Women in Mathematics

Scaling the Heights

Deborah Nolan, Editor

To read a review click here.

Taken as a whole, the volume offers both a discussion of undergraduate mathematical experiences and attitudes and a number of stimulating ideas about how to enable gifted undergraduates to understand more fully the mathematics enterprise as it is practiced by mathematicians. Useful reading for faculty who desire suggestions of ways to bring research and research-like activities to (not just women) students. Choice

The heart of this book presents the insight of eight individuals who have taught at the Summer Mathematics Institute at Mills College and the Summer Institute for Mathematical Sciences at U.C. Berkeley. They share their course materials and give pedagogical tips on how to teach topics in mathematics that are not usually part of the undergraduate curriculum in ways not usually found in the undergraduate classroom. Although the courses described here were designed to encourage talented undergraduate women to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics, the good ideas found in them are gender free and can be used equally well with male as well as female students. These articles provide a wealth of ideas and examples you can use to develop programs and courses that will motivate undergraduates who want to study advanced mathematics. Included are exercises, handouts, list of research projects, and lists of reference projects. The topics covered:

Probability and Stochastic Processes Ani Adhikari and Deborah Nolan
Hyperplane Arrangements Helene Barcelo
Algebra Seminar Taught by a Number Theorist Antonia Bluher
A Seminar on Linear Optimization Lynne M. Butler
What are Numbers? Svetlana Katok
Algebraic Coding Theory Vera Pless
Quadratic Reciprocity and Continued Fractions Lynne Walling

The book rounds out the material presented by the Summer Mathematics Institute Instructors, with perspectives from mathematicians who have been active in the promotion of women in the field. Results from a quantitative survey where undergraduate math majors tell us what they think about the major and their future in mathematics complements these essays. Included are overviews of seven successful summer programs for undergraduates.

Spelman-Bryn Mawr Mathematics Program Sylvia Bozeman and Rhonda Hughes
University of Michigan REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Daniel Burns and Donald Lewis
Mills College Summer Mathematics Institute (SMI) Ani Adhikari, Steven Givant, and Deborah Nolan
Summer Program for Women in Mathematics (SPWM) at George Washington University Murli Gupta and Daniel Ullman
Summer Mathematics Program at Carlton and St. Olaf College's Deanna Haunsperger and Stephen Kennedy
Mount Holyoke Summer Research Institute Margaret Robinson
Director's Summer Program at the National Security Agency (NSA). Victoria Yates

This collection of articles grew out of a conference held on July 14, 1994 in Berkeley. The goal of the conference was to gather mathematicians from around the country to discuss ways to increase the representation of women in PhD programs in the mathematical sciences. The conference, entitled ``Women in Mathematics: Scaling the Heights and Beyond,'' was organized by the directors of the Mills College Summer Mathematics Institute (SMI)--Ani Adhikari, Lenore Blum, Steven Givant, Leon Henkin and myself--and funded by the National Science Foundation.

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