I can't tell whether you're agreeing with me, or disagreeing with me, or
just riffing off of what I said, but I hope you didn't take what I said to
imply that women think math is hard, or are bad at math, or that I
presently think I'm terrible at math! Actually, through learning
programming, I got into formal computer science, and discovered a form of
math (discrete math/algorithms) that I aced! Which would have shocked a
younger me.

But I never would've gotten there by a path that related coding to "math"
in the way I pictured it at the high school/college level. Math -> coding
isn't a leap I would've taken. Languages -> coding -> algorithms worked for
me. Maybe for someone else the path would be to relate coding to something
else they like, such as business analysis, or gaming, or some other
connection that's equally relevant and more personally motivating. A good
mentor could find that connection for a student.

If we're talking at cross purposes here, it's probably because of the
difference between programming and computer science. As others have said,
you can get a lot of good coding done with a natural aptitude for logic and
pattern, not necessarily math or computer science.

On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 7:30 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 2/21/13 7:48 PM, Emily Morton-Owens wrote:
>> This was just the right thing to say, because he was connecting it to
>> something that I consider myself talented at (languages), rather than
>> something I don't (math).
> I want to clear up the "math is hard" and "programming is math" myths.
> First, the ratio of women to men in graduate math programs is approaching
> 50/50, although women are still struggling to be hired and gain tenure in
> math departments. So "math is hard" for many of us, but it's not
> necessarily a gender thing. (I'm looking for the cite for this -- I've done
> too much random reading recently and didn't mark this. May be book below.)