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Thread: Is It Racism?

  1. #1
    TOL Legend ok doser's Avatar
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    Is It Racism?

    in my early post secondary experiences in what has become a lifetime of learning, i was heavily into STEM - Chemistry, Physics, Engineering - and lots and lots of high level math - past the three semesters of calc, past the diff eq and into the rarefied atmosphere of classes where only the math majors dared to venture

    and ethnic diversity was absent - in fact, i can't remember a single Asian student in my classes, or a single black student - it was so common as to be unremarkabkle - we did have some teachers from india, but i don't remember students - and in engineering, a few Iranians (this was right before the iranian revolution)

    but blacks?

    not a one


    For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’

    Fewer than 1 percent of doctorates in math are awarded to African-Americans. Edray Goins, who earned one of them, found the upper reaches of the math world a challenging place.

    Edray Goins is one of about a dozen black mathematicians among nearly 2,000 tenured faculty members in the nation’s top 50 math departments.




    BALTIMORE — It was not an overt incident of racism that prompted Edray Goins, an African-American mathematician in the prime of his career, to abandon his tenured position on the faculty of a major research university last year.

    The hostilities he perceived were subtle, the signs of disrespect unspoken.

    There was the time he was brushed aside by the leaders of his field when he approached with a math question at a conference. There were the reports from students in his department at Purdue University that a white professor had warned them not to work with him.

    One of only perhaps a dozen black mathematicians among nearly 2,000 tenured faculty members in the nation’s top 50 math departments, Dr. Goins frequently asked himself whether he was right to factor race into the challenges he faced.

    That question from a senior colleague on his area of expertise, directed to someone else? His department’s disinclination to nominate him to the committee that controls hiring? The presumption, by a famous visiting scholar, that he was another professor’s student?

    What about the chorus of chortling that erupted at a lunch with white and Asian colleagues when, in response to his suggestion that they invite underrepresented minorities as seminar speakers, one feigned confusion and asked if Australians qualified.

    “I can give you instance after instance,” Dr. Goins, 46, said as he navigated the annual meeting of the nation’s mathematicians in Baltimore last month. “But even for myself I question, ‘Did it really happen that way, or am I blowing it out of proportion? Is this really about race?’”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/u...maticians.html

    ....in response to his suggestion that they invite underrepresented minorities as seminar speakers, one feigned confusion and asked if Australians qualified...
    the snappy response would have been "if you can find one who's sober"

    the thoughtful response would have recognized the exclusion of the Abos

    the identity politics response was to see racism in the question

  2. #2
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    the bottom line in the STEM fields always has been - if you can do the work, i don't care if you're black, white, purple or green

    after all, papers submitted for publication don't identify the authors' race

    and catalytic cracking units don't care either

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    Over 4000 post club The Berean's Avatar
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    Part of it being exposed to to STEM subjects. It's not that Black people and Latinos lack the innate intelligence but lack of exposure. I'll give an examples to what happens when you expose groups of students who had traditionally not been exposed to STEM subjects.

    Jaime Escalante
    Ecalante was a Bolivian born math teacher who taught at Garfield high School in East Los Angeles from 1974-91. This high school was located in a very poor section of Los Angeles made up mostly of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. It was literally one of the worst performing schools in the state. One day Escalante decides he wants to teach Calculus to a bunch of cholos, vatos, and pachucos. The school administration though he was completely nuts.




    Escalante had the attitude that teens will rise to the level of expectation placed on them. Escalante started teaching Calculus in 1978 with five students.

    In 1979 five students took the AP Exam, two passed.

    In 1980 nine students took the AP Exam, seven passed.

    In 1981 fifteen students took the AP Exam, fourteen passed.

    In 1982 eighteen students passed the AP Exam.

    In 1983 thirty-three students took the AP Exam, thirty passed.

    In 1987 eighty-five students passed either the AB or BC AP Exam.

    Mind you he did this with a bunch of barrio kids who had no access to expensive tutors and didn't have wealthy parents. And this high school was pumping out more students who passed the AP Calculus exam that just about every other school in the state.
    Last edited by The Berean; February 20th, 2019 at 08:23 AM.
    Your problem is not technology. The problem is YOU. You lack the will to change...You treat this planet as you treat each other. - Klaatu

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    ok doser (February 19th, 2019)

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    More Jaime Escalante.

    Your problem is not technology. The problem is YOU. You lack the will to change...You treat this planet as you treat each other. - Klaatu

    What are you talking about? There is no such thing as the "Mafia"......it doesn't exist. Just a bunch of lies told to defame honest hardworking Italians like myself. - TomO

    I will do you, let's see, goofy, wacky, and to the left side of the bell curve
    . -Ktoyou

    I'm white. I'm not black. I can't convert to being black. It doesn't matter how much I want to become black. I could listen to rap and date fat white women all day; for all that, I'll still remain white.- Traditio

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    ok doser (February 19th, 2019)

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    and i've seen the results of this on the other end, as an educator in middle and high schools - many students of color in the AP classes in the successful suburban district in which i taught, less success in the failing districts

    i'm sure that a current review of the engineering student body of which i was a part 40 years ago would show vast gains in diversity

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