Author: Zurik 23M. Authors channel: here.
It is awful to want to go away and to want to go nowhere.
— Sylvia Plath, The Journals of Sylvia Plath. Anchor, 1998
Wednesday was an important day for gender equity in mathematics. For the first time, the Fields Medal was awarded to a woman — Maryam Mirzakhani. It is a much-deserved prize for one of the most exciting mathematicians of our time.
Maryam, who is responsible for what fellow mathematicians call “probably the theorem of the decade”, studies the geometry of curved surfaces. To non-mathematicians, that might sound impenetrable, but Maryam describes her research in terms that we can all understand. Maths, she says, is like writing a novel. “There are different characters, and you are getting to know them better. Things evolve, and then you look back at a character, and it’s completely different from your first impression.” (…)
Sadly, however, the approach of Maryam Mirzakhani and her students is far removed from that taught in classrooms, and it is this chasm that stands in the way of gender equity in maths, and of better maths education in general. (…)
We need a maths revolution in schools. We need to stop implying that female students are incapable; we need to stop offering a mathematics that is procedural; and we need to start teaching problem-solving mathematics better for students in general and for girls in particular. For this reason I am developing a new centre at Stanford that provides teachers, parents and students with the information and resources they need to do this (www.youcubed.org). (…)
The stories of women such as Mirzakhani should not be of exceptionalism and of young girls fighting traditional values, they should be the norm in society, and in the world of mathematics.
"He’s staying with me."
crossed the surrey park at dusk, in my best suit
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”- Robin Williams (1951 - 2014)