women and minority mathematicians

women and minority mathematicians - L. Edwards and C. Goff....

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L. Edwards and C. Goff. "Mathematics and Television." Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society, edited by S. Greenwald and J. Thomley, Salem Press, 2011. Women and Minority Mathematicians Whenever mathematicians are depicted on screen, some audience members may form (prejudicial) opinions about what mathematicians look like, or how they act. As we have seen before, mathematicians are often presented as nerdy white men. There are possible downfalls of such limited portrayals. For example, Ron Eglash describes how the dearth of black geek characters in popular culture reflects and somewhat reinforces the stereotype that white male nerds are the gatekeepers to full participation in science and technology. But to their credit, some television shows have made an effort to broaden the demographic range of their mathematical characters, including women and African Americans among their number. There have been a few female characters with mathematical ability on television. Early examples include three characters from the Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) series: captain Kathryn Janeway, chief engineer B’Elanna Torres, and Seven of Nine, who was rescued from the Borg (and thus joining the series) in season four. Often, these characters discuss intricacies of 24th-century physics, including warp speed travel and altering the time line. The show situates these three women (and the Vulcan Tuvok, see below) as leaders among their shipmates in terms of knowledge of and ability in physics, engineering, and mathematics. Another woman character with mathematical talent is Winifred “Fred” Burkle on the show Angel (1999-2004), created by Joss Whedon as a spinoff of his popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Though a physicist by training, Fred displays her talents in mathematics, engineering, and
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This document was uploaded on 11/01/2011 for the course ENC 1145 at FSU.

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women and minority mathematicians - L. Edwards and C. Goff....

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