expect there to be major changes. However, when I do get a chance to counsel young ladies, I talk about the advantages of being an engineer - creatively, experiences, and financial benefits (as compared to some other professions).

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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-31-2006, 12:30 AM   #43
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Originally Posted by deserat
I wonder if there is some type of different nuerological wiring that pre-disposes the ease with which one might perform some tasks or think in a certain way.* I do know that one of the hardest things I've had to learn is spatial thinking - i.e., when we would do our architectural drawings and have to do the perspectives - or the foldout views - this is akin to single pilot instrument flying - keeping a 3-d idea of how your plane is positioned in space as depicted on your instruments and the chart.
Apparently, there are pretty significant differenes between the sexes in this area:

Chart

You obviously have some great math and computer skills.* I wonder if some female math/cs geeks take a different approach to problem solving than men.* *I know that I relied heavily on 3D abstractions in solving problems and designing algorithms.

You must have studied subjects like continuum mechanics and fluid dynamics as part of your bioengineering program.* *Didn't that involve a lot of spatial visualization?
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-31-2006, 09:31 AM   #44
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Men's brains are bigger than women's brains.

This is because they aren't as efficient.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-31-2006, 12:13 PM   #45
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

hey, as long as they're bigger, we dont care.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-31-2006, 12:22 PM   #46
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

I know.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 05-31-2006, 12:47 PM   #47
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

I don't care who has the bigger brain. But I do agree we need more female science professors. Now who wouldn't want a science professor as below?
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-01-2006, 02:28 PM   #48
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Hi,

deserat, you could almost be my sister! She is an environmental engineer - did all the advanced stuff in HS, Cornell undergrad, UMass for the PhD.

She just got tenure at WPI. She is the only female in her department but there are a few other woman professors in the engineering school. Not many.

I never had the aptitude for all that complicated stuff myself, but I am still good at numbers - I'm the "finance" one in the family.

My dad was an electrical engineer (FIRE'd at 57), so he must have rubbed off on her more than me.

We think he always wanted boys. He'd never admit it, of course. But, he has 2 daughters who are math whizzes, athletes, and sports nuts who do their own repairs on their houses. Maybe he was trying to balance out the "influence" others would have on our desires to do "non-girly" things.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-02-2006, 02:02 AM   #49
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

This just in from the wires:

Women are gaining on men

The article states that not only are women catching men in terms of advanced degrees, but men are slacking off.* * I can relate.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #50
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Wab,

Interesting article - didn't see any engineering did you? It mentioned medicine, law and optometry......

As for 3-d visualization in fliud mechanics - etc - sure - but not as hard as the fold out origami drawing stuff...

As for my dad wanting a boy - he had one - I was just very fortunate to have parents who didn't try to 'type' me by gender - they knew at what level I should perform and only intervened when they sensed I wasn't performing to that level :-) Ok, I admit it, I'm a Daddy's girl - said I wanted to be a mechanical engineer 'cuz he was before I even had any idea what it was.....case in point:

Senior year in undergrad - studying air cycles in thermodynamics - I know the PST diagrams and all that jazz - we get to the lab and we're going to do an experiment with a turbine engine - I'm in charge of determining the mass flow rate of the fuel - our professor hands us some earplugs and says, "When we turn this engine on, it gets loud." I plug in my earplugs and then they turn the engine on - lightbulb in my head - this is an airplane engine :-) I knew a lot of theory but not a lot of practical information.....can be an issue with 'girls.'

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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-02-2006, 05:14 PM   #51
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

When I was a junior at the University of Washington in the early 70's, there were 6 undergraduates with Y chomes. Because I was with a "registered" student organization, I got them a place to hold SWE meetings and I was usually there since I was supposed to be as the meeting "sponsor." I thought it was interesting that 5 of the girls had engineer fathers. The other one was self-admittedly on an MRS program. She was pretty cute. I might have gone for the bait but I wasn't Jewish -- a key requirement. She didn't even believe in multi-culturalism.

Things have definitely changed. My son said that over 1/3 of his ME class was women. The ChE class is almost 50%. The key question is what happens next. I've seen many women do what to me now makes more sense than killing yourself for a "career." There's some that go for it but they have to give up "everything" to rise up in an organization -- pretty much like a male has to do. I wish I could undo some of my self-destructive career decisions.
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-02-2006, 09:15 PM   #52
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deserat
As for 3-d visualization in fliud mechanics - etc - sure - but not as hard as the fold out origami drawing stuff...
Spouse was reading a Dilbert cartoon where he mentioned manipulating three-dimensional objects in his head. (Scott Adams must have a very restless brain.) She asked me if I do that.

I said "What, doesn't everybody?"

By the time the conversation was over I'd been forced to confess that my brain does not sit idle. If I'm not actively engaged with a keyboard or a book (or at least watching something) then I'm moving objects around in my head or revisiting memories from long ago or enjoying my own personal classic rock soundtrack. Even when I'm driving I'm measuring the range rates & bearing rates of cars for my next maneuver. I have a horrible time falling asleep unless I'm exhausted plus counting backwards slowly or manipulating a simple object.

