11
   

What is your image of a woman scientist?

 
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 09:24 pm
@maxdancona,
Fine with me. But your dismissal re the importance of art bothers me, re the introduction of it to children.

This doesn't mean I like all art instruction, good grief.

I think of art essentially as a kind of play, as is science, what if? I don't think one of them needs to be killed in schooling.

Oh, wait, you were bored.
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 09:25 pm
Women belong in STEM, not just in STEAM. We haven't succeeded in getting more women in mathematical pursuits, if all we've done is redefine mathematical pursuits to include Photoshop.

Wasn't COBOL invented by a woman? Programming used to be a common profession for women to be in, and it was not because programming included Photoshop in those days. The female coders in the sixties were hardcore.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 09:36 pm
@ossobuco,
I think I made it clear that I believe art should be part of education (you can go back and show me where I said otherwise). In my own experience as a student, I picked up the art that is meaningful to me outside of school.

I do think that science, math, writing and history are essential parts of an education in a way that art isn't. This doesn't mean that art isn't important. Sorry if this bothers you. This isn't a new disagreement, when I went to Ed. School the different views on what education means were covered ad nauseum.

My opinion was developed my experience on two sides of this issue; as a former educator and as a student, learner and engineer.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 09:48 pm
@maxdancona,
Art is also part of science, too bad you don't get that. I spent seventeen years in immunology labs, don't go lecturing me. Art widens vision, and vision is key.

A long time boss wrote many med mystery type books. Guy was good at writing, but also re just plain discussion.

You, on the other hand, seem to need to always win.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 09:55 pm
@Kolyo,
Exactly right Kolyo!

My daughter is in a group called "Science Club for Girls". I hate it! It is exactly what you would expect if you round up 15 random kids and tell them they have to like science. At home my daughter writes her own code for a website she is building, and solders electrical circuits. In "Science Club for Girls" she does canned fossil crafts with paper mache (it is a joke). When she brings home her little sciency crafts I have to laugh (fortunately she has a good sense of humor... it isn't easy being my daughter).

My daughter explains to me that I should "chill"... it is a social activity with her friends. (In case anyone doesn't understand I am being somewhat tongue in cheek, actually I am fine with that).

But yeah.... dumbing down math and science to get more girls to participate really bugs me.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 10:03 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso,

I half agree with you. But I half disagree with you.

Being a well-rounded human being is very helpful to a scientist or an engineer. Having artistic or musical or textile or dance pursuits outside of the lab or classroom are great for creativity... it is probably essential. (There is a joke at mathematics conference that the most common question is "what instrument do you play?").

But there are specific areas of science and mathematics that you must master in order to be a scientist or an engineer. We all have studied calculus (and we all agree that it is important). We all have been lectured on scientific method, and statistical analysis and a range of things that is essential for us to do our job.

Maybe creative pursuits in general are important to creativity and inpsiration. But there is no single creative pursuit... for me it is music (specifically choral singing) and dance... for someone else it is piano... for someone else it is water colors... for somone else it is gardening.

Science is about hypothesis, reason and experiment. If you can come up with a novel hypothesis and then show it by experiment, reason and mathematics, then you will be a successful scientist.

It doesn't matter really where you get your inspiration from. You are correct, having some artistic passion can be a source of inspiration. But that you are inspired is all that matters to your ability to do science.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 10:08 pm
@maxdancona,
I have known many scientists. Many.
Likely more than you have.
Most of them have had souls, in the sense of personal being.

I don't actually care what you think about 'art'.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 10:11 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't know why this bothers you so much Osso. I have already said that art is important to me personally (in the form of singing and dance). I have said that art can be a source of inspiration for scientists and engineers. And I have said that art should be part of our education system.

I am a human being Osso. I do, in fact, have a soul (as much as the next guy). I am just expressing my opinions and experiences, and you are free to do the same. I assume that in many ways, our academic and professional backgrounds are similar.

0 Replies
 
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 11:15 pm
@chai2,
You make assumptions. You imply that I'm sexist , arrogant and self centered. You don't know a thing about me but draw conclusions from a single sentence. Your hostility isn't a reaction to my post, it's been there for a long time and is directed at my gender. Message me in private if you'd like.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 03:53 am
@maxdancona,
your entire argument seems only to dwell upon some perceived inimical differences between the art and technology. THAT is the whole point for the incorporation of art and culture into the curricula.

