# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"Girls Are Better at Math, But ...," by Maia Weinstock. *Discover*, September 2003.

The article quotes psychologists Jacquelynne Eccles and Mina Vida (at theUniversity of Michigan) who propose that women are rare in mathematics-basedfields like physics and engineering not because of fear of math but because ofsocialization. "The data [based on interviews and questionnaires] indicate thatgirls' math abilities outpace boys' through high school, but the girls eschewmath-oriented careers because they do not believe such careers are valuable tosociety." Pamela Davis-Kean (codirector of Michigan's Gender and AchievementResearch Program) suggests that girls have math ability (many go into thebiomedical sciences) but that an earlier influence---parents---affects thevalue girls place on mathematics.

*--- Annette Emerson*