Spouse said that when she sits idle she can make her brain do the same. She can literally achieve a tranquil state of no thought, just a quiet buzz, without even going to sleep. We decided that if I ever try meditation I will suck at it.

So, men, are your brains generally this busy? Is this testosterone poisoning, or do I have a different issue to sort out with my spouse?
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 12:06 AM   #53
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Originally Posted by Nords

By the time the conversation was over I'd been forced to confess that my brain does not sit idle.* If I'm not actively engaged with a keyboard or a book (or at least watching something) then I'm moving objects around in my head or revisiting memories from long ago or enjoying my own personal classic rock soundtrack.* Even when I'm driving I'm measuring the range rates & bearing rates of cars for my next maneuver.* I have a horrible time falling asleep unless I'm exhausted plus counting backwards slowly or manipulating a simple object.

Spouse said that when she sits idle she can make her brain do the same.* She can literally achieve a tranquil state of no thought, just a quiet buzz, without even going to sleep.* We decided that if I ever try meditation I will suck at it.

So, men, are your brains generally this busy?* Is this testosterone poisoning, or do I have a different issue to sort out with my spouse?
I have to admit I do the same stuff. I can't not think about something. Sleep is a rare commodity and winding down my brain takes a while. It is like a washing maching slowing down from the spin cyle some times.

Bearing rates and vectors of other cars...I love that..and do that too.

Meditation? Can't do it..tried many times but I can't focus on just one thing for long.
Even when I read I can't seem to stay focused. I jump ahead and try to resolve all the character issues, conflicts and plot twists all the time.

I thought it was because I need to retire...guess you blew that idea out the window...
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 08:19 AM   #54
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Spouse was reading a Dilbert cartoon where he mentioned manipulating three-dimensional objects in his head. (Scott Adams must have a very restless brain.) She asked me if I do that.

I said "What, doesn't everybody?"


I have a horrible time falling asleep unless I'm exhausted plus counting backwards slowly or manipulating a simple object.

My "female" version of this is moving furniture around in my head. Will this fit there? How will this fit together with that?

Very relaxing to me.



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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 08:40 AM   #55
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Spouse was reading a Dilbert cartoon where he mentioned manipulating three-dimensional objects in his head. (Scott Adams must have a very restless brain.) She asked me if I do that.

I said "What, doesn't everybody?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I have to admit I do the same stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
My "female" version of this is moving furniture around in my head. Will this fit there? How will this fit together with that?
You people need some professional help.

Or maybe more exposure to the basics of life (spoken with authority as I just got back from killing a rattlesnake in a neighbor's garage...husband working, wife goes out to put something in garbage can...Hello! Panicked phone call at 7:15 AM).

Any guess as to what object I'll be manipulating in my head for a while?

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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 09:10 AM   #56
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Or maybe more exposure to the basics of life (spoken with authority as I just got back from killing a rattlesnake in a neighbor's garage...husband working, wife goes out to put something in garbage can...Hello!* Panicked phone call at 7:15 AM).
You and Ol' Rancher are going to have to add that story to your "Why you Californians don't want to move to Texas" list...
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 09:16 AM   #57
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

Duh

And here I thought Texan's kept rattlesnakes as mouser's!

Another myth perhaps

heh heh heh
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 09:21 AM   #58
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Duh

And here I thought Texan's kept rattlesnakes as mouser's!

Another myth perhaps

heh heh heh
No myth, just an imported Texan. (Pssst. How do I say this delicately...she's a Canadian! :)

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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 09:31 AM   #59
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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No myth, just an imported Texan.* (Pssst.* How do I say this delicately...she's a Canadian! :)
So why the heck would you bother to help her? She'll just tell her family & friends how helpful you were and before you know it...

Oh, waitaminnit-- what are you grilling this weekend?!?
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?
Old 06-03-2006, 10:14 AM   #60
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Re: Why aren't there more women science professors?

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Originally Posted by SteveR
I have to admit I do the same stuff. I can't not think about something. Sleep is a rare commodity and winding down my brain takes a while. It is like a washing maching slowing down from the spin cyle some times.

Bearing rates and vectors of other cars...I love that..and do that too.

Meditation? Can't do it..tried many times but I can't focus on just one thing for long.
Even when I read I can't seem to stay focused. I jump ahead and try to resolve all the character issues, conflicts and plot twists all the time.

I thought it was because I need to retire...guess you blew that idea out the window...
Ding ding ding!

I guess this is why we both need prescription hypnotics to fall asleep.

My restless calculations involve what a certain 16 month old is climbing up on, and what his head is going to hit if he falls in direction 'a' vs direction 'b'.

I've now compounded this by getting him a little car with a 6 volt electric motor in it, and he's already figured out how to 'make it go'. We're still working on the steering.

The dogs are unamused.
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