In PA Weve got several levels of STEM that perhaps dont exist in many other states programs. We shall always need technicians, but we shall really need the creative minds that can draw solutions for problems they can perceive from our daily world.

Has your state gotten rid of "gifted and talented" programs??













maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 07:00 am
@farmerman,
Farmerman, I have a successful technology career. And I have a love for music (singing) and dance. I know something about the subject.

Let me try another tack. Maybe the perceived "inimical differences" I am dwelling upon are between art, and art education.

I was thinking back last night on my art education career. Most (if not all of it) was completely useless to me. I had at least one "art appreciation" course where I learned, and was tested on, terms like "impressionist" and could identify the works of some artists that some people think are important for me to know about. Actually, this was worse than useless... learning about art in a classroom had the effect of making art (something that should be a source of inspiration and pleasure) into a drudgery.

The art that was meaningful to me was the art that I sought out (or maybe it sought me out). Through my preteen and teen years I was involved in the theater. This was private children's theater (Andy's summer playhouse in New Hampshire... it seems to still be going strong). I spent hours memorizing lines, fussing over costumes, rehearsing, training. There was no classroom study, and no tests... just performances and being surrounded by passionate people, both adults and peers.

These are the experiences that inspired me and nourished my young soul. Experiences like this were enough to counteract the dry, staid, lifeless "art" that was shoved down my throat in school.

I do believe that different students have different needs. Maybe vocabulary tests with words like "impressionist" or gaining the ability to circle and identify architectural terms from pictures of buildings is useful for some children. For me it was soul-sapping (and I mean that literally) drudgery.

I live in Cambridge MA. I have been pretty happy by the programs that are available to my children in public schools so far.

My daughter is having the same experience with "art education" . She hates art in school (ironically her chorus teacher called me last week because she is having trouble "focusing"). Yet she voluntarily has joined "Boston City Singers" which a singing performance group that pushes her pretty hard and has performances.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 08:14 am
@maxdancona,
you seem to be locked on a mode of education that only involves teaching a "skill".
You seem to accept the ways that stem ed is unfolding ("interdisciplanary studies, Practica, theses and other modes of self study, etc. Why not the "A" part.

Culture includes arts , humanities, liberal ed subjects.

Lets not overfocus. and assume that some school administrator "knows what the hell of what they preach"
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 08:29 am
Irony of ironies with deep learning algorithms pretty soon people who just have learned "specialized skills" will be replaced by more reliable AI..
Art will to but far later on. And human art specifically, will never stop selling even with AI competition...curiously an education onfocused in art will lead to unemployement way faster then mastering an Art. Time will prove me right soon enough...
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 08:46 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Hell, ealready have AI medicine and robotic surgery, AI in-field geophysics and whole lots of stuff. Ive always said that wed become the Eloi of a future age.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 03:28 pm
@Kolyo,
Quote:
We haven't succeeded in getting more women in mathematical pursuits, if all we've done is redefine mathematical pursuits to include Photoshop.

If you took a moment to examine the code involved in making Photoshop work, you'd appreciate just how awesome a mathematical tool it is. I've taught image processing at the college level; if someone wants to teach mathematics using Photoshop, an even stronger case could be made for that than using many of the applied math/math-centric languages (such as APL) that have been used for such courses over the years.
And another program even more so: Mathematica. Mathematica actually owes much to Photoshop, and while the images created by Mathematica are often beautiful creations in their own right, they are also very serious mathematics. What command line programmers and yesteryear mathematicians failed to realize was that while systems of linear equations and integral calculus fell on many deaf ears when expressed in Greek characters scratched on a board in chalk, they were also representable in color, in 3D, as curves and surfaces. And yes, have artists, and the likes of Photoshop to thank for this giant step forward in mathematics.
http://i66.tinypic.com/vesu0.jpg
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 03:55 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
It seems banana isn't the only one who isn't clear that this is just a plastic doll.
....
Asking for a pretend like dolls credentials for her claim that she's a real scientist?

And you don't think that there's anything wrong with teaching girls that the only thing they need to pursue any career they want is the shopping savvy to buy the right accessories? Seriously? And FYI, GI Joe does indeed have a back story. It begins in World War 2 with young GI's serving their country, and documented for the folks back home by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernie Pyle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Pyle
Their story, and his, were told in the 1945 non-fiction movie "The Story of G.I. Joe."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_G.I._Joe
In addition to this background, the marine GI Joe was modeled upon the real life hero Mitchell Paige, who does indeed have an impressive CV, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor given in the USA.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Paige
While a DOLL is a piece of plastic, that is a separate issue from an IMAGE or SYMBOL. And an image can and often does have its origins in real people and experiences, heroism, bravery, blood, sacrifice, and other things that you can't merely buy at the mall.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 04:02 pm
@Banana Breath,
At top level engineering colleges, such as M.I.T near where I live, you will find mathematics still expressed with "Greek Characters scratched on a board" (as you say). The only real change is that the board is now white.

