corpusaristotelicum
I don’t think that everyone should become a mathematician, but I do believe that many students don’t give mathematics a real chance. I did poorly in math for a couple of years in middle school; I was just not interested in thinking about it.
I can see that without being excited mathematics can look pointless and cold. The beauty of mathematics only shows itself to more patient followers.
Interview with Maryam Mirzakhani, the brilliant Iranian mathematician who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal (via curiosamathematica)
acodetojoy

acodetojoy:

Answer by Chi Zeng:

I’ve been there. When I was a freshman at Harvard, I lacked programming experience (and a laptop). I was technologically inept and dove straight into the intro computer science course CS50. Many classmates were smarter than me, and I freaked out in the face of terms such as “arrays” or “null terminators.”

With much hard work, I survived the class, and I have done well in every CS class I’ve taken at Harvard. Last summer, Google even hired me as a software engineering intern. Thank the computer gods they didn’t know that I had no idea what a for loop was just a year ago.

Here are my two cents about how to feel more confident about CS:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive. When you don’t understand a concept, veer away from blaming the teaching staff, your lack of background, or your IQ. Instead, actively ask questions, Google around for information, and consult resources such as mailing lists, Stackoverflow, documentation, books, etc.
  2. Don’t shy from working with those smarter than you. My freshman roommate was a great Java programmer, and he helped me with my psets. He set a great example for me, and we still work together a lot.
  3. If you get a concept that your friends do not, take the time to help them understand. This reinforces your learning, makes you a nice person, and increases your confidence.
  4. Do side projects with new technologies. It’s a great way to gain programming experience while having fun and using what you learn in class. For instance, recently, I made a simple audio editor that is completely powered by javascript (no Flash!): Tunekitten Audio Editor. I learned a lot about implementing design patterns in my favorite language.

Of course, different strategies work for different people, so you must experiment a bit to find out what works for you. Learning to program is hard, but I have come to believe that anyone can do it with hard work. If you ever feel discouraged, watch this scene from Forrest Gump and keep trying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2-MCPa_3rU
conaffetto

ricktimus:

Neil deGrasse Tyson is not impressed with all your sexism.

Edit: This post made it to the Science tag! As a science aficionado, this of course makes me happy.

So lots of people have reblogged pointing out the irony that I didn’t even include the names of the scientists in my original post. This is mostly true. I did include their names on my post, but that was only in the tag section, and even then it was for my own reference purposes. Had I known this was going to be reblogged like mad and added to an educational category I, would have at least included links to their respective biographies and stuff, instead of only just my glib commentary.*

But that is what the edit feature is for, I suppose. SO HERE ARE SOME LINKS:

AND ALSO:

* Not that I will ever regret writing glib commentary about Neil deGrasse Tyson throwing some serious shade at the past.

Conversion Analysis

It’s the end of my first year studying mechanical engineering, and the end of my first year in a new city by myself.

So much has changed that it seems trivial to mention each way, but the sum of these changes is greater than their individual parts.

I have been so busy with school and work that I just don’t even have time to spend being racked with insecurity before taking action or asking for what I want.

I’ve learned how to ask questions when I don’t understand something, because I have basically been forced to if I want to pass my classes.

I’ve learned that everything gets easier with practice and experience, including things like asking questions and working in groups on engineering projects.

I’m still struggling a little bit with going to office hours. The setting is unstructured and involves a lot of casual chit-chat, and the idea of making a fool of myself keeps me from going to one-on-one sessions with my professors. I’m not good with some basic social interactions, like knowing how to end a conversation, how to exit, or how to start, even.

Conic Sections are beautiful

I completed some projects related to trigonometry and emailed my professor about one of them. She seemed enthusiastic, but email is not her method of communication, she asked me to explain after class, but I just never did. Of course, I would rather email because I can structure my thoughts and not worry about how to deliver those thoughts outloud.

A sundial I made using arctangent and the latitude of San Francisco

My boyfriend has Aspergers. When we first started dating we had friction because he felt like I was cold and kept him at a distance. I felt shocked that he would say that! I told him that I had never felt as passionate about a person as I felt about him, and that the strength of my emotions made me feel out of control! I have realized that I tend to build walls with people because I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I don’t communicate what I feel. I’m a brick wall. He was surprised that I felt so strongly about him (and maybe dubious). During our argument he made a comment to me about me being “aneurotypical.” I had to ask him to explain what he meant. He was the first person I had ever met with autism and I didn’t know much about it. I don’t think that I am autistic, but I can recognize myself in some experiences I have heard autistic people give since that conversation.