Are you saying that a science, engineering education that is math heavy and focuses on problem sets using old school mathematics is obsolete?

I don't know what you mean by "Image Processing". You may see image processing as a form of "arts and crafts". But image processing as I understand it heavily mathematical. Students who take image processing courses in top level engineering schools will end up doing problem sets involving pouring over functions on paper.

Here is a syllabus from such an Image Processing course at MIT. Take a look at the topics covered, and look at the grading rubric at the bottom... the students are graded solely on getting the correct answers to mathematical problems.

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/health-sciences-and-technology/hst-582j-biomedical-signal-and-image-processing-spring-2007/syllabus/

Tell me how this matches up with your idea of what "image processing" means?
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 04:25 pm
@maxdancona,
Just how do you think a program like Photoshop performs tasks such as edge detection? Take a few minutes and read about algorithms such as Marr-Hindreth and then ask yourself... are they any less scientific or mathematical simply because they're done within Photoshop?
http://www.hms.harvard.edu/bss/neuro/bornlab/qmbc/beta/day4/marr-hildreth-edge-prsl1980.pdf

And by the way, Marr and Hindreth both worked at the MIT AI lab. And both Photoshop and Mathematica are site-licensed for all of MIT; your assertion that learning there is only blackboard/whiteboard-based is decades out of date.
https://ist.mit.edu/mathematica/desktop

If you took the time to actually read the syllabus that you yourself posted, you'd find that the MIT course spends plenty of time with non-blackboard activities including use of the GRAPHICAL mathematics program Matlab and a variety of practical applications software.

Quote:
Optional: Fundamentals of MATLAB®
Optional introduction/review of software package used throughout the semester. (1 week - Siracusa)

ECG Filtering and Frequency Analysis of the Electrogram Design filters to remove noise from electrocardiogram (ECG) signals and then design a system to detect life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The detector is tested on normal and abnormal ECG signals. (3 weeks - Greenberg)
Speech Coding Implement, test, and compare two speech analysis-synthesis systems. These systems utilize a pitch detector and a speech synthesizer based on the source-filter model of speech production. (3 weeks - Greenberg)
Image Segmentation Process clinical MRI scans of the human brain to reduce noise, label tissue types, extract brain contours, and visualize 3-D anatomical structures. (2 weeks - Fisher)
Image Registration Explore the co-registration of medical images, focusing on 2-D to 2-D (slice to slice) registration and using non-linear optimization methods to maximize various measures of image alignment. (2 weeks - Fisher)
ECG: Blind Source Separation Separate fetal and maternal ECG signals using techniques based on second- and higher-order statistical methods. Techniques include Wiener filtering, principal component analysis, and independent component analysis. (2 weeks - Clifford/Greenberg)

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 04:29 pm
Contrary to what BananaBreath is arguing, there is still plenty of work for those of us who do hard-core math and engineering. We still pour over difficult mathematical functions. We still write code by hand (often from the command line) and use a complex set of mathematical tools to get our jobs done.

These jobs are highly mathematical and analytical. They are not for everyone. But for those of us who are drawn to math and engineering, they are both mentally satisfying and financially rewarding.

We all agree that women in these professions should have equal opportunity, respect and pay. For whatever reason, not many women are drawn to these professions (compared to men).

The reasons for this and what steps should be taken is an interesting discussion. Taking the deeply mathematical and analytical parts of these essentially mathematical and analytical professions is not any kind of solution.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2016 04:34 pm
@Banana Breath,
Sure BananaBreath, And people can use edge detection within Photoshop without ever having taken a differential calculus course or understanding what a Laplace Operator is.

But there are people who have taken the 7 or 8 semesters of college mathematics required to master differential calculus and Gaussian functions. These people have watched the lectures, have done the problem sets and wrestled with the math. Just because Photoshop was invented doesn't mean that engineer don't still need to master the math.

No one goes to MIT to learn how to use Photoshop. They go to MIT to learn how to create Photoshop. There is a big difference.


 

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