I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve been driven to action since my decision to move across the country and start my engineering education. I accomplished a lot. I got an internship at NASA this summer. NASA is my dream job. It feels insane that I’ve gotten this opportunity. It took a while for me to really believe it was true. In response to my trepidation my boyfriend asked me, “Are you excited?” and I answered, “Yes, but I feel like an axe is about to drop.” I felt like it was a trick and the rug would be pulled from under me. But…it’s really happening!

womeninspace
kenobi-wan-obi:

Aprille Ericsson: NASA Aerospace Engineer

Aprille Ericsson was the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
She was born and raised in the Bedford Styvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and earned her bachelor’s in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As a NASA engineer, Ericsson has worked on many projects, including the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, the James Webb Space Telescope, and in the Integrated Mission Design Center. Currently she is the instrument manager for a proposed mission to bring dust from the Martian lower atmosphere back to Earth.
Ericsson has won many awards, including the 1997 “Women in Science and Engineering” award for the best female engineer in the federal government, and has been profiled by NBC Nightly News, Essence Magazine, and other media outlets. She is a member of the NASA GSFC Speakers Bureau and the Women of NASA Group. Ericsson also teaches at Howard University at the collegiate and middle school level and is a member of their Board of Trustees.

kenobi-wan-obi:

Aprille Ericsson: NASA Aerospace Engineer

Aprille Ericsson was the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

She was born and raised in the Bedford Styvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and earned her bachelor’s in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As a NASA engineer, Ericsson has worked on many projects, including the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, the James Webb Space Telescope, and in the Integrated Mission Design Center. Currently she is the instrument manager for a proposed mission to bring dust from the Martian lower atmosphere back to Earth.

Ericsson has won many awards, including the 1997 “Women in Science and Engineering” award for the best female engineer in the federal government, and has been profiled by NBC Nightly News, Essence Magazine, and other media outlets. She is a member of the NASA GSFC Speakers Bureau and the Women of NASA Group. Ericsson also teaches at Howard University at the collegiate and middle school level and is a member of their Board of Trustees.

womeninspace
scienceyoucanlove:

Annie J. Easley
By Agent Kate B
You’re never too old, and if you want to,as my mother said, you can do anything you want to,but you have to work at it.
Annie J Easley
As part of our celebration of African-American History Month,we at Geek Squad would like to recognize the many accomplishments of noted computer scientist, mathematician and rocket scientist, Annie J. Easley.
Her career
After graduating from high school, Ms. Annie J. Easley began her career in 1955 as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). At a time when machine calculation was limited to key-punched cards manually fed into enormous machines capable only of multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division, Ms. Easley was part of a team responsible for calculating (by hand, mind you) the complex mathematical functions needed by scientists (like logarithms, exponentials, and square roots).
While still employed by the NACA, Ms. Easley earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Cleveland State University in 1977. She also participated in continuing education and specialization programs specifically sponsored by the National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA).
During her 34 year career with NACA (and later, NASA), Ms. Easley is credited as being one of the first African American women in the field of rocket science, mathematics, and computer sciences. She helped develop the software for the Centaur Rocket – a high-energy rocket that came to be known as ‘America’s Workhorse in Space”. She developed and implemented computer code that analyzed alternative power technologies for electric vehicles. She also studied technologies for wind and solar energies, as well as solving problems of energy monitoring and conservation. Some of Easley’s work helped lead the way to the development of batteries for modern Hybrid cars.
Easley’s work on the Centaur project helped develop the technological foundations for space shuttle launches, as well as launches of communication, military and weather satellites. Her work contributed to the 1997 flight to Saturn of the Cassini probe, which was launched by the Centaur.
Annie’s work helped make modern-day space flight possible — and for this, we salute her.
from Geek Squad

scienceyoucanlove:

Annie J. Easley

By Agent Kate B

You’re never too old, and if you want to,
as my mother said, you can do anything you want to,
but you have to work at it.

Annie J Easley

As part of our celebration of African-American History Month,we at Geek Squad would like to recognize the many accomplishments of noted computer scientist, mathematician and rocket scientist, Annie J. Easley.

Her career

After graduating from high school, Ms. Annie J. Easley began her career in 1955 as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). At a time when machine calculation was limited to key-punched cards manually fed into enormous machines capable only of multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division, Ms. Easley was part of a team responsible for calculating (by hand, mind you) the complex mathematical functions needed by scientists (like logarithms, exponentials, and square roots).

While still employed by the NACA, Ms. Easley earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Cleveland State University in 1977. She also participated in continuing education and specialization programs specifically sponsored by the National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA).

During her 34 year career with NACA (and later, NASA), Ms. Easley is credited as being one of the first African American women in the field of rocket science, mathematics, and computer sciences. She helped develop the software for the Centaur Rocket – a high-energy rocket that came to be known as ‘America’s Workhorse in Space”. She developed and implemented computer code that analyzed alternative power technologies for electric vehicles. She also studied technologies for wind and solar energies, as well as solving problems of energy monitoring and conservation. Some of Easley’s work helped lead the way to the development of batteries for modern Hybrid cars.

Easley’s work on the Centaur project helped develop the technological foundations for space shuttle launches, as well as launches of communication, military and weather satellites. Her work contributed to the 1997 flight to Saturn of the Cassini probe, which was launched by the Centaur.

Annie’s work helped make modern-day space flight possible — and for this, we salute her.

from Geek Squad